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Contract AI Forecast: Risks are Not Expected

METRO Digitalizes Business Processes with Directum RX

1000

employees

4

integrated systems

> 50

contract approval rules

METRO is one of the biggest transnational wholesale operators. The company has food and non-food assortments and specializes in serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. All around the world, more than 16 million METRO customers can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store, or have them delivered. METRO supports competitiveness of entrepreneurs and business owners with digital solutions, and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality. Sustainability is a key pillar of company’s business. For seven years, METRO remains the sector leader in Dow Jones Sustainability Index European sustainability ranking. The company operates in 34 countries and employs more than 97 000 people.

The local branch of METRO has opted for Directum RX to digitalize contract management. More than 1000 employees have already benefited from the system when approving documents and processing invoices.

Changing ECM System: Reasons and Selection Criteria

The ECM system used in the company was outdated and did not meet the METRO requirements. The main concerns were:

  • Overcomplicated code, which made updating the system to the latest version almost impossible.
  • Labor consuming customization, configuration and launching of new digital processes.
  • Shortage of specialists in the labor market who know how to work with that platform.

The company wanted a new up-to-date digital solution that would be widely available in the market and provide wide customization possibilities. At the selection stage, a team of METRO specialists tested every presented digital solution by creating a prototype of invoice approval procedure.

Eventually, the company opted for the system that provided transparent development and could be easily customized. Using Directum RX, the METRO specialists managed to configure the business process with minimal support from the vendor. The other key drivers included the wide range of features available out-of-the-box, experience of large implementation projects and available AI solutions that can be used in future.

No Mistakes: How Algorithms Simplified Employees’ Work

In Directum RX, all contracts are approved in accordance with preset procedures. For each contract, the system selects an appropriate approval rule and determines the circle of approvers basing on the contract category and amount, as well as the contract initiator’s location, who can work in either the head office or a local store.

Employee’s access rights to a document depend on the document status and employee’s role. Every day more than 400 incoming invoices are created in the system, and each of them may have 10 different statuses. For each status, only employees included in a particular role can edit the invoice. Thus, every minute access rights to hundreds of invoices can be changed in the Directum RX system.

As employees specify information on a document, the related details change as well. For example, if an employee specifies the “Closing documents” document kind, the “Deposit account” table appears in the document card.

For invoices without a contract, the company set restrictions on currency, individual invoice amount, and total invoices amount for every counterparty per year.

The system generates personal lists “My Contracts” and “My Invoices” available for every employee. In these lists, an employee sees only those documents relevant to his or her work.

Language of the main invoice details depends on the language selected when logging on the system.

Project results

Digitalization helped employees to get over with routine operations and minimized mistakes. All calculations and validations are now performed by Directum RX. For example, the system checks if the invoice details meet the preset requirements and calculates the total contract amount including all supplemental agreements.

Under the project, the company migrated more than 40 000 contracts and 10 000 counterparties to Directum RX from the old ECM system.

The project team applied the principles of Agile management approach and iterative implementation and worked in close cooperation with the customers. As a result, the implementation process was smooth and flexible.

Support and further development of the digital workflow is carried out by the specialists of the Center for the Document Management Implementation (CVD), an official Directum partner. As the next step, METRO is going to digitalize management of franchise agreements. The company also plans to develop the system and use it for other business processes.

1000

employees

4

integrated systems

> 50

contract approval rules

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