Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Digital Ventures Co. Ltd, a fintech subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank, have co-developed and launched a unique blockchain solution to simplify the way companies buy and sell goods, make and receive payments, and obtain financing.
The solution — the world’s first fully integrated procure-to-pay solution on the Corda open-source platform from enterprise blockchain software firm R3 — leverages Accenture’s expertise in distributed ledger technology and its capabilities in technical architecture to create large gains in efficiency for all parties involved. The digital solution was created with SCG, a leading business conglomerate in the ASEAN region, using design thinking, agile methodology and DevOps principles, along with microservices and cloud technologies. Digital Ventures’ Blockchain Solution for Procure-to-Pay, also known as “B2P,” is already in production use, handling transactions with selected SCG suppliers.
“The most exciting part of the blockchain solution is that the outcome is so tangible: the efficiency improvement, the cost reduction and the convenience that all stakeholders have experienced with this platform,” said Divyesh Vithlani, who heads Accenture’s Financial Services practice in the ASEAN region. “This successful outcome is a powerful testament of the collaboration we have with our clients, while delivering value in the market at speed.”
Results from the work at SCG have shown that the new platform has improved the efficiency and transparency for all parties across the procurement supply chain process. The solution helped minimize the potential for human errors and created a seamless integration of purchase orders and invoices between organizations, without the need for reconciliations and adjustments.
The platform can significantly reduce invoice financing time and prevent fraud, resulting in lower cost of financing and longer credit terms. It also reduces the need for physical billing, which can eliminate millions of physical invoices per year and makes SCG’s network of suppliers ready to be integrated with Thailand’s e-tax invoice program, freeing up time to perform other value-added activities.
“This is a breakthrough technology that offers a lot of value,” said Orapong Thien-Ngern, Digital Ventures’ chief executive officer. “Given that most supply chains involve a large number of suppliers, the complexity of integrating and reconciling all the different systems from each of the companies can be a costly, daunting and time-consuming task. Blockchain enables parties to securely share all the information without the need for extensive integration between their various technology systems.”
Accenture and Digital Ventures completed the platform design and implementation in only five months, collaborating with R3 to overcome a series of technical challenges, including integrating multiple systems for purchase orders, goods receipts, invoices and payments. The project solidifies Accenture’s position as a leading blockchain innovator and partner in the ASEAN region.
“We expect to be able to scale this innovative blockchain solution and leverage it for other functions beyond just procurement, including order-to-cash, international money transfer and trade finance,” Vithlani said.