Ryan Specialty Group is an international specialty insurance organization that provides innovative solutions for brokers, agents and insurance. Experiencing rapid growth through expansion and acquisitions, RSG works with over 900 vendors to supply their offices across the US and Europe with everything from office equipment to coffee. As the organization looks to continue their aggressive growth strategy, RSG’s Procurement Office has been searching for a solution to consolidate purchases across their offices and automate the order to cash process.
In 2017, as part of their strategic plan to embrace a SaaS based infrastructure, Ryan Specialty Group became one of the first companies in the world to go live with SAP’s new ERP offering, S/4HANA Public Cloud. Embracing the core foundations of SaaS, RSG searched for a way to leverage their SAP investment and introduce automation and managed integration into their purchasing processes. They partnered with Highview (formerly B/2BNOW and Enterprise Services Management) on a plan to utilize EDI and other automated data exchanges to achieve their aggressive modernization goals.
As a young company that has seen substantial scale in the last few years, RSG quickly outgrew the manual processes that had sustained their order to cash processes. By 2017, they were manually entering and processing over 5000 faxed, emailed, and mailed invoices per month to support their business. With this effort came substantial challenges for efficiency resulting in high operational costs, data entry errors, delayed invoice payments, along with late penalties and upset vendors. Procurement leaders were tasked with finding ways to ﬁx the current problems while leveraging the company’s new investment in S/4HANA.
With over 900 vendors to support, Ryan Specialty Group sought a solution that could handle data requirements from enterprise organizations utilizing EDI as well as small suppliers with little capacity for automation. RSG worked with Highview to create a dynamic phased approach that would automate RSG’s largest suppliers first while saving the low traffic suppliers for later stages. The initial phase focused on working with vendors that supported EDI or other standardized schema to automate the inbound invoice transactions (810 X-12) to their three largest suppliers. This first step would look to automate as much of 20% of the B2B traffic in the first month.
Although EDI has been around for over 30 years, SAP’s S/4HANA only recently began supporting the integrated 810 transactions and at the beginning of the project, no other company had gone live with it while operating in SAP’s Public Cloud. This required strong coordination between RSG’s selected B2B provider Highview and the S/4HANA Product Teams. Working closely together, Highview was able to design, test, and implement an integrated API connection to support the invoice process. Highview accomplished this internal testing in less than a week and was able to quickly coordinate with targeted suppliers to close the loop and fully automate the transactions. After implementation, RSG was quick to realize the benefits of automation. Within the first 2 months, they had automated over 400 invoices per month for the initial three vendors.
“As we onboard new vendors we just continue to decrease the amount of time that AP spends manually inputting invoice data. We also have essentially eliminated the opportunity for error which includes over/under payments, duplicate payments, missed payments. As a result, there are less man hours spent on resolving these errors. There is an opportunity to improve the relationships with our vendors since we are paying within days of the posting date rather than late. Additionally, we save money on late fees and we have the opportunity to negotiate early payment discounts with the vendors.”
– Milica Kristic, Procurement Specialist, Ryan Specialty Group
Utilizing a three-pronged approach, Highview has built their S/4HANA B2B solution on machine learning for automated mapping and integration configuration, an automated supplier portal for the onboarding and integration of low-tech vendors, and a tight development relationship with the S/4HANA Product Teams to beta and help test additional B2B functionality as it becomes available within the new ERP. These components have allowed Highview to oﬀer a stable path in their migration of B2B processes towards the S/4HANA Public Cloud that greatly reduces risk in moving to a new platform, costs of implementing new connections, and the time it takes to get to live production data.