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How to speed up international payments with process automation and get internal buy-in

Speed is key in the corporate world.

Making secure business payments, in bulk and at speed, without the laborious manual processes, is a challenge faced by many.

In the second part of our mini blog series, with global manufacturer NSG, we take a look at the benefits of payment process automation.

Controlling the automation narrative 

Implementing the right technology into a business at the right time can bring endless positive results.

But it can also lead to some real ‘human’ concerns.

As once-manual tasks become automated, you run the risk of employees thinking their role has effectively become redundant, which is not the case.

It’s important to control the narrative around introducing payment process automation from the start, so the team fully understand the reasons behind implementing it and the tangible benefits it will bring – for the company but also for their own day-to-day roles.

Show your finance team that by taking away monotonous and time-consuming tasks it will free up their time to engage in more fulfilling work; unleashing their potential.

Global manufacturing business NSG Group discovered this during a recent financial transformation project to streamline their payment operations.

NSG use case

What was the NSG project?

The world’s largest producer of glass and glazing products partnered with AccessPay on a cloud-based SWIFT solution.

They were responding to a payment automation and cash visibility problem in their corporate treasury.

Our solution boosted productivity, speeded up payments and helped with audit regulations.

In essence, we connected NSG Group’s back office system to the SWIFT network and created a payment factory.

Treasury Risk and Reporting Manager at NSG Christopher Davies said: “The company was given a strategic aim towards more value-added activities across all business
lines, so shifting away from manual, time-consuming processes to more high value tasks was a real driver in this project.

“For example, we were horrified at the amount of time we were spending in our shared services centre manually keying bank statements into our systems.

“That was a process that was taking place day after day and one which we found could be quite easily automated via SWIFT.”

Was there any resistance to automation?

Describing the benefits of automation as ‘a big win early on’ Christopher also recalls some initial reluctance among the workforce.

“There was some resistance in areas of the business about moving jobs from manual input to value added tasks. Obviously, people become concerned that it means their jobs will go but it is all about crafting the right message.”

How to sell it to key stakeholders

Christopher said getting internal buy-in was pivotal for the success of his project.

As he explained to the wider team: “Yes things are going to change but it will be more fulfilling than manually typing into a computer and it’s better for the business.”

Christopher points out the need to adapt the message for each level of stakeholder to address varying concerns and showcase the potential benefits of automation.

“By automating it has allowed people to work from home during the pandemic, whereas previously there was a lot of paper-based authorisations.

“It also means we have a more controlled environment which will be beneficial for audit purposes.”

The new payment method has been a gamechanger for NSG Group and one which has put them at the cutting edge of technology.

As Christopher describes: “The SWIFT solution found by AccessPay didn’t even exist in my mind a year ago”. But the implementation has revolutionised their payment operations.

Jack Clancy, head of professional services at AccessPay added: “We often see roles change significantly because of processes becoming automated.

“In reality that person now has more time for value-added tasks, not only enhancing their output for the company, but also enabling them to learn more skills and grow with the business.”

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