Once negotiated by the procurement teams, supplier contracts are sometimes complex to monitor because of the complexity of the data at stake. This lack of contract compliance can lead to massive spend leaks.
As we are going to see in the Ayming and a tier one operator below cases, finance teams in charge of monitoring the supplier spend and procurement teams in charge of identifying sources of cost optimization can benefit from automation platforms.
Ayming case: increasing the productivity of compliance consultant teams
We have interviewed, Thibaut Charmeil, managing partner at Ayming, the leading international Business Performance consulting group, who uses Conciliator™, an AI Platform for Enteprise Efficiency for its cost optimization missions.
As a top consulting practice in business performance improvement, Ayming naturally is interested in how it can boost its own performance for clients.
Conciliator™ is now helping the firm’s consultants achieve significant savings and productivity gains, enabling Ayming to explore how digital tools can change how it works.
Ayming has over 30 years’ experience in helping businesses improve their operational and financial performance. A 1500-strong business, Ayming operates in 16 countries worldwide with knowledge and innovation at the heart of what the consultancy does.
Thibaut Charmeil is managing partner for operations performance at Ayming. In driving one of the firm’s three main business lines (the other two are finance and innovation, and HR performance), Thibaut is always focused on how his consulting team can deliver even greater value to their clients.
The bank had engaged Ayming to check whether the amounts on the invoices it received should be paid according the contracts that the bank had with those suppliers. The volumes and complexity of data were huge and Thibaut decided to run Conciliator™ on top of the work already done by his team.
The results were impressive. Using Conciliator™ enabled Ayming to generate additional savings that the team could never have achieved without Conciliator™. This was because of how the tool could interpret hand written notations on the contracts that were impossible for a human to do. The other reason was how Conciliator™ could process and analyse large volumes of data much more faster than the Excel programs used by the two-person consultant team.
Conciliator™ achieved impressive savings and productivity gains. On top of the existing savings we achieved an additional 18% of savings that couldn’t have been uncovered without Conciliator™. By more efficiently processing the Big Data involved, there was a further 28% productivity boost too. Altogether, this came in as a big monetary benefit for our client in the millions of euros, says Thibaut.
The success of this project has clarified for Thibaut how Conciliator™ can be an important tool for the consulting team in other engagements.
We loved the tool and how effective it was for us. It doesn’t replace a consultant but augments what they do in finding savings and enhances their productivity.
Tier one mobile operator: how Artificial Intelligence can help monitoring supplier spend usage
This mobile operator was not perfectly correlating customers with leased line inventory, carrier invoices, contracts and maintenance orders. There was natural churn occurring whereby customers were changing how and where they used access services. This presented opportunities to make savings in its subscriptions for third party leased line costs. However, the existing systems and processed weren’t effective or agile enough to avoid over-provisioning the purchase of leased line links from other carriers.
The category manager sets out the difficulties in remedying this situation very clearly: “There’s an immensely complicated process to manage leased lines. To get on top of the spend management, we were using a mixture of inventory databases, network inventory tools and manual interpretation.
The business was sometimes paying for leased lines that were no longer being used. Double checking was taking place to spot these anomalies. But it was very much a manual exercise working with large volumes of data from multiple sources without a robust reconciliation tool and too much analysis of the data being done using Excel spreadsheets.
Our choice of an automation platform such as Conciliator™ very much fits within this commitment to agile procurement especially in how they are experts in automation of spend management and cost optimisation”.
All relevant data from invoices, inventory and other databases is directly fed into the Conciliator™ platform for automatic correlation and analysis.
This automates a highly accurate reconciliation process between the received invoices and data from the supplier relationship management and customer relationship management systems and the supplier contracts and any other data exchanged between the mobile operator and its leased line suppliers.
Right from the start Conciliator™ created an impressive opportunity pipeline for us to bear down on hidden costs. Conciliator™'s automation and smart Big Data analytics are helping the teams find out what they need to know and take actions that are delivering real benefits. Automation is challenging the team’s mindset and making them rethink how they work.
As we see, Artificial Intelligence can provide true benefits in the contract compliance helping in ingesting non structured documents like invoices and automating the validation of contracts.
The next step will consist in automating the decisions and the analytics for non compliant invoices. We will have the opportunity of sharing use-cases about it in the near future.
Photo by Ran Berkovich on UnsplashRan Berkovich