Cloud-based Intelligent Automation in Finance for a US Food Distributor and Grocery Store Retailer  Cloud-based Intelligent Automation in Finance for a US Food Distributor and Grocery Store Retailer 

Cloud-based Intelligent Automation in Finance for a US Food Distributor and Grocery Store Retailer 

Revolutionizing the accounts payable process through intelligent process automation: A journey of automation adoption with cloud-based solutions.


The client is a leading food distributor and grocery retailer headquartered in the US, catering to customers across 44 states. It also has a presence across Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. With revenues of over $8 billion and over 12,000 employees, the client operates across four major business divisions and is a leading distributor of grocery products to US military commissaries. 


Challenges faced by the client: 

  • Inconsistent processes and a lack of automation culture across client’s four distinct divisions. 
  • Low straight-through processing (STP) levels owing to the absence of integration between various enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) among business divisions. 
  • Manual-intensive processes resulting from diverse channels for receiving invoices (email, PDF, and electronic data interchange). 
  • A high volume of 1.5 million invoices processed manually across different divisions. 
  • Unstructured input templates across accounts payable and accounts receivable processes, leading to significant manual interventions. 

What the client needed: 

The client wanted to identify a partner with the domain and intelligent automation expertise to assess its existing finance landscape, address existing challenges, suggest automation best practices, and enable deployment of the proposed transformation onsite at their shared services. 


Hexaware was selected to prioritize automation as a strategic initiative to increase efficiency and cost savings. Following a comprehensive discovery exercise, Hexaware developed a transformation roadmap that harnessed intelligent automation, including machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and digitalization. For the initial phase of automation, Hexaware identified accounts payable, accounts receivable, and tax compliance as suitable candidates. Additionally, we implemented a document management system to address the client’s broader document management requirements. 

Key highlights of the project include: 

  • Consolidation of invoice processing from four business divisions, each operating on different ERPS, into a unified system. 
  • Implementation of intelligent automation using ML and RPA to automate cash application processes. 
  • Deployment of SharePoint as a cloud-based document management system. 
  • Introduction of a cloud-based platform designed for automated invoice processing with the goal of achieving over 90% STP for the client’s 1.5 million invoices. 
  • Deployment of ML-based cognitive optical character recognition (OCR) for content-based data extraction from invoices. 
  • Implementation of RPA for automated tax reconciliation and reporting. 

The second phase of automation involves automating period-end close and reporting processes. 


The strategic partnership between the client and Hexaware infused a culture of automation adoption across the four distinct divisions. Key benefits from the engagement included: 

  • Enhanced control and visibility with the availability of more than 60 out-of-the-box reports across accounts payable. 
  • An overall reduction of more than 52% in manual efforts through the implementation of intelligent automation across accounts payables, accounts receivables, and tax compliance processes. 
  • Net savings of $5.9 million over five years. 
  • More than 80% STP levels across the accounts payable process. 
  • Elimination of manual invoice processing for 1.5 million invoices per year by leveraging cognitive OCR and implementing a unified document management system. 


The client, a prominent food distributor and grocery retailer operating in the US and internationally with revenues exceeding $8 billion and over 12,000 employees, faced several operational challenges. These included inconsistent processes, low automation levels, manual-intensive tasks, and unstructured data across their four business divisions. They sought a strategic partner with domain expertise in finance and intelligent automation capabilities to address these issues. Hexaware was selected to lead this initiative, implementing a comprehensive automation strategy that leveraged technologies like ML, RPA, and digitalization. The project’s highlights involved consolidating invoice processing, automating cash applications, deploying document management solutions, and utilizing cognitive OCR. The partnership resulted in enhanced control, substantial reductions in manual efforts, net savings of $5.9 million over five years, and over 80% STP in accounts payable. Additionally, the project successfully eliminated manual invoice processing for 1.5 million invoices annually. This partnership not only addressed the client’s challenges but also instilled a culture of automation adoption throughout the organization, promoting efficiency and cost savings. 

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