WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the launch of the SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management solution, which enables consumer products companies to increase their financial efficiency. SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management is a cloud native solution in SAP’s industry cloud that applies intelligent technologies to automate and improve the trade claims process between consumer products companies and retailers.

By utilizing SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management, companies are able to auto-match deductions instead of the previous time-consuming, inaccurate and costly manual matching process. The virtual assistant uses a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate claims processing, to recommend actions to accounts receivable analysts for faster exception handling, and to provide visibility from the retailers to the consumer products company

The solution enables brands such as MapleLeaf Foods Inc. to save money, improve compliance and reduce financial risk. “Before we co-innovated this solution with SAP, our staff was spending 30% of their time tracking down claims,” MapleLeaf Foods Director Manny Ki said. “Using SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management, 88% of our debit notes were auto-matched and of that total, 97% of the deduction amounts were auto-matched. With the automation of these claims processes, our staff gets 30% of their time back to focus on more strategic work.”

The consumer products industry is expected to grow to $14 trillion by 2025, and brands spend at least 20% of their gross revenue on trade promotions with retailers. Furthermore, trade promotions are the second line item on a consumer products company’s profit and loss statement, and they have a direct impact on key performance indicators.

With an estimated 20% of gross revenue tied up on the balance sheet, many companies write off thousands of small claims, aged deductions and invalid deductions. SAP Intelligent Trade Claims Management helps companies reduce their financial loss and reinvest the savings into growing their businesses. As this Harvard Business Review study notes, companies that survive economic downturns “master the delicate balance between cutting costs to survive today and investing to grow tomorrow do well after a recession.”

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