Sanofi is a global pharmaceutical company specialising in consumer health-care products. The company operates in almost every country in the world, in Australia it is a major supplier to thousands of pharmacies.
Ensuring that its customers receive their orders when they need them is critical to Sanofi’s success. Gareth Hinchcliffe, Credit and Revenue Manager at Sanofi A/NZ, runs the department tasked with ensuring the financial part of this process works without a hitch.
“We’re a customer-facing team, first and foremost. We’re interacting with customers daily and we have a duty to make sure that service is the best it can be.”
Credit & Revenue Manager
Large customer base impacting communications
Gareth’s team was on the frontlines of customer engagement and success, but they knew much more could be done — it was time for an evolution. One of the key challenges was that 70% of their accounts were small — a common problem for many in Accounts Receivable. Size doesn’t reduce complexity, however. This meant that Gareth’s team were faced with meeting the needs of 4,000 customers in real-time to solve a host of issues, any one of which could derail the fulfilment process and impact the customer relationships they worked hard to build.
The key challenge was communication — namely how an essentially manual and phone-based system was preventing Gareth’s team from delivering to the standard they needed.
He knew there had to be a better way. A way to bring the kind of intuitive and powerful consumer-friendly technologies that had revolutionised other business functions to his Accounts Receivable team. Then he discovered SurePayd.
Customer self-service and task automation through SurePayd
SurePayd is transforming the way Accounts Receivables has been done for centuries.
Founded by experts in payments, collections and community engagement, SurePayd turns Accounts Receivable into a relationship engine. This reimagined approach drives loyalty, improves cash flow, and dramatically reduces hassle and uncertainty.
SurePayd worked closely with Gareth’s team to ensure the implementation delivered on its promise. This meant being proactive, available, accountable, and quickly adaptable so that SurePayd’s technology could fit hand-in-glove with Sanofi’s needs.
Rebecca Vadnay, Master Data Administrator at Sanofi A/NZ, said SurePayd was there every step of the way.
Vadnay said the SurePayd platform helped address the key challenge they were facing; communicating with a large number of customers in a tailored and personalised way.
“We can communicate everything to our customers now,” she said. “If they’re overdue, if they need a copy of a particular invoice, if they need to see their balance or their statement, pay their account, auto allocate, lodge a claim or dispute, or view their credit limit status, our customers can do all of this via the customer self-service portal.”
“Our experience is that, given the option, our customers prefer the self-service portal, rather than making phone calls. This gives our team the time they need to address issues that really need manual intervention straight away.”
Hinchcliffe said this high-level of customer self-service and a range of innovative payment options, such as automatic payments, made life easier for both Sanofi and its customers which kept the supply chain humming.
“It showed me the team were previously being burdened by admin tasks that had been difficult to manage given our volume,” he said.
The extra time recovered meant Sanofi’s credit team could now focus on adding value to the customer relationship, going deep into what issues could be affecting them and anticipating challenges before they arise.
Astronomical improvement to accounts metrics
Since implementing SurePayd, Hinchcliffe said traditional Accounts Receivable metrics had been blown out of the water.
DSO improvement = 20%
Since using SurePayd, the tool has been a big contributor to reducing our DSO by 20%, which is pretty astronomical in this industry reduction
Orders on Hold and Overdue debt
Our Orders on Hold and Overdue debt have experienced similarly strong improvements
Beyond metrics, the platform enables Sanofi ANZ to explore new avenues to nurture deeper customer relationships such as anticipating customer need and developing proactive communications.
Vadnay said SurePayd had maintained its close supportive partnership, with ongoing collaboration beyond the initial implementation through a continuous improvement programme.
“The SurePayd team has definitely been there for us and has been so open to collaborating with us, proactively bringing us innovative solutions,” she said. “This allows us to build a stronger and more trustworthy relationship with our customers as well.”