Partners in Efficiency
V-Guard case study of making travel and expense management of its 2000+ employees better
V-Guard is one of India’s leading electrical & electronic manufacturing companies. Over the past four decades, it has firmly positioned itself as a consumer-focused conglomerate, in the process becoming a common household name across the country. In these years, V-Guard has revamped its product lines and reimagined its internal processes, using new-age tech to increase its competitive edge in the market.
For a growing organisation, company policies, reimbursement forms and manual claims create a bottomless void that drains company time and money. It was crucial for V-Guard to embrace new age tech and maximise efficiency. V-Guard has about 2,000+ employees, of which more than 70% of employees incur considerable travel expenses. One of the biggest challenges that the company faced was manually keeping
track of all these corporate expenses and assuring smooth overall operations.
Key Expense Management Challenges
The major operational challenges that were hindering V-Guard’s progress; and therefore needed to be addressed immediately, were: Long fund procurement cycle: With employees distributed across the country, the time taken for procurement of funds was 20 days. There was an immediate need to cut down the time. Manual filing and follow-ups: With the company’s headquarters located in Kochi, employees from all over the country were required to courier reimbursement forms to the HO for approvals. This process was timeconsuming and laborious for managers and executives alike.
WE AT HAPPAY FIRMLY BELIEVE IN DELIVERING EVERYTHING A BUSINESS REQUIRES TO MANAGE ITS EXPENSES EFFECTIVELY. INSTEAD OF ASKING BUSINESSES TO FIT INTO OUR MOULD, WE FIT INTO THEIRS. FOR V-GUARD, WE CUSTOMISED OUR SOLUTION TO FIT THEIR HIERARCHIES, POLICIES AND PROCESSES. WITH OUR COMPREHENSIVE DASHBOARD, V-GUARD WAS ABLE TO ACHIEVE COMPLETE VISIBILITY AND CONTROL OVER SPENDING AND ALSO BOOST PROCESS EFFICIENCY FROM END TO END — Varun Rathi, COO and Co-Founder, Happay
• Policy violations: As V-Guard scaled up, policy violations increased as well. Reports were manually processed, making it unsustainable for the finance team to ensure timely and compliant approvals.
• Lack of expense visibility: A majority of the expenses were marked off as ‘others’, leading to considerable confusion. Far deeper visibility into these expenses was required to ensure permitted use of company finances. V-guard was also reasonably concerned about the intangible challenges (some very inherent to the nature of Indian-owned businesses) to successfully automate its expense management process. Here are few intangible challenges which Happay was able to successfully overcome:
• Trust: A family-owned business like V-Guard often extends fraternal bonds to its vendors, who have mostly worked with them over years. Understandably, the question was - could the company entrust a completely new vendor the responsibility of implementing a solution to modernise its legacy process.
• Implementation: One of the primary implementation challenges was that of adapting the solution to the technical and non-technical aspects of the business. The solution had to integrate seamlessly with all existing software and ERP systems to facilitate smooth migration of all information as required. All this had to be done keeping employee comfort and care in mind, making it central to any operational changes within the company.
• Security: It goes without saying that given the size and maturity of the company, the volume of data – and its sensitivity – was immense. Thus, security of data was of paramount importance.
• Scalability: Another concern was scalability. With the rapid pace of V-Guard’s growth, the company needed a solution that would not just scale responsively, but also ensure anytime, anywhere accessibility. The Solution Happay played a very crucial role in automating the entire expense management process. The automation drive started in Kochi and extended to all V-Guard offices across India. It developed a customisable solution for V-Guard by configuring employee grades, cities and even city types. Policies were then framed catering to the company’s managerial hierarchy. The final solution was integrated with the firm’s accounting software, which also enabled V-Guard to migrate to a file-based format of recording transactions. Benefits
• Faster fund disbursement: Following the automation of the whole system, managers could transfer funds from the corporate pool account into employees’ Happay accounts – in real time – paving the way for faster and more efficient operations. • No manual expense filing & followup: Employees were also given process visibility – they could now easily
WITH HAPPAY, COMPLIANCE HAS IMPROVED. ALSO 95% OF REPORTS ARE FILED WITHIN THE SAME MONTH — Jayashandar N. AGM, Finance, Happay IT NO LONGER IS A CUMBERSOME PROCESS FOR EMPLOYEES TO REQUEST FOR MONEY. A SALES MANAGER SEATED IN DELHI CAN NOW EASILY SEEK AN APPROVAL FROM HIS/HER MANAGER IN KOCHI THROUGH THE HAPPAY APP. THIS HAS HELPED REDUCE MANY WORKING HOURS AND INCREASED EFFICIENCY — Diane Tito, HR Officer, Happay
locate the precise level at which an expense verification was stuck, which let them know who to get in touch with for an update.
• Spending in line with policy: Limits were set for each employee, helping V-Guard monitor and control expenses in line with its corporate policy.
• Clear expense visibility: No expense at V-Guard is now categorised ambiguously. Once an employee uses a Happay card for any expense, all related data is immediately and automatically captured in the system, facilitating utmost transparency and visibility. Happay mapped each executive to a designated manager and a finance representative, making it easier for managers to collate expenses team-wise. Given the primary concerns raised by the V-Guard team, Happay was initially introduced to a small set of users to analyse the impact on operational efficiency. However, the dedication of Happay team towards slowly integrating our solution into the company’s operations helped us gain trust, and we were soon introduced the solution to employees across the country. The Result The results of V-Guard’s process transformation aimed at corporate expense automation can be summarised as follows: • Increased control over corporate expenses • Enhanced regulatory compliance • End to end automation, making for massively reduced claim cycle time • Instantaneous fund transfers • Complete digitisation, security & scalability
Happay reduced the overall costs and also established an easy process which translated to be the backbone of the organisation. The process for claiming reimbursements reduced from 45 days to 5 days.