Leading by Example: Almoayyed International’s Digitisation and Automation of Treasury Department
By Eleanor Hill, Editor
A diverse conglomerate, with more than 30 operating business units across the GCC, Almoayyed International Group (AIG) is constantly exploring avenues to improve finance and treasury processes through digitisation and automation. Here, Ajay Jain, CFO, AIG, outlines the transformation journey the group has been on with the help of BNP Paribas – and explains how the finance function has embraced new systems, updated workflows, improved processes with robust internal control and developments such as robotics to supercharge treasury, while also contributing to sustainability initiatives.
With internationally renowned expertise on delivering reliable, efficient and transformative solutions for the future, Bahrain-headquartered AIG has to stay at the forefront of innovation. As such, the company fosters a continuous improvement mentality and is always looking for ways to make its operations more streamlined.
As Jain explains: “Every member of the finance team plays an active role in idea generation and suggestion, which helps in improving current processes, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency of staff without compromising internal control.” A good example of this philosophy in action is the implementation of a Document Management System (DMS) across 14 divisions of the Group’s Finance and Commercial Department - automation of various processes and reports, digitisation of bank accounts - whereby processing 90% of payment and trade finance online saving time and cost - and moving towards a paperless office. Benefits have included: improved staff productivity; reduced manual processing costs; enhanced transparency and governance; access to documents while travelling; and a full audit trail.
Having seen the success of digitising documents in this way and various other automation processes, they committed to move towards further automation and a paperless office.
AIG was keen to roll out a similar project for its payments and cash management – and began searching for a solution in late 2014. Says Jain: “Across the GCC, we have approximately 100 bank accounts, with seven different banks. As such, we used to have to log on to different bank portals, which was time consuming, and did not give us a consolidated view of our cash. On top of that, we used to make all of our payments manually, with wet signatures required to release payments. This was inefficient, not to mention frustratingly slow for suppliers, time consuming for authorised signatories, required lots of printing of documents, movement of documents and also involved a huge cost in storage.”
AIG was therefore looking for a solution to digitise its payment flows, while also providing visibility and control over group cash – through a single portal. It was also important that the chosen solution would integrate with Oracle Financials, which enhanced the efficiency via automation and process improvements. “Since we have a 25-year relationship with BNP Paribas, and hold over 50 accounts with the bank, they were the natural choice of partner for this project,” notes Jain.
Almoayyed International Group (AIG) which celebrates 40 years in business this year, is a high-value company, providing expert solutions for businesses across the world.
Its varied capabilities and areas of expertise include a wide range of interests in Information Technology, Business Automation, Integrated Engineering Solutions, Safety & Security Solutions, Ironmongery Solutions, Electrical & Instrumentation Solutions, Industrial Packaging, Food & Beverages, and Real Estate Management.
AIG’s operational teams are spread across Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.