Customer Story

Sunway achieves improved efficiency, productivity, and all-round satisfaction in its Financial Shared Services Centre with Esker

Company Size
11,327 employees
Solution
Accounts Payable
  • 50%
    faster processing time
  • 100%
    visibility over AP processes
  • 40%
    reduced office filing space

With a presence in more than 50 locations worldwide, the Sunway Group is one of Southeast Asia’s leading operators in real estate, construction, retail, hospitality, leisure, healthcare, education, financial and investment services, manufacturing, and building materials. With such diversified operations, the volume of transactions is huge, estimated at around 300,000 invoices per year. Sunway Group Finance Shared Services Centre, based in Malaysia, supports 300 in-house business units with their procure-to-pay and financial closing processes.

CHALLENGES: HIGH INVOICE VOLUMES NECESSITATE AUTOMATION

Key challenges

  • Data entry errors.
  • Missing documents.
  • Slow invoice processing times.
  • Stressed-out staff.
  • A lot of time was spent on replying to questions from suppliers about invoice status and chasing after payments.

Sunway decided to automate their accounts payable (AP) process in an effort to eliminate paper invoices and simplify approval workflows for faster delivery and greater efficiency. More importantly, Sunway wanted to create a better work environment for their employees and treat suppliers fairly by making timely payments.

Never forget to take care across business units of your employees as they are your assets. We want to provide our employees to with higher-value tasks and enable them to develop their skills.
Tan Bee Ling | Senior Manager HR Finance, Shared Services, Sunway Group

SOLUTION: ACCELERATING AUTOMATION ACROSS BUSINESS UNITS

With the objective of achieving a fully automated AP process and the resulting operational efficiency, Sunway started the implementation of Esker’s Accounts Payable solution in 2016 with two Sunway subsidiaries.

Building on the success of solution adoption and initial results, Esker's solution was rolled out to the rest of the company and is now used by more than 80% of their business units, easily integrating into the Oracle JD Edwards and IFCA ERPs.

Today, Esker processes and digitally archives all invoices, reducing 40% of office space previously needed for physical archival of hardcopy documents. Sunway organised a workshop to onboard its suppliers onto the supplier portal, where they can now submit and check the status of their invoices and, if necessary, communicate directly with Sunway’s AP staff.

NOur suppliers were very open to the whole onboarding process to the portal, and everyone immediately saw the benefits: they get paid on time,and we receive fewer calls asking about the invoice status.
Alex Hoo| Project Director, Accounts Payable Digitalisation, Sunway Group

RESULTS: SMOOTHER OPERATIONS ALL AROUND

Esker’s customisable dashboards provide real-time data and visibility, while the Esker Anywhere™ mobile application speeds up operations with on-the-go approvals. This enables Sunway to plan and manage the workload better.

Manual and repetitive tasks have also been replaced by Esker's intelligent data capturing and three-way matching. Sunway’s AP staff can spend more time on building relationships with suppliers and focusing on higher-value tasks.

Collaboration and communication amongst staff and suppliers have greatly improved, thanks to Esker’s built-in communication tools and the supplier portal. Digital workflow approvals enable stakeholders outside the Finance department access to all pertinent information.

An additional, if intangible, benefit for Sunway was displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Sunway was able to continue its operations with staff working remotely thanks to Esker's cloud solution.

We still get calls from our suppliers. However, now the conversations revolve around how we can collaborate better rather than invoice status.
Wendy Lee | Manager AP Finance, Shared Services, Sunway Group

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