Molly Pryor

Molly Pryor

Director of Transformation Solutions
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Molly Pryor is the Director of Transformation Solutions in Credit and Treasury at Sirius Solutions. She leads technology transformation projects for credit and treasury services that streamline processes, improve efficiency, increase cash flow, and reduce costs.

Session Summary:

Takeaway 1:
Challenges along the way for credit and collections team while working towards attaining a rise in working capital
Key Points
  • Improving working capital with higher collector productivity with the help of a dunning strategy.
  • Enhancing visibility into your business for C-suite to get metrics at one single place.
  • Anticipating blocked orders while identifying growth opportunities to enable sales.
  • Controlling operating costs by shifting focus from transactional activities like cash application to strategic processes like credit and collections.
Takeaway 2:
Artificial Intelligence(AI) acting as a game-changer for the daily functions of the credit and collections team
Key Points
  • Mitigating credit risk by initiating automatic credit reviews post changes in risk categories sourced by agency data.
  • Predicting customer payment delays to enable proactive and touchless dunning.
  • Automating 95% of the cash application process saving FTE costs as well as bank lockbox fees.
  • Predicting blocked orders and auto-releasing them based on payment and cash application data.
  • Creating a connected network for a streamlined process and transparent information resulting in acceleration of cash, improved business relations, and enhanced customer experience.
Takeaway 3:
Statistics and impact of Highradius applications in the present A/R process (Credit, collections, deductions)
Key Points
  • Business Level impact

    1. Reduction in days sales outstanding by 15%
    2. Increase in working capital by about $6M
    3. Bad debt reduction by 20%
  • Process Level Impact

    1. A two-fold increase in collectors productivity
    2. 95% automated cash application
    3. 100% Reduction the bank lockbox fees by
    4. 60% reduction in blocked orders after post-implementation
Molly Pryor 0:01

Hi, everybody. Hopefully you can hear if not, you can move forward. So welcome to HighRadius conference this afternoon. So we’re not JJ Watt, and we’re not DeSean. But credit and treasure people were right behind him. And I have a question for you to start with. Who here knows Whova? What does it stand for? I’ve been asking everybody, nobody seems to know. And if you have the answer, Kylie here has a shirt she will shoot to you. So I hand in the back. What’s the stand for? You don’t know what it stands for? We can’t hear say nobody knows. All right. So if nobody knows you have to make something up and send it and find the true answer and send it in under q&a. I really wanted to know what it stood for. Alright, well, let’s go ahead and get started since we don’t have an answer, but maybe we can give the shorter way later somebody figures it out. Okay. So I’m going to talk about our life and challenges and credit and collections are wonderful pain points, and sometimes our celebrations, and then I’m going to talk about artificial intelligence as a game changer for all of our processes and functions. And then I’m going to wrap up with some really good statistics and how wonderful some of these HighRadius applications are. I will tell you that I come from personal experience. I’m not a career consultant. I’m one of those that lived it, done it for 20-30 years, had use of HighRadius tools and met Sashi, I think back in 2012, so it’s been a while. So I’m very happy to be here. And talk we have okay. We can’t hear you.

Molly Pryor 2:12

VA, business intelligence? The VA is business intelligence? No, Whova the app we use for this function for conferences? I get the who, but I don’t get the VA. All right, well, is it a good try. Okay, so let’s get rolling. She gets a T-shirt for effort. You want to sit? Whatever you want. It’s comfortable. You want to stand okay. So we can talk. Okay, so we’re going to talk about mitigating our credit risk. We’re going to talk about working capital and making it better and proving it. We’re going to talk about reducing operating cost. And thinking about that, as well as helping the sales team. They always like our help, and how you give visibility to KPIs and things for your, your executive suite. So under credit risk mitigation, how do you protect the business from unwanted unexpected delinquencies? overdues they happen? And how do we keep the exposure of my entire global portfolio in check and know what the total risk is? Whether it’s high countries, industries, particular types of companies, restructurings? How do you track your approvals for all your credit limits? All that’s under that credit risk function. And for working capital, how can you come up with a good collection strategy? This is when I learned the word Dunning. It’s got its own unique forte. But that’s so we talk about what’s our dunning strategy? And how can we improve our process and make it streamlined that are efficient for operating costs? How do we balance that transactional activity versus strategic activity and our teams? And how do we make sure to maintain a balance between getting in the cash and keeping customer and sales happy? Then we move on to sales and that tedious blocked orders. When I joined Huntsman, many kind of departments managed credit by blocking orders, like 80% of the orders were blocked. It’s like the tail wagging the dog. So we had to change that. And then lo and behold, how do we have one consolidated area to share with executives and management? The data and the KPIs they all want by their division or global or you know, all the ways you slice and dice. So question again already. Everybody passes no matter what at my class. Which of the following five categories is your biggest concern for next year? of those I mentioned? And you get to answer on your Whova.

Molly Pryor 5:34

I don’t know. Let’s see. I see the answers you have them? And I guess we do have to time that because we’re under a time limit. Oh, come on. I see everybody looking down at their phone. Did you give an answer? It’s supposed to be real time. Okay, is this thing working?

Molly Pryor 6:02

Here we go.

Molly Pryor 6:16

Raise your hand if you’re still contemplating and having a hard time choosing. Alright. Not a surprise, money working capital. We still need to mitigate our credit risk. It definitely comes in the forefront whenever there’s a crisis. And then amnesia comes back when it gets better. Sales helping sales. Interesting, not so much pressure on operating costs. And who cares what the executives say? Hmm. Okay. Good information. good feedback. So let’s save it. On mitigating credit risk, I’m going to talk about HighRadius’s tool and how they use artificial intelligence to help on credit risk management. So the number one thing that actually my team some of the years ago, probably gave about 100 product ideas to Sashi’s development team. And they took them and built them and eventually put this product in the cloud and everybody’s benefiting. So this one is near and dear to my heart. So you can actually automate a financial analysis pulling in agency data. So we integrated with Dun and Bradstreet, so didn’t have to use a ram and all that we actually pulled in our DMV data. And now I understand you can do other agencies, whether it’s credit risk monitor, whatever, you can either manually put in your financials, or you can pull them in and then we would get a quarterly refresh. Monthly was too expensive. A lot of effect, you know, Lot of work, busy work, so we did it quarterly. And you can highlight while it’s going through your 1000s of small customers using something like the d&b predictive score, we didn’t use paid x as we use like that predictive score, or balancing different score metrics that they have, like their commercial credit score and paydex, and things like that. But if you look at their predictive score for your small customers, my history over 20 years, it works. And it works quickly. And if you have that fed into your system, you can automate your credit reviews. So if the score doesn’t go down, nobody needs to see it for a $30,000 limit, and you kick out the ones that deteriorate. And you can come up with a guideline, which ones you kick out which one you want nameless manager to see. And you can automate, you’ll never get bodies and budget to cover all those accounts. So my view is, put it in a box, figure out how much AR you have forgot your risk appetite, probability default, and go with it. That’s a pretty powerful tool. And I’m disciplined to check your companies every year, the numbers are already on a lag when you get them. And the current environment has changed by the time you see the numbers. So if you really don’t check customers every year, some do change. They change management, they change ownership, they change financial condition, things happen. And so I’m come from a very good discipline of checking every every company and some of them on a quarterly basis. Then the other thing is about identifying the credit views that need to be, let’s say, triggered on a real time basis. So you might have an alert to an analyst, that something’s gone, deteriorated, payment history, slow pay anything like that, you can actually send an alert to your analysts to take a look at that particular customer. And you can automate the workflow for your credit approvals. So Huntsman, we built it such that it got routed around to whoever needed to prove it under delegation of authority. It got approved, it got written back into our SAP systems, nobody touched it, there was no room for manual error. There was no room for manipulating credit risk scores, everything followed our delegation authority, it was completely automated. So it’s really nice, pretty high end.

Molly Pryor 10:28


Molly Pryor 10:31

So this is kind of what it looks like. In the credit screen, which I’ll just snap a shot, I thought, you can see the customer. Yeah, it does that on its on this little error. She’s not doing it. But it’ll point to, like if it’s bankrupt, or if the score goes down, here you go. So that’s how artificial intelligence is used, and the highradius application. So instead of your analyst scrambling through paper reports, or by the time someone’s overdue, you catch it up front.

Molly Pryor 11:11

Okay, then we go to working capital. So on their collections tool, the way it’s set up, for those of you who have experienced or doubt, you set up a strategy. And I wouldn’t be complicated about it, you know, maybe four or five strategies. So a smart way I think to do it is to not only do it by $1 amount, but by your risk category, whether use a digital series or just high, medium low. And basically set your collection strategies for your endless so it pops up in their workflow, exactly who they need to call and what they need to do. And now they have Freeda, which is even more awesome. I thought mine was probably looking at Freeda or in the beginning, but quite helpful, quite futuristic. And the other thing is predicting payment delays, which also feeds into Treasury and cash forecasting. So some companies might just take forecasting with the due date. I’m like, then I’ll pay by the due date. So let’s look at history. I prefer to look at more recent history, six months as opposed to three years because companies change. And what it does not only for cash forecasting, it’ll build you like a statistical model, what’s the coefficient and accuracy of that customer paying that we did the last six months and the future and you build off of that? And then what happens is it feeds it into your analysts to go this is the customer who typically pays late. stars, ring the bell and really push to Have a dunning strategy to go up those customers, your analysts might know on the top of the head, they know that late payers, but all of them, this is a pretty high like tool as well. And then we didn’t quite get there. But some companies are, I’ve heard Uber does this. If they’re low risk customers, you set it up. So these Dunning letters go out automatically. I do think someone looks at it before you hit sin. But you can trust the data. And it’s low risk customers, you need to confirm collection, you can have it automated. Think about all the free time your analysts get by doing these things, it’s largely administrative, like, solves the problem at hand. So when I came in, analysts don’t have to know it, they had to print the invoice, they’d have to go down the scanner, and come back and put it on an email, attach it and send it, it’s like 30% of their day, wipe it out, let them do something better.

Molly Pryor 13:52


Molly Pryor 13:56

So here’s where you can see the payment date prediction. You see how they say how many days they typically pay late. And by the way, all this can wonderfully feed into cash forecasting for Treasury, which they all want. And then we come to disputes. So they have it so slick now that they can pretty accurately predict if a dispute is valid or not, with AI in history. So instead of researching a particular dispute, the system goes through with logic it learns, and tells the analyst whether it’s valid or not. And I’m here it’s pretty high accuracy. I know where he is, but I got involved in disputes, and payables. Oh my gosh, there’s so many people on the food chain. And a lot of times the small disputes, we were just like don’t even bother, just process it because at some point, low level dollars just aren’t worth the effort.

Molly Pryor 15:06

Operating costs, even though 7% of you said that was your problem, I’m still going to go over. So 95% success rate with their cash application tool. With AI. That’s a very high number. So I had to do this before they had the tool belt, and it huntsmen. I went around, and I had to get SAP file to bank files for every bank, every country. And if we change banks do it again. So the great thing about this cash application tool, is you are not going to get all your customers to give you remittance data, on a cheque, especially not in China. And please don’t plan on changing a country’s culture. So we did exact match. And that gets you part of the way unless you’re doing rebates, discounts, all that comes into play. And your customers will send your analyst an email, outside the system outside the payment, whether it’s an ACH or a cheque. So they have it where they can build an intelligence and get your remittance information from wherever it comes in, match it up, it clears it off SAP, nobody touches it. We had seven people in every region when I walked in Asia, America, South America, Europe. China was taken five days to apply cash, even apply it. And in America, we are getting calls out to the customers and the customer had paid. How do you think that goes over internally, for you that get rid of all of it, automate it, who wants to match an exact match on a payment, use your tools a different way. And this statistic is from last year in the aggregate. It’s not a single customer. It’s their head right now, that’s very high. Some of you may be 70%. Think about getting rid of that next 20 to 25% it’d be pretty significant. And it’s also got a headcount. Then you have the accuracy on the customer experience, because you don’t have your analyst is someone who made the payment. And you can also for disputes, put in your proof of delivery, your bill of lading all those things that are big pain points on payables, all that is built into this tool that can be used to help resolve disputes quickly. So that saves on the deduction team time. And and our organisation was a mini these functions are all scattered different people manager. So in a nice to have a system and have a screen and know who’s got the ball and where it is. And what’s my alternative? Well I can go down the hall. Not so much now with COVID, I can call, I can send emails and compete with everybody else, especially on slow dollars when the salesman or ladies are working on the next deal. So I’m telling you with the tool, and transparency and accountability, dramatic change, I had something we went from lots of things over 60 days, and 10% overdue to 2%. It was all price and volume disputes. Nothing went over 60 days, by the time I left, most things got resolved in 10 days. It’s pretty impactful to working capital when you talk about the numbers of your organization’s

Molly Pryor 18:35

screenshot.Thank you

Molly Pryor 18:40

So here’s that all comes in different ways. Or they’ll pay a bunch of invoices in one payment, right? For you guys that get involved in this. I did by force, had to fix it. It’s painful. So the HighRadius application gets through all that. And it talks about unstructured data on the next one. Yeah. So let’s move on. What’s the next subject? Sales. So the artificial intelligence tool, as we talked about, and credit can predict an order is going to be blocked, because it has been used high utilisation on its current credit limit. We see this all the time. So wouldn’t it be nice to be applauded and be proactive, and know and have your analysts watching those utilisation rates and identifying to your analysts and management, the limit is getting close and prevent that blocked order. Nobody likes to get a phone call on a blocked order. Everybody screaming right? Customer, sales, depending on how big the customer is all the way up to the VPS. It gets around, and it gets remembered. And then they think that’s the way it all operates. So get out of that. And you can do auto release in their tool. So SAP has the rules, and we built in tolerances in SAP. But if you have it in the collection, dispute tools in highradius, you see it, it’s transparent. And it’s real time. So caches applied, blocked order, release, nobody touches it. It’s pretty slick, more automation. And this stuff is pretty basic and simple. It’s not complicated. And it’s not like there’s going to be huge errors when that happens. So it also provides recommendations on releasing. How’s that? Pain and behaviour? Interesting factor too. So Mike, if they pay on time customer regularly, and there’s a blocked order, and we’re supposed to get a payment tomorrow? Why are we blocking it? This is what I lived through. So wouldn’t it be nice to avoid all of those pain points for you, your department, your reputation, your customers, the sales people and be seen more as a partner than a blocker.

Molly Pryor 21:17

And there’s a shot of the next screen, blocked orders. And then it predicts it and it tells you what needs waiting approval. Trust me, as those approvals get around, it’s very hard to get management to pay attention. So when I could put it in their screen, or send them a spreadsheet and go, we did our work, you need to do yours, get the approval status. You know, everybody needs to think about the time it takes through the process of everybody involved in the approval process. And then we get to the visibility. This is where you get your big wins and you become a hero in your organisation. If you can use these tools at a low cost, and get huge returns multiple returns, pays for itself. You get rid of so much noise in administrative work, that your analysts can focus more with the business and the partnerships and the big accounts and knowing the risky accounts and I’m here to tell you credit can be a competitive advantage if you know your customer, and you know their financial situation. And you can be a partner with them in some down cycles. If not, they remember and if you aren’t a credit risk management tolerance is going to be conservative and you’re going to cut back all the times that people go out and buy insurance. Our limits at Huntsman were easily two and three times what insurance would underwrite and guess what when the customer got in trouble, they pulled it, they pull the line. So it’s something to think about proactively about using it as a weapon in your organisation. So I said, artificial intelligence, and enables you to integrate in a cloud platform. And you can see the full potential of your order to cash processes. It’s all created in a connected network, streamlined process, and transparent information. What does it do? What are the results, accelerating cash, improving your business relations, and enhancing all your customer experiences, trust me, you get the noise out of system you’re a hero, then they want you at the table. And you make a difference. And you make a difference to the bottom line. Enhancement over the course of a decade when we put in a global process, and we put in discipline, and we finally got everything in one place. Over time, we improved our working capital bottom line by almost $130 million. That’s $130 million less commercial paper we needed to issue, we didn’t lose the customer, we didn’t lose a sale, our analyst productivity on the amount of counts, they could cover five times more than they could do manually. So that’s a little bit of the Huntsman story. So we’re gonna go and I’m going to just do the next slide is the snapshot of all the tools. This is the only one global company that has all these tools reciting in one place, everything connected and streamlined. Thinking about the future, don’t just think about Now, think about where you’re going. HighRadius continues to invest in the future. So one of the reasons I picked them early on, in competition with all the big players. And you see if you come to these conferences every year Sashi talks about what they’re doing next. So you have the credit, and you have the collections, and you have the cash applications, and you have deductions, and then this electronic invoice present and payment, which is really good for credit cards, and I’m challenging them, it could be a good solution for AP, if you can do it on a large scale. Then I said to my team helping me, give me your results from last year, not for a customer in the aggregate. What did the HighRadius applications achieve? And like the last year, year and a half, maybe because of COVID. Here’s your direct business impact. DSR reduction 15%. I’m here to tell you, salespeople drive DSO with our contract terms. But if you have a large amount of overdues, it does affect it. That’s a big number when you talk about total receivables, and we collected 1.2 billion every month, and did the full cycle every month. 6 million average improve working capital, you’re bringing in millions trust me, you’ll hit the bottom line with millions with a small investment.

Molly Pryor 26:01

Bad debt reduction. Everybody’s like sell, sell, sell till they take the write off right? Or get hit with the reserve on their P&L? Yeah, that’s another thing I did half reserve at 90 days, and all of it at 120. That gives the salespeople a chance to get in and get involved and get the collections in faster. It’s another little incentive and trick that one was for free. Process level improvement. I said two times. I’m here to tell you it’s way more if you’ve got endless printing things, and it’s not real time and attach. You’re taking more time than 95%. We went over bank lockbox fees and cash application. You can get rid of them with their two. I’ll say that again. You can get rid of bank lock box fees where they pay for every little keystroke. Yeah, that’d be a good cost savings is boring, right? It’s operations. You go somewhere and sell them you save that money, you’ll get attention and then release in blocked orders. 60% processing time. I’m here to tell you if your organisation is managing credit through blocked orders, call me. I’ll help you. So how do we do it? Questions

Molly Pryor 27:28

from the serious solutions point of view, I just joined him a month ago because I believe in this organisation and I believe in helping others. I don’t want to do the global job, manage a bunch of people. I’ve been there done that. I want to help others I want to help your organisations I want to help you with the tools. This is why I chose this job. And serious solutions is a unique because we bring in people with 15-30 years of experience. We don’t bring in junior people that you teach. We bring in the people that know how to do it. And we make sure that you get a return for your investment and cover the cost. And we are very excited to partner with HighRadius and I’m very excited and chose to do this job for this reason.

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