Tiger Brands optimises with APPSolve's Host-to-Host banking
Businesses have integrated with banks since the 90s, when Internet banking first launched. It resulted in disruptive changes to the banking processes we had come to know and time spent in queues was dramatically reduced.
Unfortunately, the second part of the business banking evolution, host-to-host banking, was limited to only a select few businesses typically with volumes larger than 10 000 transactions per month. The reduction in cost per transaction could fund this expensive investment. APPSolve solved this with its BEBanking (Business Efficient Banking) product, which lowers the cost and complexity of host-to-host banking. Tiger Brands recently experienced this evolution in banking.
Tiger Brands, a Top 40 JSE company whose footprint extends across the African continent and beyond, is one of the largest manufacturers and marketers of FMCG products in southern Africa, and its operations span more than 22 African countries.
Henry Enslin, Financial Executive who heads the Tiger Shared Service Centre, explains some of the challenges they faced in their business banking environment. "We pay a significant number of suppliers every day. Within this process, the daily hard copy payment authorisation pack was hundreds of pages in total. A large team of people were involved in collating the pack, and then processing it through all the necessary approvals. In addition, payment remittances were generated directly after the processing in the financial system prior to approval and the actual bank transfer taking place. In some cases, bank account data capture errors caused payments to be rejected at the final stage, and that involved a tremendous amount of administration to reverse and correct. Secondly, with over 19 bank accounts, the daily manual import and reconciliation of bank statements was an extremely laborious and time-intensive task. The impact of timing differences with transactions reflecting on the bank statement caused additional issues, especially during month-end periods. Another challenge was that the customer electronic deposits had to be manually created in our financial system. Many tasks were left to the last minute, which delayed month-end closure procedures. All of which compounded costs for Tiger Brands."
In March 2016, Tiger began with the implementation of the BEBanking host-to-host banking solution developed by APPSolve. The final implementation phase was completed in June 2016, with full functionality rolled out across the business completed by April 2017.
The end-to-end automated solution includes Unbreakable Bank Statements, Automated Statement Receipts Creation, Account Verification Services (AVS) and Bank Account Approval and Electronic Payments. The BEBanking suite of localised South African banking products has been developed by APPSolve over more than 10 years. BEBanking integrates seamlessly with all four major South African banks and enables businesses to access the best products these banks have to offer.
Andre Pelser, APPSolve's Technical Director, who has spearheaded this innovation, first identified similar customer banking and security requirements during Oracle E-Business Suite implementations. Customers needed security controls and systems that could process large volumes in their ERP and banking environments. Adding to this, the complex process of understanding the banks' in-house systems and integration platforms, APPSolve identified a niche opportunity to build one standard for the industry.
BEBanking enables the benefits at a fraction of the historical cost and time to implement. Business users will capture a single source of master data and process banking transactions in a secure automated fashion, eliminating unsecured access and copies of sensitive banking data found in an Internet banking environment. Resources performing daily mundane repetitive tasks are completely eliminated, much like the bank queues that disappeared. The products were built initially to integrate Oracle EBS Financials with the banks' systems, and the solution has now been extended to include the integration to Oracle Cloud Financials (Fusion).
Enslin is excited about the benefits of the solution. "There are many, but I think the biggest benefit is the reduction of labour hours needed to manage the process. Our account executives are now spending time on productive, proactive business initiatives instead of an administrative overload. In addition, our suppliers are satisfied with the timing of their remittance advices and payments. We keep one source of the supplier bank account information, which is verified ahead of time with the bank and therefore data capture errors have been eliminated. From a security level, there is zero human access to source data between the financial system approval and the final bank payment. On the customer side, we have automated the receipt creation and statement reconciliation, the customer-facing team does not need access to bank statement information as it is now included when the receipt is created, and our bank statements reconciliation is fully automated. It has therefore improved the streamlining of the entire procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes. Lastly, a secure automated banking solution has not only optimised our processes and reduced our cost, it has maximised our investment in the Oracle E-Business Suite application."
Pelser confirmed APPSolve has rolled out BEBanking to Airports Company South Africa, Hulamin, Global Oil and African Rainbow Minierals. With BEBanking, these business have secure and efficient banking that integrates directly with the banks. This ensures their business can grow securely and efficiently with banking processes enabled to support this. APPSolve will officially launch the newly branded BEBanking (Business Efficient Banking) product in June 2017.