Genpact's gen AI solution for accounts payable helpdesk
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Empowering the accounts payable helpdesk with generative AI

Genpact's radical new solution for AP queries

As businesses contend with volatile supply and demand, they're also challenged to fuel growth while reining in costs. To make sure there's continuity in business operations, suppliers need any issue resolved rapidly, accurately, and with minimal fuss. Navigating these challenges requires a streamlined and strategic accounts payable (AP) process to strengthen supplier relationships and build resilience. This is where an effective and innovative AP helpdesk becomes critical.


An overloaded, transition-resistant role

Running an AP helpdesk is not easy. For starters, helpdesks typically experience a high inflow of inquiries, and the volume can fluctuate a great deal – making it difficult to staff the helpdesk reliably.

This inefficiency and neglect can have a negative impact on supplier relationships and even lead to suppliers restricting credit and shutting down plants in response to delayed or missed payments.

The impact can also be long term. A supplier who receives a late payment and then has an unpleasant experience chasing its money is in a stronger negotiating position when it comes to agreeing on annual pricing. So the impact on the bottom line is significant.

The challenges don't end there: helpdesks are expensive to run because of the amount of human involvement they require. They typically absorb 10%–15% of the overall accounts payable organization's work, which is a huge drain on costs and resources.

Working on a helpdesk also requires resilience, considering employees must handle difficult complaints. So morale can be low and turnover high. Left unmanaged, this damages both efficiency and the bottom line because hiring and training new staff attracts cost.

Helpdesks are also rarely the focus areas for advanced technologies as they are considered to be more transactional than innovative. Many processes are still manual, and technology is outdated. Enterprise-grade digital technology enablement in this space has not kept pace with the advances in other areas of business.


Minimizing the AP helpdesk queries – and quickly too

What AP teams need is a holistic approach that uses both standard automation technologies and advanced 1generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) capabilities to deliver a more efficient, engaging, and empathetic helpdesk experience. And Genpact has just such a solution.

Our solution has three distinct goals – eliminating inquiries in the first place, minimizing manual touchpoints, and implementing an intelligent helpdesk suite to enhance supplier experience.

We use digitalization to reduce the number of mistakes made in accounts payable and increase the number of invoices paid on time to lower the volume of inquiries coming to the helpdesk. Over time, we improve this process by analyzing successfully resolved payable queries and identifying what made them effective. We also minimize manual touchpoints, prioritizing the development of self-service models using supplier portals. And our Intelligent Helpdesk suite uses natural language processing technologies and gen AI to interpret and respond to queries in a more conversational tone.

1Generative AI refers to the field of artificial intelligence that focuses on creating systems capable of producing original and creative content, such as images, text, code, video, or even entire virtual environments.

But how does the Intelligent Helpdesk work?

There are three main channels to receive helpdesk queries: a supplier portal (self-service), email, or telephone. Let's look at the first two entry points: supplier portal and email queries (see figure):

  1. A supplier emails the inquiry to a specific AP helpdesk address or logs an issue in the self-service portal
  2. The Intelligent Helpdesk suite automatically creates a case
  3. The large language model (LLM, specifically, OpenAI's GPT-4) reads this case, which then navigates to the correct database for resolution
  4. Once the LLM has retrieved the information from the database, it generates an automatic response for the requestor with a solution
  5. This solution is then sent to the requestor, and the problem is solved
  6. The LLM can also generate a satisfaction survey to gather further information from the requestor, which it then feeds back into the system to continually improve its responses

Figure: Generative AI-powered accounts payable help desk process.

Solution empowering the accounts payable helpdesk with generative ai related graphic

Generative AI can also improve telephone inquiries. For example:

  • Gen AI can take automated call transcripts and rapidly classify them, allowing the call handler to quickly select the right solution
  • It can generate scripts for call handlers to use as empathetic, accurate, and consistent responses based on sentiment analyses of language in transcripts
  • It can write follow-up emails automatically
  • Gen AI can mine the language sentiment of transcribed calls to help generate more personalized responses and assist the company in targeting key repetitional risk areas or clients

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Supercharged supplier satisfaction and strategic value from AP helpdesk operations

Our Intelligent Helpdesk solution reduces the initial volume of queries and speeds up resolution for those that come through. It delivers much-needed consistency and empathy in communications. Suppliers get a superior experience because their queries are resolved quickly, and they know they can expect prompt support. This meaningful engagement creates deeper supplier loyalty and more fruitful commercial negotiations. Companies that fail to deliver an exceptional helpdesk experience may find themselves receiving reduced attention and services from their suppliers, potentially causing disruptions in the supply chain.

Using generative AI in self-service portals and email inquiries means that more helpdesk workers are free to handle trickier calls and dig into exceptions. And by taking a more centralized approach to query resolution, companies can optimize their staffing models and reduce costs. The gen AI helpdesk actively processes the AP exception chain, generating analytics on issues and patterns over time. This informs targeted actions, enhancing timely payments and services like supplier financing, ultimately resulting in a significantly improved supplier experience.

Because the gen AI technology continuously learns and can enhance data analysis, it will continue to refine its responses, working out how customers talk, what style of interaction they prefer, where typical problems arise, and what issues should take priority.

Why Genpact

Genpact has identified the most valuable applications for generative AI in finance and accounting. Our background as a market leader offering CFO services and our deep experience with AP helpdesk solutions make us the ideal partner as your business works to step up its supplier query resolution game.

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