Refreshing F&A capabilities for a beverage bottling giant
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Refreshing F&A capabilities for a beverage bottling giant

Putting new fizz into old processes for Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa

Who we worked with

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), part of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, the seventh-largest Coca-Cola bottling partner worldwide by revenue. CCBSA runs 13 manufacturing plants with more than 7,500 employees

How we helped

After evaluating existing finance and accounting (F&A) processes, we introduced robotic process automation (RPA) in the order-to-cash, record-to-report, and procure-to-pay functions

What the company needed

To standardize, simplify, and optimize its highly manual outsourced financial operations and foster a culture of continuous improvement to bolster business performance, readying it for potential consolidation with other divisions down the road

What the company got

Together with CCBSA, Genpact quickly implemented a challenging RPA scope that automated more than 50% of existing processes and cut costs by 50%. F&A processes are speedy and accurate, with invoicing processing times halved and F&A experts freed to work on more value-added tasks


Bring F&A processes up to speed to support business growth

Though CCBSA is a powerhouse in South Africa, it wanted to ensure a trajectory of continued profitable growth to align with the parent company's vision for the future. It engaged us to reimagine its F&A processes to support this growth. CCBSA had just consolidated six legal entities onto one ERP platform and wanted to harmonize processes.

Lengthy invoice turnaround times and slow payment capture and clearing were frustrating customers and vendors alike, straining relationships, weakening the firm's market value, and making it hard to build a culture of continuous improvement. Making matters even worse, staff was so consumed with skewed workload peaks and day-to-day demands that they had no time to offer value-added business insights. All these conditions were hampering its growth plans.

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Introduce the right RPA program for quickly realized value

A core group of Genpact experts worked alongside CCBSA to identify transformation potential in the firm's F&A processes and assess the risks and impacts. Together we created a robust governance structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, leading to the establishment of a dedicated RPA team.

To evaluate existing finance operations and the opportunity for improvements, we ran workshops with all stakeholders using the Lean methodology of visual stream mapping. We explored problem areas, the upstream and downstream processes that needed to change, and which digital solutions would make most impact. This groundwork identified RPA as the solution that would most quickly deliver the benefits CCBSA needed.

We identified that order-to-cash, record-to-report, and procure-to-pay functions were ripe for automation because of the high level of manual effort involved. We selected VBScript for error handling, optical character recognition for indexing, and pattern recognition tools to read semi-structured and unstructured data. We also designed the solution to reduce manual interventions by automating repetitive, rules-based steps. After gaining the confidence of major stakeholders, we lay the groundwork for automation by:

  • Standardizing existing process steps and input files to reduce inefficiencies
  • Minimizing exceptions
  • Reducing manual interventions wherever possible

The project launched on time, with success metrics aligned to business objectives that looked beyond ROI to focus on wider strategic opportunities.

After wave one successfully launched with 17 automations across F&A, we quickly moved to wave two, which saw nine more, including cash application, procure-to-pay workflow, reporting, and helpdesk emails.


Invoice turnaround time halved, fewer errors, and better job and customer satisfaction

Our client sums it up best:

CCBSA now runs speedy, streamlined F&A processes, especially for month-end close. With 26 bots now performing repetitive F&A tasks, the firm has eliminated the vast majority of errors caused by manual processing. Overall, the bots have delivered:

  • Zero backlogs in daily banking clearings
  • Zero duplication of invoice posting
  • More robust payment proposals
  • More accurate, 24/7 invoice processing, halving turnaround time
  • Forecast savings of $2.5 million by 2022
  • A 50% quicker helpdesk query response time, from 48 to 24 hours
  • A 35% boost to productivity in wave one and a further 28% in wave two

Job satisfaction is on the rise as people spend more time on value-added tasks such as analysis, exception handling, and providing business insights.

What's more, external customers and internal users are delighted with the speed of the information they receive and its improved quality. CCBSA is now primed for additional transformation initiatives that will add to its competitive edge.

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