Attend the educational SAP Receivables Management Seminar sponsored by the Credit Research Foundation featuring expert speakers, networking sessions, and complimentary consultations with SAP Sr. Architects
The Credit Research Foundation, a leading association for credit and A/R professionals, will host a seminar where credit and accounts receivable professionals can network with peers and learn best practices for implementing and running the SAP Receivables Management modules, including Credit Management, Biller Direct, and Collections & Dispute Management. These products are also known as SAP Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM).
This event will feature speakers from leading SAP customers, including Johnsonville Sausage and Tech Data. There will also be two sessions on an Overview of SAP Receivables Management as well as Reporting and Analytic Tool Options from an SAP representative. These sessions will take place all day on Thursday, February 20, 2014, and the cost to attend is under $400. An optional networking happy hour and dinner is available at no cost on Wednesday, February 19th.
Attendees have benefitted greatly from the learning opportunities at past events, and many attend year after year. “After our implementation, I came to the CRF meeting totally lost and was unsure how to move forward with the credit & collections modules,” stated John Fahey, Director of Credit, Edward Don & Company, “After we attended the seminar, we had a better idea of what we needed to do. We moved to fully implement the credit roles and collection strategies in SAP, and we were able to greatly improve the condition of our receivables.”
Anyone interested in attending can go here to view the agenda and register.
About Credit Research Foundation
The Credit Research Foundation is an independent, non-profit, member-run organization, consisting of a dynamic community of like-minded business professionals with a vested interest in improving and fostering the field of business-2-business credit while focusing on the practices and technologies of the discipline. CRF is the premiere industry advocate for the B2B credit community; the bridge in the customer financial relationship. For more information please visit www.crfonline.org.
About the Meeting Facilitator
HighRadius improves corporate receivables results by modernizing and streamlining accounts receivables operations. The company’s cloud-based solutions for managing credit, cash application, customer deductions, and collections and certified solutions and services for SAP Receivables Management are trusted by some of world’s most recognizable brand names. Founded in 2006, HighRadius is based in Houston, Texas and is consistently named one of the city’s fastest growing technology companies. For more information please visit www.highradius.com.
From our team to yours, HighRadius would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! May success follow you wherever you go in 2014!
“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
~ Nelson Mandela
HighRadius’ SAP-certified, PCI-DSS compliant electronic payments solution has been chosen by Yaskawa America to satisfy their automation initiative.
HighRadius today announced that The Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. has selected the HighRadius Payments OnDemand solution to provide electronic payments processing for credit cards within their SAP™ system. This PCI-DSS compliant solution uses cloud technology to leverage processors’ tokenization services eliminating the need to store credit card information, which minimizes the risk, effort and cost for Yaskawa America.
Yaskawa chose HighRadius, an SAP Gold Partner, as their preferred vendor because of their innovative solutions for payments as well as receivables management. Yaskawa America has allowed its customers to pay via credit card for several years, but the process has been a manual and time consuming effort. Without a best-in-class automation solution, processes were prone to error and were subject to additional risk. HighRadius’ solution is the only gateway in the market that leverages customer processor tokenization and completely eliminates the need for on-site hardware and maintenance costs. Merchants running SAP systems can leverage the Payments OnDemand solution across multiple payment origination points in their SAP system. This standard integration automates the payments process and significantly lowers cost with minimal implementation and risk.
Elizabeth Chamorro, the Manager of Credit and Collections at Yaskawa America, expanded on why they chose HighRadius’ Payments OnDemand solution by stating, “We [had] been looking for the best automation capability of our credit card payments acceptance process that provided the security needed by PCI-DSS requirements and the integration with our SAP system to give us the automation we wanted. HighRadius’ Payments OnDemand met those needs in a most robust manner with a true ease of implementation. Also, the fact that Payments OnDemand also works with our other HighRadius solutions within the SAP environment, it further confirmed that their solution was the right choice. We believe other companies will easily reach that same conclusion.”
Sashi Narahari, the President and CEO of HighRadius, added, “Yaskawa America determined that this integration was important to their automation initiative for electronic payments, and their selection of Payments OnDemand truly reinforces our technology and architectural design as the correct one for this market today.”
About Yaskawa America, Inc.
The Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. manufactures industrial automation equipment. Its products include industrial AC drives; commercial HVAC drives; spindle drives and motors; servo systems and machine controllers; and low-voltage industrial control switches. The company's products are used in a variety of industries that includes automotive, building automation, chemical, food/beverage, irrigation, machine tool, material handling, metal forming, oil/gas, packaging, pharmaceutical, power generation, solar, plastics and rubber, textile , and water/wastewater. Yaskawa America’s Motoman Robotics Division makes industrial robots that can weld, assemble, cut and handle goods for manufacturers.
Yaskawa America, Inc. employs more than 1,000 people at its manufacturing facilities in Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin and in offices across the United States. For more information, please visit www.yaskawa.com.
About HighRadius Corporation
HighRadius provides software solutions that optimize Credit-to-Cash cycles across functions such as credit, collections, cash application, deductions, invoice presentment and payments. HighRadius Receivables OnDemand suite automates the entire credit-to-cash cycle and is delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud. HighRadius Payments OnDemand suite is a cloud-based PCI-DSS compliant solution that enables companies to accept credit card payments into SAP. HighRadius Accelerators for SAP Receivables Management enable large enterprises to quickly deploy and optimize standard functionality as well as leverage their SAP investment with lower TCO. HighRadius’ solutions have a proven track record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad debit and increasing operation efficiency enabling companies to achieve an ROI in few months.
For additional information, contact:
***SAP, SAP NetWeaver and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries
SAP® has officially granted HighRadius a Gold Partner status after meeting various requirements.
HighRadius, a leading provider of Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM) solutions, is proud to announce their achievement of a gold status partnership with SAP. HighRadius has developed applications that extend and add value to the SAP Receivables Management modules, including both value-added and complementary software solutions based on SAP technologies.
SAP Gold Partners are recognized by the SAP PartnerEdge program as experts who deliver value-added solutions & services to SAP customers across the entire lifecycle of activities such as sales, education, implementations & support. HighRadius is the only niche provider of solutions for SAP Receivables Management modules with the most number of deployments since the release of these modules by SAP in 2001.
HighRadius is highly specialized in their expertise on SAP Receivables Management (formerly Financial Supply Chain Management) and offers implementation and optimization services for these modules. These integrated solutions are the preferred option of corporate credit departments whose companies run SAP. With the knowledge from numerous implementations at Fortune 1000 clients across various industries, HighRadius has developed a unique methodology for assessing and rapidly deploying SAP Receivables Management modules on time and on budget with a strong track record of meeting aggressive ROI objectives.
HighRadius also offers solutions to extend the SAP Receivables Management functionality. These solutions are built on top of the SAP Netweaver platform in ABAP code as well as on the cloud and enhance the functionality of SAP. HighRadius Accelerators play a critical role in business transformation initiatives requiring a strong ROI. This keeps customization to a minimum and significantly reduces the risk to the project’s budget and timeline. The solutions available include:
Sashi Narahari, the President and CEO of HighRadius, added, “We are very excited to achieve SAP’s Gold Partner status. This milestone truly reinforces our partnership alignment and commitment to SAP’s eco-system. We look forward to an ever-expanding partnership with SAP as a software solution gold status technology partner for both current and future customers.”
Sap AG is engaged in enterprise applications in terms of software and software-related service revenue. The Company’s core business is selling licenses for software solutions and related services to deliver a range of choices fitting the varying functional needs of its customers. Its solutions cover business applications and technologies, as well as specific industry applications. In-memory technology across its data management offerings enables customers to access the data, which they need, where they need it, when they need it. The Company is structured along Technology & Innovation Platform, Products & Solutions, Global Customer Operations, Chief Operations Office, Global Finance & Administration, Human Resources, and On Device & Sybase.
About HighRadius Corporation:
HighRadius provides software solutions that optimize Credit-to-Cash cycles across functions such as credit, collections, cash application, deductions, invoice presentment and payments. HighRadius Receivables OnDemand suite automates the entire credit-to-cash cycle and is delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud. HighRadius Payments OnDemand suite is a cloud-based PCI-DSS compliant solution that enables companies to accept credit card payments into SAP. HighRadius Accelerators for SAP Receivables Management enable large enterprises to quickly deploy and optimize standard functionality as well as leverage their SAP investment with lower TCO. HighRadius’ solutions have a proven track record of reducing day’s sales outstanding (DSO), bad debt and increasing operation efficiency enabling companies to achieve an ROI in few months.
***SAP, SAP NetWeaver and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries.
Superman vs. Lex Luther, James Bond vs. Dr No, Harry vs. Voldemort – so many epic battles are good vs. evil. Not so in credit and collections. Calling vs. Emailing is not pitting good vs. evil but good vs. good or good vs. better or right now vs. later. People have preferences, maybe personal and/or company dictated, about calling or emailing customers for collections related business but both methods have their benefits. The trick is to find the balance that uses the right method at the right time in the right situation.
Calling is an effective way to reach your customers. It is easier to establish relationships when you are one-on-one over the phone. It’s also harder to ignore a problem situation when you are speaking directly with another human. A phone call is essential for all non-routine situations. People are more likely to open up over the phone and you can get more insight into a problem even if that insight comes from reading between the lines. Along that line, it’s easier to solve a problem when you are having a conversation over the phone than back-and-forth over email. Working together to solve problems is also a big component of building close relationships with customers and providing excellent customer service.
Emailing is also an effective way to communicate. Because you can attach invoices and other transactional documents you are assured that your customers know exactly what you are talking about. For established customers who usually pay on time, email is a breeze. Some AP departments don’t answer phones so you must email. It’s also essential for working internationally when office hours don’t overlap due to different time zones. From a time management perspective, emailing is quicker than a phone call.
There are some tactics for using both methods of communication effectively. To start, call all new customers first – in this way you can find out their preferences for future communications. A lot of people will tell you they prefer email – it’s less confrontational, takes less time to respond to than a phone call but it’s also easier to ignore. So you put them on your list of customers to email first. Then, if they don’t respond to your emails, be prepared to call. Same goes for folks who don’t respond to phone calls first. Make sure you have processes in place to follow up if you don’t hear back after 7 days or the 2nd call or email. When you follow up – it is a best practice to use more than one method of communication.
Never rely on just phone or email unless a client has proven to be consistently on-time and always replies in a timely manner to you communiqués. If you email a customer and get no response, always call to follow up. And if you call but have to leave a voicemail, also send an email. This helps eliminate problems caused by having the wrong email address or phone number as well – the more methods of communication you use the more likely you are to get through to a customer. By using both methods in tandem you get the best of both worlds and are able to effectively use both calling and emailing in the best possible way they were intended.
What method(s) have worked most effectively for you when communicating with customers?
Consumer Product Goods (CPG) Manufacturers & Distributors are challenged with a high volume of trade & non-trade deductions. Whereas the sales teams are mostly focused on the front-end trade promotions and sales programs activities, customer finance teams are challenged due to lack of effective tools to resolve high volumes of deductions. This results in profit leakage due to low deduction recovery rate.
Learn how Hormel Foods transformed their highly manual, paper intensive deductions process to one that is highly automated and efficient enabled by latest deduction management technologies.
In this recorded webinar, hear Kim Jensen, Manager of Support Services at Hormel Foods , discuss how they were able to:
- Transform a very paper intensive deduction process into electronic workflows
- Automate deduction backup documentation such as debit memos and deal sheets from their top customers resulting in 30% increase in productivity
- Capture item/SKU level data on debit memos and rolling-up to product categories thereby, enabling ease of clearing against trade promotions
- Automatically match deductions to trade promotions based on tactic, from/to dates, product categories
Discover how you can effectively reduce your operating costs and increase visibility and communication within your deductions process by viewing the webinar HERE.
Due to incredible growth, HighRadius has moved into a larger corporate office in order to keep up with staff growth and an ever-increasing demand for their solutions.
Today, HighRadius, a leading provider of credit-to-cash software solutions, is excited to announce that after only 2 years in their current office, they have moved their corporate headquarters into another Houston office building.
This move marks an important milestone for HighRadius as it reflects stability, confidence and continuous expansion. This new space will enable them to continue to provide quality consultancy and solution services for current and future customers.
In the past 7 years that HighRadius has been in business, they have seen at least 50% growth each year with a combined aggregated growth rate of 3500% since inception. During the past year, HighRadius has experienced 57% growth, which was the main motivation to search for a larger space that would facilitate future expansion. Knowing this, their new corporate headquarters is three times larger than the size of their current office space which will allow for many more offices, meeting rooms, and cubicles.
Sashi Narahari, HighRadius’ President and CEO, is excited about the continued growth. He states that, “Our old office served us well, and we made great memories there, but we couldn’t be more excited about our new space. We envision this new location as the start of another chapter in our future where we continue to grow and improve in order to meet and exceed the needs of our customers.”
HighRadius’ new office includes a board room with numerous adjacent meeting rooms, state-of-the-art presentation, media and virtual meeting capabilities, as well as additional space for an exceptional and ever-expanding staff.
HighRadius’ new office is located only 6 miles from their current location on the top floor of the corporate office building located at 11451 Katy Freeway, Suite 650, Houston, Texas 77079. Their office phone number (281) 968-4473 and fax number (281) 404-9002 will remain the same.
While a crystal ball that accurately predicted cash inflows would be a fabulous addition to any AR department, we are stuck with more mundane methods. It is possible, however, savvy credit pros to make accurate forecasts of cash receipts without the benefits of any hocus-pocus. Since many organizations struggle with forecasting cash flow, the credit function has an opportunity to provide additional insights regarding the cash receipts side of the equation.
The working capital division of The Hackett Group, a global strategic advisory firm, recently conducted a survey that found four out of five of the world’s largest companies cannot forecast their cash flow 2-3 months out within five percent accuracy. If you can’t forecast cash flow, planning goes out the window. When cash projections aren’t accurate, there will likely be missed business opportunities related to both capital expenditures and working capital investment not to mention a marginal higher cost of capital.
The Hackett Group survey did find some similarities between best-of-breed organizations that were successfully predicting their mid-term cash flow – the companies were doing it via automated or ERP-related systems and completing their forecasts in less time than their peers. These companies’ accounts receivable teams aren’t sitting with a simple spreadsheet, inputting data and attempting to accurately forecast cash that way. Forecasting cash flow requires a variety of analytics including best/worst case and what-if scenarios as well as working with other departments who have an impact on incoming cash. Though working capital management falls under the responsibility of a controller or CFO, accounts receivable performance is the credit department’s domain.
The key is to build more accuracy into your cash receipt forecasting models. For one thing, stop assuming all promised payments will arrive when promised. We all know promises can be broken, so look at the percentage of payments that haven’t shown up in the past and the amount of time it has taken for those payments to arrive then work that information into your forecasting system. Moreover, there may be difference between collectors, one realizing a higher percentage of kept promises than another.
With an automated collection system, all payment data can be translated into intelligence concerning customer payment habits. This will provide some indications of what percentage of your incoming cash can be expected on time and how much may be late. Also, having close relationships with customers and tracking their performance patterns helps top performing credit teams to better understand their clients’ own financial situations.
As with any major undertaking, set benchmarks into your system to help you judge the effectiveness of your collection activities and forecasts. These should include performance incentives for your collection staff to get very specific payment promises from customers, identify changing trends in customer performance and address problems before they affect collections. Also, don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your collection goals – in the short term the occasional tactical adjustment is to be expected and will be seen as a positive development when it serves to achieve preset collection goals. Always make time for review, both from a strategic collection perspective as well as looking at individual customer performance and modifying your collection tactics based on those results.
Have you been successful with improving your cash forecasting performance? If so, what improvement(s) did you implement to become successful?
There is a look of experimentation going on in regard to the structure and organization of the modern office. Open space, telecommuting, hoteling and a host of other trends are changing the way offices are set up. It takes a unique office environment that can minimize distractions and maintain a high level of productivity. A recent survey by Ask.com of over 600 professionals conducted by Harris Interactive showed that the majority of professionals say they thrive best in a classic office setting. The survey results show how collaboration and face time need to balance out distractions and interference.
Working in corporate credit is a prime example of how this balance needs to be found. There are plenty of solitary activities – approving orders, contacting delinquent clients, and so forth – for one to do, but there is also room for collaboration. Group brainstorming sessions to figure out how to streamline the workflow or handle repeat offenders are valid uses of corporate time. But if the balance between individual work and the team is thrown off, it doesn’t matter how well meaning management might be; once off-kilter, productivity declines.
61% of workers surveyed said constant sounds from colleagues distract them from their work and only 27% report that they prefer to work in an “open room” or “newsroom: setting. Not every organization has the space or budget to provide credit staffers offices with doors. Part of this issue is something the company can assist with – perhaps some more carpeting, more sound-deadening panels or white noise machines can be installed to lessen the sound of noisy coworkers. However, we all need to take a look at ourselves and make sure we are not the cause of our office-mate’s headaches. Need to make aggressive collection calls? Consider doing it from a different phone in a more solitary location. Need to chat with a coworker? Go into the conference room or other communal space instead of at your desk. Awareness is a huge factor in reducing the noise level in an office space.
86% of those surveyed prefer to work alone for maximum productivity. There is a large solitary component to credit and collections – each employee has their own responsibilities and responsibilities in regard to the AR with limited need for collaboration. Likewise, it is no surprise that 46% of employees say they communicate with nearby co-workers via email, IM or phone rather than with face-to-face interactions. This does not mean that half your co-workers are actually cubical hermits who avoid contact with other humans. It means these employees know how the act of getting up, walking to a co-workers desk, interrupting that person’s work, and discussing something can be a huge productivity killer. Face time isn’t a bad thing, but if you can find a way to get answers without interrupting your flow or that of another is all the better.
All in all, everyone on your team should have the same goals and understand how certain situations can be killers of time and productivity. Don’t be afraid to survey your employees and get their input on how to make your office environment a more pleasant and productive place to be. Productive employees are happy employees and make for more efficient teams that get the job done.
What are the "productivity killers" in your workplace? How did you identify them and work to improve productivity?
The heart of portfolio management is analysis. Through analysis, Credit is able to establish norms and consistent risk classifications that then provide a broader framework for quantifying credit and collection decisions. The result is better justification for decisions and more consistency across the entire receivables portfolio.
In the manual collections world, collectors often base decisions on their own experience and intuition due to the fast paced nature of the environment. Some collection pros can operate at a fairly high level based on historical activities and a certain measure of precedence when dealing with individual accounts. This does not mean they are always on target when it comes to broader portfolio management. It also leads towards a bias for conservative decisions and limited risk which then lead to missed opportunities and lost dollars for the bottom line.
By utilizing comprehensive portfolio management analysis, credit executives can get a much greater grasp of their accounts. Perhaps certain accounts don’t fail as often as expected and maybe overall risk levels are low, so large profit margins may justify extending additional credit in order to increase sales. With analysis, you minimize a certain amount of risk as well as gain a number of benefits. Three areas where portfolio management can bring huge benefits are as follows:
1. Identifying underperforming accounts: This should be obvious – it is easier to pick out the bad apples and therefore it is more likely that future results will blossom. To take things a few steps further, collectors need to compare portfolio segments and individual customers within the portfolio so trends and commonalities can be identified. This only makes the underperformers even easier because it takes the randomness out of the identification process. Industry trends, inventory management and seasonal attributes become more obvious when it concerns an entire segment of your portfolio and allows for commonality in addressing the broader needs of this group.
2. Better defining your credit and collection management needs: After looking outward and indentifying your underperformers, turn inward to address your management needs. Try to answer “why?” as often as possible – Why is this sales territory slower in collections than others? Why are pricing deductions increasing in a particular AR segment? By answering these questions you can create structural improvements and amend your internal practices in order to positively affect collections.
3. Learning the difference between desirable and undesirable accounts: Portfolio analysis can reveal valuable information about customers. When you identify a market segment or type of customer that is able to handle a higher credit line you can increase your market share with established customers. By giving your sales department information concerning your top and bottom accounts they can target their efforts towards prospects with the lowest potential risk and best potential for long-term customer relationships and profits. The key is being able to create a rank ordering of your accounts based on risk or any other relevant factor.
Managing your accounts receivable portfolio is crucial to being competitive with best-in-class organizations. Part of that competitive edge is utilizing all the analysis and reporting tools that come with accounts receivable software systems. The different “drill-down” options allow for nearly unlimited ways of viewing your accounts. These varying perspectives make trend spotting incredibly more efficient and beneficial to both short- and long-term financial planning.
How do you "energize" the management of your accounts receivable portfolio?