John Keells Streamlines Payment Processes in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka-based John Keells Holdings (JKH), a company that specialises in numerous sectors including food and beverage, transport, IT, business process outsourcing (BPO), and plantation and investor services, has implemented a hybrid payment solution from Deutsche Bank, which will streamline the company’s payment processes managed by its shared service centre (SSC), InfoMate.

InfoMate, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JKH, handles supplier invoice processing and payment processing for companies of the John Keells Group, as well as third party clients in Sri Lanka and Europe.

Due to its complex and diverse payment and collection requirements, the company’s process workflow for its supplier payments was previously run separately from other payment workflows. In an interview with
gtnews
, Jehan Perinpanayagam, chief executive officer (CEO) of InfoMate, says: “With the previous process, once the payment run in SAP was executed, the agent was required to log into Deutsche Bank’s internet gateway and upload the payment file. This was a separate task that could take additional time depending on internet speed. Given the number of payment runs executed by multiple agents and multiply this by the number of clients, the time taken was considerable.”

JKH has now implemented a hybrid payment solution, which connects Deutsche Bank’s electronic banking (e-banking) and supplier finance platforms to JKH’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) interface, resulting in greater operational efficiencies within its SSC, as well as cost reductions. The company’s payment files are automatically uploaded from JKH’s SSC to Deutsche Bank’s platforms, thereby creating an efficient payment process.

Perinpanayagam says: “It has completely eliminated a task. It has also reduced the number of internet licences required, as agents are not required to log in. This has reinforced our belief that further automation is possible in other banking functions as well.”

Background

InfoMate serves as a SSC for JKH and its businesses. The group set up the SSC mid-2005 in order to improve efficiencies in finance and accounting. Standardisation was also one of the main objectives in the first phase. The second phase focused on enhancing service levels, segregation of duties and reducing software licensing costs.

In the third phase, InfoMate drove process re-engineering, elimination of non-value adding tasks and productivity enhancements through automation. This resulted in process-driven uniformity, fewer errors and accurate information. InfoMate has now graduated to handling accounting and payroll work for third party clients in Sri Lanka and Europe.

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