Swisscom (Switzerland) AG uses the telecoms solution SAP RM-CA (Receivables Management – Contract Accounting) as part of its receivables processing system. Customers were supposed to be contacted before their outstanding payments reach a certain level, but system errors were triggering blocks on their accounts. What is more, the workflow had little transparency or structure built into it. Within just a few weeks, the consulting company ConsSys IT AG, relying on the next-generation business solution of Metasonic, built an application that made the receivables processing system much more effective and transparent.
When SME customers (small and medium-sized companies) owed several outstanding payments on various billing accounts, setting up an alert on the billing account level was not appropriate. Various alerts were therefore collected and summarized in an Excel spreadsheet by way of the SAP RM-CA system. A process manager consolidated individual delinquent items for each customer and passed them on to the various regional offices. Teams at those offices then worked through the lists. This manual approach made this type of processing prone to error from the very start, triggering multiple alerts and prompting dissatisfaction among customers. Moreover, customers could not access a history, so there was no guarantee that all cases would be processed without omissions. On top of this, a system error in SAP RM-CA triggered account blocks without reason!
ConsSys IT AG was retained to implement a solution that would automate the receivables processing system and thus prevent uncertainty and customer dissatisfaction. Processing would start at the point when the list from the SAP system was prepared automatically in accordance with a set of rules. Other requirements called for guaranteed routing to the teams‘ inboxes in the CRM system and for receipts to be issued for the decisions of customer service representatives (process compliance). A sustainable process controlling system was to deliver available performance indicators and analyse.
The easy handling and high flexibility of Metasonic® Suite, which is based on SAP, led the company to choose business software from Metasonic. This is not the first project implemented jointly by Swisscom, ConsSys IT AG and Metasonic.
The aim of the new application is to prevent unwarranted blocks and to rule out multiple alerts – and thus to keep customers from becoming dissatisfied. It is also important for dedicated staff to have a complete and transparent overview of the entire customer profile before an outbound call is made.
As a first step, the rules for consolidating individual account alerts were developed together with the process manager. The rules call for each item to be consolidated by company index and/or customer number and the region responsible for it. The amounts in arrears are also calculated. When a given processor launches the process, an upstream alert process triggers a receivables workflow.
On the basis of the key data input process, the existing items in arrears are checked to see whether any apply to a „critical customer“. In each sales region a person is tasked to input the data of these critical customers. At the start of the process, a form (business object) containing details such as the company index and customer numbers is accessed. The email address of the respective customer service representative is saved. That person receives an automated message that the customer in question should not be blocked. The account alerts are then analyzed, and next steps are discussed with the customer.
The remaining items in arrears pass completely automatically into the CRM system, already consolidated by customer. There, they are processed and sent in accordance with the work instructions for SAP‘s dunning level 32A. Normally the employee at the customer service center calls the customer in question and clarifies the situati on.
This can yield various results, which the employee can confirm with a link. This might be a deadline extension or a confirmation that the customer will be making a payment, etc. Simply returning the results via hyperlink does away with time- and labor-intensive integration into the CRM and SAP system. This also ensures that the orders generated in the integrated process controlling system are transparent at all times.
If the service request is not processed, these process instances automatically land in a timeout with corresponding documentation (process status). The new solution gives the customer service center staff structured procedures for better processing, complete with a case history. In other words, it yields a precise picture of whether and how often the customer was contacted and what arrangements were made. This better qualifies employees to approach the customer on that level. The customer service representative also gets support from a process controlling system with a wide variety of options for analysis. Other features of the solution are a „blacklist“ that allows customers to be ruled out for a certain period and a certain SAP „dunning level“. The „Built-in Compliance“ function of the Metasonic® Suite guarantees that the process complies with the rules and is traceable.
The subject-oriented Business Process Management (S-BPM) solution from Metasonic and the Metasonic® Suite based on it allowed Swisscom to model, validate and run key data processes within less than two hours. Even more complex process models were implemented within one to two days. The entire process and implementation, aimed at preventing critical customers from being blocked (and triggered by a system error in SAP) was implemented within 10 days and, after extensive testing, began live operation.
The customer service center staff is now able to complete their work much more effectively and come to the right decisions more quickly – particularly because all work steps are now available in a traceable form, preventing duplicates from occurring.