Client: Commercial banking group
Type of service: Pre-plant financing (Agriculture)
The business challenge
Pre Plant Contract is a business unit within one of South Africa's major financial institutions. Its core function is to provide financing solutions to grain farmers for their production inputs, such as seed, fertilizer, poisons and diesel. Although Pre Plant Contract is a niche business within the financial sector, it is by no means simple, especially in terms of ensuring flawless end-to-end administration.
Transactions involve multiple players, namely the farmer as client, the retail bank, the merchant bank and the insurance broker. Contracts are linked to crop insurance and price hedging, using the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX - JSE). Adding to the complexity is the fact that a farmer can own multiple farms in different regions, each with its own deeds and unique yield due to crop variety and weather conditions.
Apart from the need to access client and market information immediately, one of Pre Plant Contract's key challenges is to manage the administration pre and post-contract. This encompasses the approval process, which includes credit verifications, financial projection calculations and historical performance information, as well as progress updates on production and delivery confirmations.
Contracts are at the heart of the services delivered to the farmers as they drive the entire business lifecycle for the contracted season. Particular care should therefore be taken when it comes to producing, formatting and managing the client contracts.
The commercial bank's commercial agriculture division approached metaWEAVE to supply an integrated system that could assist them to manage the client information as well as automate some of the processes that were taking up most of their resources. As an added benefit, the system needed to have a document management component to store documents (such as progress reports, contracts, technical information like GPS maps, and faxes) and enable easy retrieval.
metaWEAVE provided an end-to-end solution by implementing the BMC AR System® platform. The metaWeave Workflow Manager® formed the basis of the process flow component. The client information structure was built based on the client's requirement and incorporated in the process.
Built on the world renowned BMC AR System® platform, the system provides the client with strong integration capabilities, reporting functionality including dashboards and Crystal reports, as well as multiple notification capabilities, eg, email and/or SMS.
The entire resource pool within the division now uses one central console for all aspects of the operation including administration, query handling and reporting. Information is accessible immediately and, where in the past new contracts where a tedious and cumbersome process, they are now done using one portal with historical information easily accessible. Even the actual contract document is electronically formatted based on selected soft-configurable options within the system.
The solution has enabled the division to ensure more and useful accurate information, better service through automation of repeatable processes, quality and consistency of output and auditable process flows. The division now renders a more cost effective service as fewer resources deliver a bigger and better output.
The seasonality of the business causes peaks periods when information needs to be captured and processed in a very short period of time. The new solution enables the division to contract a greater number of applications more effectively in the time available.
Thanks to the dynamic contract generation utility, an electronic contract can now be created based on the information captured and options selected by the client during a telephonic consultation. This saves hours on resource time per application – a benefit that was not part of the initial expectation.
Key success factors
- metaWEAVE's fit-for-purpose products effectively incorporated the complexity of the different process flows into an easy to use and configure management tool. In addition, they could design and develop the specific information forms on the same platform, thus creating a single source of reference.
- The effective implementation of the project was underpinned by metaWEAVE's understanding of the client's burning points, combined with innovating thinking and design.