Team Happay
By: Team Happay
Published on: September 21, 2017

life in happay

An Interview

Welcome back! Automation has been the buzz word in every industry, and now it is taking financial processes by storm as well. In our interview, Mr. Anthony Pinto, the head of Finance and HR at ACE Micromatic tells us a first hand tale of how he used automation to help his company.

In part I, Mr. Anthony trotted out how automation has helped his company improve relations with the vendors and necessity to do so.

In part II, he further goes into details and shares some number driven analysis to substantiate the worth of technology. After all, the devil is in the details.

Elephant in the room: ROI (Return on Investment)

After hearing all the positives about the new efficient processes, I wanted to know if everything was worth it. So I asked.

Q: Have you wondered about the ROI of automation, especially when it requires good investment ?” I asked

Mr.Pinto: “Well to start off, no more cheques, no extra man-force to keep writing it, no more requirement of covers and envelopes for it. The cost of the cover, printing of that cover, then the courier charge. All of these petty expenditures appeared so trivial as they were not directly reflected in the books, but at a microscopic level, these small spends significantly affected the bottom line.”

He didn’t think twice before listing me where all he had saved. Of course, he had done all his calculations, I smiled at my own naivety and went on listening to the answer.

“The other value-add is the brand image. We have gained a reputation of making payments to our suppliers in much less time than they expect.
We have a better insight of company-wide payables, receivables and commercial forecast, a better cash and working capital visibility and a more trusted relationship with our vendors.”

 

Q: How did it affect your employees who incurred expenses and reconciliation processes?

Mr.Pinto:“ Yes, there was a huge change there. 80% of our workforce is on the field. Their only purpose of visiting office was to collect the cash and to file the expense claim. Each service engineer needed to go to the accountant for imprest. New imprest was allowed only if, previous expense claims were not pending. It used to cause unnecessary discussions and arguments between field engineers and account persons.

If we see numerically, an accountant used to take 15 minutes in clearing expense of one service engineer + 15 minutes in unnecessary argument i.e. 30 minutes per accountant and we have 400 service engineer all across the country.
Hence, 30*400/60= 200 Hrs. were exhausted in the unnecessary and unproductive discussion.

life in happay

Time consumed in conventional manual process.

 

So, to save both company’s time and their toil, automation was utterly required for cash disbursement to employees.”

Q: Automation definitely has lubricated your existing financial system. But, was it feasible for your organization in economic terms ? I asked.

Mr.Pinto:“ After adopting Happay, I seldom see any service engineer in the accounts department. They put up the money request and get money in their Happay Card, which they use for various work-related purposes. Also, they don’t have to worry about noting down those expenses anymore. No more piled up expense claims, paper works, and vouchers.All the domino effects of the papers have vanished. So,yes, it has helped us to become both paperless and cashless.”

Numbers speak everything. To put everything in perspective, here is the changed scenario.

“Every year we used to add 5 account person across the country for finance handling and managing the expense. This year we haven’t added a single person. I can’t say about other companies, but I can say that we have received around 4 times the investment as returns, not counting the other intangible benefits.”

This was one of the interactions where I didn’t have to put much effort and credit goes to the spontaneity and experience of Mr.Pinto. He is a futurist as he says

“ There is so much in the world to look for. We must embrace the progress,or we will lag behind. It’s difficult to say predict anything about future, but I certainly know it will be the age of extreme innovation. I have seen the times when there were no hand calculators in the country, I have used Telegram & know why they are extinct now, and I have used smart phones and I can see why they caused the extinction. ”

Although we ended our conversation on what the past was and what the future might be, one concrete learning was that automation in unorthodox spaces isn’t a fad but a current trend and companies will have to adopt the future for their own good.

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Team Happay
The editorial team at Happay puts together curated content that helps Indian SMEs and Enterprises take control of business payments. We create content on a wide array of topics from B2B payment trends and spend management best- practices to real-life case studies of how CXOs of different organizations use automation and mobility to manage business spends more effectively.

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