>> Thank you, appreciate it. Partners + tech + culture. This combination can really be a true game changer for your business. Upping your game is all about performing better. More satisfied customers, lower costs and greater efficiency. It also involves doing things very differently than you do them today. Good afternoon, good morning, my name is Chris Noe, I’m senior vice president and head of innovation and partner development for Treasury Management here at Wells Fargo. Thanks for taking this time out of your day to join us. Let me introduce a couple of our other speakers that will be with us today. We’re pleased to have with us, Lynn mall com, director, cash compliance and third‑party accounts receivable over at Ricoh USA Incorporated, part of the global technology company and a leading provider of document management solutions, I.T. services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras and industrial systems. Also joining us is Ryan Jenkins, speaker, author, and Inc. Magazine columnist who is an expert on millennials and Generation Z. Lynn and Ryan bring unique perspectives on how partnership, technology, and culture will work together to help organizations really reach their full potential. Lynn and Ryan, thanks for joining us. How are you?
>> Good, Chris. Thanks for having us.
>> Very good, thanks, Chris.
>> Excellent. Lynn, Ryan, thanks. Look forward to hearing from both of you in just a little bit. So, let’s take a look at how we’re going to kind of orchestrate today’s conversation. So looking at the overall agenda, first, I’m going to talk about how banks are defining partnerships and offering new ways to collaborate around technology‑based solutions. Then Lynn’s going to talk about how Ricoh really improved the overall customer experience and finally, we’ll add organizational culture to the mix. Ryan is going to share best practices for cultivating the culture that embraces better ways of doing things. Let’s get started. We have 50 plus minutes to go. Let’s get moving.
So today’s businesses are really looking to up their game. You guys know this all too well. Companies are seeking out, really, a winning combination of strategies to gain that competitive advantage. By combining partnership plus technology plus organizational culture, businesses can really improve that customer experience and perform more agilely and efficiently. Partnership, tech, and culture have long been forces for change. However, each of these is really evolving and our approach has to evolve as well. Not only are these elements more important than ever but they’re highly interconnected and work best when a business addresses them as a whole.
So one evolution has been a degree to which technology permeates commerce. It truly is everywhere. Many organizations rely on technology to run their business. The level of tech‑driven interconnectivity within a company with vendors and customers today is truly unprecedented. In addition, another change is really that fast pace of innovation. An increasing rate of which technology is advancing. So we’re all thinking about technology really differently and whatever our core business is, we’re all technology companies today. I’d like to I this of Wells Fargo not just as a bank but really as a technology company that specializes in financial services and I think others can start to think about their business in that same manner as well. The aim is really to do things better. Better can mean a lot of things but one thing it never means is being more difficult. So to go through how to make something faster, better, less costly, we’re also going to figure out how do we make it easier and more simple? For example, automation can really bring efficiency and cost reduction and by removing human intervention, can it help to raise productivity. It can make things faster and more seamless for customers. Kit make things more personal. All of these things are better to also reflect that experience is in some way simpler. However, technology really inadvertently can do the opposite. It can add complexity. Probably no shocker to this team. Technology can be hard. It can be challenging, and it can be really challenging to choose the right technology approach to achieve the solutions that we’re seeking. You’ve got to consider, you know, what emerging technology should we deploy? What’s real? What’s fake? Once you decided what you want to look at, do you build it?
Do you buy it? If you invest in it, given how quickly advancing technology is moving these days, is it really going to be the right solution in 18, 24, 36 months down the road? Can you scale it? Can you maintain it and upgrade it in the future? Or, do you look at a provider, right? What does that overall process going to look like to justify the cost of investment? Perform the necessary due diligence and ultimately secure the limited I.T. resources that I think we can all appreciate that are necessary to implement. How complex is the implementation going to look like? Is it truly going to be feasible to be able to pull off and to execute? And then finally, there’s the complexity of managing change across an end‑to‑end process that has touch points across your organization. Go beyond that this you have to pay careful attention of how technology changes will affect your customer or vendor experience. You’ve got to watch out for those unintended consequences. In short, technology must be accessible, affordable, and applicable both to address the problems that you’re looking to solve for and how it interconnects with other systems and processes.
So why combine? Why do we look at partners, tech, and culture? Well this is really where partnership comes into play. It can be a real advantage. Companies are looking to find strategic partners not just to take advantage of technology but ultimately, you want to solve a practical problem. You are looking to make technology accessible and easier to acquire and execute and to provide a result that is seamless both internally and with your customers. Innovation has a lot to do with culture as much as it has to do with technology. Organizations have to become more comfortable with change. An adaptive culture not only embraces that change but seeks out continual improvement. Making things better really in an interconnected world takes complex thinking among diverse stakeholders and inclusivity ensures that you cover all the angles and all the bases across the end‑to‑end processes as you find better ways of operating. Another aspect to think of with regard to culture is how does your organization fit with different partners and vendors? Is it a good fit? Is it not going to be a good fit? Is it a marriage that’s going to last or one that is only going to be short term? Culture is that kind of synergy that is truly vital to a successful partnership. Partnerships plus tech plus culture, each is really like a leg of a stool. The individual legs really must be sturdy but all must be in place in order to give your treasury team a solid seat at the table.
So let’s take a pause here. We’re going to look at a poll to see which of these answers best describes the role of your bank. Payments, treasury banking services, option A, consultative solutions provider, technology partner, answer, C, or D all of the above. So we’ll take a minute to pause and to tabulate and we’ll take a look at the overall results.
[ Taking poll ]
All right. Let’s see how things are looking. All right. So many of you, half the group still thinking of their bank partner as core payment, treasury, or banking services. You know, this is the basics, right? Payments, lockbox, cash management, treasury services and a lot of the banks, including Wells Fargo, do exactly that. I’m pleased to see that many of you also think of kind of all of the above category. Because I know we and others also try to focus on really that consultative view and really, for decades, many banks have worked to shift from looking at commoditized products and services to consultative solutions and that’s end‑to‑end process beyond the financial transaction and looking at what are the broader business goals or objectives that you’re trying to achieve, maybe automation, working capital optimization, et cetera and how do you do that? And finally, more and more, we’ll talk about this more in just a minute, how do you look at a bank as a possible technology partner? We’re really rethinking how banks and companies are working together and leveraging the banks to be able to take advantage of some of the it ecology that is available and make it more seamless into your platforms today.
So let’s take a deeper dive into the partner side of the equation. So, again, no surprise to this team. The world of digital commerce is highly interconnected. I’m sure many of you have read the same sort of research that we have. Most systems still operate purely, autonomously, and securely within a business, but systems can also interconnect seamlessly between businesses, their banks, vendors, customers and other partners. What this does is really integrate an end‑to‑end process. Not just within your four walls, the four walls of your business but that overall ecosystem as a whole. Automate connections that make commerce easy and immediate. The idea is that this is superhighway of interconnectivity over which transactions and information can travel and banks are looking to fit right into your workflows. It doesn’t matter how you choose to interact with us. You really get the same consistent experience and the sense of immediacy and ease. You don’t have to change what you’re doing to fit into how your bank wants you to do things. The goal is for your bank to fit into how you do things that can be intuitive for you and ultimately for your users. Today, finally with advances in technology, banks can truly bring the bank to you, to fit so tightly into your way of doing things that you hardly notice that we’re separate. This is really the concept of open banking. We all know how it feels to be a consumer, right, and to live in the world of digital commerce. We experience how services fit smoothly into our daily lives and we can get to our banks, our favorite stores, our apps through smartphones, tablets, laptops, your fancy Apple watch or whatever channel becomes available. Everything has that consistent look and feel, and the provider always recognizes us instantly. They know what we’re looking as the last time we interacted with them regardless of the channel that we used, and we expect that same experience in our work lives. Banks have a range of a la carte services, hundreds of services, in many cases, and they connect these services to your back end and the bank’s back end. The new partnership, this evolving idea of how we work with our customers means thinking about approaching this differently. It means we build a solution one time on our back end and no matter how you access this service, you get the exact same service and the exact same feature functionality. So banks are really advancing this model for partnership to fundamentally change how we fit into our customers’ lives and ultimately into workflows. This doesn’t mean that we’re doing everything by ourselves, though. Just as we’re reconceiving how we collaborate with our customers, we’re bringing in new strategic partnerships where it makes the most sense. For example, we’re working with different FinTechs where our skill sets complement each other to provide new and better ways of doing things for you and ultimately your customers as well. A big shift has occurred in recent years with how banks and FinTechs think about each other. You know, historically, it’s been more of a competition, in a sense, and now it’s more of a co‑opetition where we’re working together leading to this fantastic collaboration between banks and FinTechs where we’re able to provide new and better ways of doing things for our customers.
So banks and FinTechs working together to give customers access to new technology that improves services, you know this is really part of an overall complete package that we can provide more quickly and easily than we might be able to do so than if we built everything. I’d like to think that our technology team is fantastic and they can do anything but they can’t do it all, and that’s where FinTechs can step in to add some value. That cooperation between banks and FinTechs brings together those complimentary skill sets. You know, for banks, FinTechs can really act as connectors to new and emerging technology. They can also be maybe operate as more nimble executioners. They can really heighten responsiveness to customer demands and accelerate speed to market. You don’t have to wait for the six, twelve, or eighteen months that it may take for to us build something from scratch if there’s already something out there that we think would bring you value. On the other side, banks also bring valuable skills to FinTechs, right? Including deep customer relationships and understanding of customer needs, banking expertise, specialized knowledge in things like payment and Treasury Management, and banks bring trust and security that, frankly, is in the always there with various, different FinTechs and most importantly, we bring a sense of regulatory compliance and what does it mean to be compliant, not just today but what are the regulators thinking about that are going to require changes in the future and how do we address that and make sure that we’re thinking about that in advance? Banks specialize in being able to scale efficiently. How are we going to bring these solutions to a broad set of customers and finally, the overall banking infrastructure connectivity. Nobody does payments better than a banking partner can and that’s where that bank and FinTech partnership truly comes together to offer really that best of both worlds to our customer. A collaborative approach builds on really that long‑standing tradition of bank sourcing innovation from third‑party financial technology vendors. This concept of working with FinTech is not‑‑ it’s not new. It’s been around for ages. I think what’s happened as I mentioned earlier is this pace of innovation continues to increase at this rapid pace and we’re looking at some of these best‑in‑class provider toes help solve for that and really by choosing the right FinTech partners, bringing them into the financial eco system, banks can bring technology‑enabled solution where there’s opportunity to really improve services for our customers.
So speaking of FinTechs, we often get enamored with a level of investment this occurs in the FinTech space making 2018 more than $40 billion invested globally and that was up another 5 plus percent from the prior year. They expect that trend to continue and it sounds fantastic, but the headline that doesn’t always get the headline is the fact that many of these start‑ups, they actually fail. I think one of the metrics that I saw recently was around 90% of start‑ups have a failure rate. So banks really must go through a stringent due diligence process to vet these FinTech in order to select the right partners who are the truly best‑in‑class providers?
The undue diligence process is deep. It’s extensive starting with what that FinTech C‑suite looks like, understanding the financial statements and overall economics. When does their funding environment look like? We go so far to conduct on‑site visit ands different source code reviews. We’ve got some partners in strategic sourcing area. One, in particular, that has become famous for dumpster diving. When he goes to visit different partners that we’re vetting out, he’ll actually dive into the dumpster to look at the paperwork that is being trashed throughout the office to make sure that privacy information is not being disposed of inappropriately. So suffice it to say, we take this sort of business very seriously.
And what this really means, right, this pre‑established due diligence, is that you can reduce the need to establish these one‑off relationships with FinTechs, right? Or undergo your own pre‑prolonged due diligence in onboarding process. You can let us do that on your behalf in many cases. It’s really a way for our customers to access new partners and their technology.
The Approach helps our customers to gain access to FinTech capability through a long‑standing, trusted bank relationship instead of going it alone and leaving it to you to figure out who will be the next unicorn or billion dollar valuation company versus who’s going to be the dud.
So FinTech partnerships became another way for banks to deliver new technologies and technology‑enabled solutions to our customers as part of making things easier. Let me give you some examples of solutions that are coming out of what we’re looking at from a bank‑FinTech collaboration standpoint. A couple of different examples here. So one, customers really looking to simplify payment and invoice processing a more convenient and intuitive method of originating and accepting online payments and really bringing that overall user experience together so that it’s not one place to originate payments, one place to receive payments and generate invoices but bringing that together. There’s a number of providers that we’re looking at today to solve for that. And looking at how can we improve overall receivable reconcilable rates and automate that to the best degree possible with some of the integrated receivable offering? And looking at partners that provide the latest artificial intelligence and robotic process information, AI and RPA, for those playing buzz word bingo at home today. But really looking at where those best‑in‑class solutions and where can we find these new innovations, whether it’s with artificial intelligence or robotic Process Automation, block chain, others to really help solve ultimately for these business needs and in this case looking at integrated receivables. Also looking at invoice and payables automation. Again, how do we allow you to quickly streamline and consolidate that payment and invoice process but not just the operation of processing and approving the invoice and sending out the payment, but also to the best degree possible streamline the integration with your accounting platform, or your ERP platform. Because it all ultimately rolls in together and then finally, another or final sort of example that I would mention as I talk about ERP platforms is, how do we better integrate off the shelf with your ERP platforms as they exist today, or your accounting platforms that exist today? We’ve got work underway with different FinTechs and some work that we’re doing with APIs that we’ll talk about in just a moment to help streamline that process and integrate faster and easier with the ERP platforms that are out there today.
So Douglas Adams. So those who are not familiar with Douglas Adams, famed author, “hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.” He says this well. We’re stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works. You’ve probably been hearing a lot about APIs. I’ve mentioned API several times today. APIs offer another way to fit into our customers and create that always on realtime connectivity that can make everything faster, more efficient, and cost effective. They can create a better customer experience and they can whether explicitly or implicitly, they can make things easier. APIs are another example of how banks are using technology to support a new level of partnership with our customers, and while APIs have been around for a long time, decades, in fact, really, today, banks are using them to redefine how we deliver success. So what exactly is an APIs, right? I have mentioned this several times. Certainly, you’ve heard about it. I’m sure some are still scratching their heads, what is this and what does it mean to me? Simply put, an API is a program code or set of instructions. Like I said, they’ve been around for decades. It’s not new or revolutionary but the way that banks are starting to use them to partner and offer ways to partner with you and with various other partners is really what makes this revolutionary. An API‑based solution really uses a set of instructions to initiate a sequence of actions. Think about it as a request and response. The implementation involves getting two different software applications to communicate with each other and we’re knitting together the bank and really that customer process into one seamless, end‑to‑end experience. In the world of APIs, a service is not only a finished product but it can be little pieces of code that make up a digital experience. It can be a service that is maybe just a single data point or instruction. No task or bit of information is really too small and you may often hear about a micro service and think, you know, what does that really mean? That’s it, right? It’s that single sort of shared service that can be accessed with an API, but it just does the same thing over and over and over again. And establishing that small, sort of shared service that can be used across your line of business and others, then businesses can aggregate these together to really make customer solutions. What are some examples of maybe how businesses of all kinds are using APIs today? Some of these I think will ring a bell for you. Really, to bring together services and information in new ways and to better align with customer expectations, making things simple for customers and really differentiate their offerings, think about an example like uber or Lyft or Via and are using APIs. It’s the connection between Google Maps or uber, Lyft, or whatever your ride app of choice is, that they embed these services in their apps to facilitate everything from ordering a car to letting the driver know your location to automatically making the payment. You and I, as customers, we don’t have to do anything except sit in the car and enjoy the ride. Another sort of use case is to connect the customers through any device, providing consistent capabilities we’ve been talking about and bringing together everything that your customers want in a single place. For example, you know, a customer received a text message that a utility or cell phone bill is available. They can click on that bill from a link in the text and click, pay, and it’s done in a matter of 30 seconds or so. Another example is a call center representative can respond immediately to a customer by seeing the customer’s payment data right there on the screen. Regardless whether that purchase occurred in store, online, via the phone, et cetera. The APIs provide that connectivity behind the scenes, the messaging of delivering all of that information. Finally, another use case that we see off the isn’t really the capabilities of plugging in the capabilities of business partners, including banks and tech providers directly to their digital offerings. The goal is to be nimbler and more efficient in putting together services and bringing them to market. This makes API connectors that really help to bring together pieces of commerce and something that are really immediate and effortless. APIs are little enablers of connectivity in the world of digital commerce and they allow banks to embed the specific functions or services into your systems and into your workflows. That’s exactly what our next speaker is going to talk about. As I mentioned earlier, we’re thrilled today to have Lynn from Ricoh participating in this webinar. Lynn will share how Ricoh improved her customers’ experience really by automating multiinvoice payments and posting. Lynn, thanks, again, for being with us today.
>> No problem. It’s great to be here, Chris, and to share Ricoh’s story. At Ricoh, we’re focused on empowering digital workplaces, both for our customers and our internal operations. All with a keen eye toward delivering exceptional customer experiences. Our partnership with Wells Fargo has helped us achieve that goal of exceptional customer experiences specifically related to the payment process. This is due to our jointly developed API‑based solution and Ricoh’s culture of innovation that drives our commitment to excellence. First, let me tell you a little bit about our company. Ricoh USA, incorporated has approximately 20,000 employees across the United States. Our digital business services and printing solutions help companies make the most of their information tow work smart ir.
Now, if we’re going to help our customers work smarter and operate better, then that should carry through every aspect of the customer experience, including invoice presentment and payment. Here at Ricoh, we have a long‑term strategy for moving statements and payments from paper to electronic. We’ve had great success in migrating our customers to electronic B‑to‑B payments. As part of this long‑term approach, last year, we implemented a full‑service, online invoice presentment and bill pay portal. We chose to bill the bill pay portal in‑house with our internal technology resources. We wanted to create a customer invoice presentment and payment experience that would be smooth and seamless while promoting our goal of electronic B‑to‑B payments. The goal was to give our customers the option to go online to view their invoices, log disputes, update PO information, reprint invoices and of course, make payments. We wanted our customers to be able to see all outstanding invoices on their account and have the ability to select one or multiple invoices for payment. In our ERP system, we only have the ability to accept credit card payments. In order to offer a full‑service online bill pay solution, we had to be able to offer our customers an ACH direct debit option as well. In line with our move from paper to leken toic, we wanted to encourage ACH as an alternative payment option. The goal is to make it easy for our customers to make payments. This requires thinking about the end‑to‑end process. How to make things simpler for our customers and for Ricoh. Coupling the payment and invoice information is very important. We need the payments along with the associated invoice details to update in our ERP system to achieve automation. That’s a crucial part of the end‑to‑end process. Without this piece, our receivables team would be reviewing reconciling items, or even calling customers to manually match their payments and invoices. Everyone’s goal these days is straight‑through processing and as it turns out, it’s not standard in the marketplace for remittance information. Since our customers would be initiating payment by clicking on the associated invoices in our portal, we needed that data to automatically come back to us coupled with the ACH payment. Wells Fargo collaborated with us on a unique solution, which uses an API that ties to an ACH direct debit payment with CTX file format. The way it works is like this. When a customer chooses an ACH direct debit, Ricoh sends the ACH instructs to Wells Fargo using an API. The API is an instruction in our online bill pay portal that communicates to the bank to go ahead and originate an ACH CTX payment. An ACH CTX payment allows for the aggregation of payments because the addenda record contains additional information that allows us to connect multiple invoices to one payment. For Ricoh, the key data element is invoice numbers associated with the payment. Wells Fargo takes the invoice information that the customer selected and sends it back to us through our receivables posting file. This enables us to achieve the receivables posting process 100%. Customers also have the option to save their bank account details for future use on our portal. The next time they visit the portal, they can choose to pay from the same account. A dropdown box identifies the last four digits of their bank account number. Customers also schedule future payments and they can also set up reoccurring payments. We went live with our online bill pay portal in September of 2018 and I’m happy to report it’s been a seamless process. The ACH CTX solution worked from day one and we’ve not experienced any problems. We achieved our goal of 100% straight‑through processing. Absolutely no manual entry or reconciliation for our customers or for our Ricoh employees.
Due to this success, we quickly expanded the solution to our over‑the‑phone payments when our customers call Ricoh’s 1‑800 number, they now have the option to pay via ACH direct debit. Previously, the only payment option offered was credit card. We were able to leverage what we had built for our online bill payments to telephone payments as well. So when the API communicates with Wells Fargo to originate a payment, it also communicates the invoice information the customer provides over the phone. Wells Fargo’s brings that data back to us on our receivables posting for 100% straight‑through processing. Our ERP system already have the data entry points for entering a customers’ bank account and bank routing number. We just never utilized those fields before. So our developers opened up those fields and linked them to the API call to Wells Fargo. This was a very smooth implementation because our call center staff was accustomed to seeing the bank account and bank routing fields on their payments screen. They had just been grayed out before and not utilized. Today, when customers call in to make a payment, we can now accept ACH direct debit payment out of their checking or savings account as an additional payment offering. And the process for initiating the payment is part of the call representatives’ existing day‑to‑day workflow. They use a few additional fields on their screen, all information is captured and flows automatically from there. This solution complements our long‑term path of migrating more customers from paper to electronic payments. While this is not a radically different approach to payments, it helps us progress down the transition path. Customers can choose to initiate payments via our online bill pay portal or over the phone with ACH direct debit option. What’s really new and innovative is that we were able to take payments originated from our online bill pay portal and couple multiple invoice CTX addenda and then have Wells Fargo add the CTX addenda information back to our receivables posting file once the ACH settlement occurs. Our receivables posting file from Wells Fargo contains the details of all of our electronic payments. We’ve built interfaces that post the details from the bank file into our ERP system automatically. As part of this solution, the CTX addenda information from the ACH maps directly to our existing receivables file so that our ERP can consume the information the same way it does for other electronic payments today. We were the first customer to partner on this innovative approach with Wells Fargo.
>> Lynn, can I interrupt you real quick? You know, the story with Ricoh is a great example of bank partnerships around the use of tech to really advance some strategic objectives and solve what was effectively a practical problem for you guys. What do you think was that key to success?
>> Well, Chris, I would say that tackling the end‑to‑end process was the key to our success. Imagine if our customers adopted the ACH payment option, but we were not automatically receiving the invoice details coupled with the payment? If we had only addressed the front‑end need to create an online bill pay portal, then we would have had a receivables reconciliation nightmare on the other side. It would have created an increase need for manual work for our customers and our staff, which is contrary to our focus of empowering digital workplaces. For every ACH payment, we would have to‑‑ we would have had to manually determine what the customer was paying by viewing the portal or the very worst case, calling the customer. Just imagine if we had to call the customer and say, Mr. Customer, I saw that you wept online to make a payment, but can you reverify which invoices you intended to pay?
How aggravating would that be for our customer and quite honestly, embarrassing for our staff. We didn’t want to go down that path. Because we approached the need from the beginning‑‑ I guess what I want to say is my advice to you when you’re looking at any type of new process or solution, always look at the full process and ensure that you involve the right people who know the process from beginning to end. Our operations team could have easily implemented an online bill pay portal without consulting with the receivables team. Lucky for Ricoh, that’s not the culture we have here. Because we approach the need from the begin‑to‑end process and involved people outside of our operations team, we were able to accomplish more than an out‑of‑the‑box online bill pay solution. We took the time and considered what the process would look like when it flowed back to our bank and eventually flowed into our ERP. A common complaint amongst my peers and other companies is when you’re trying to solve for one problem, most‑‑ more times than not you create a burden somewhere else. That happens a lot with companies. So my advice would be whenever you’re implementing a new solution, you always need to start from the beginning to end to see what it’s going to look like from the customer experience, how’s it going to flow to your bank, and how’s it going to flow to your ERP so you can make the best decision for your company.
Another key to success was our close collaboration with Wells Fargo. This initiative marked an evolution in how Ricoh and Wells Fargo worked together. Wells Fargo always has handled all of our electronic payments and we worked together a lot. They’ve been a true partner in our paper‑to‑electronic evolution. We had multiple conversations with Wells Fargo when the opportunity arose for us to be able to include an ACH direct debit payment option on our online bill pay portal. From previous meetings, my Treasury Management sales officer knew that I was very passionate about receiving CTX addenda records. One of the best parts about this partnership was that the bank already knew what we wanted, how we needed a payment, and a receivable solution. We had never done ACH‑CTX like this before but Wells Fargo understood what it would mean for our company, both the customer experience and the cost effectiveness of the payment method. Part of the partnership is the ability to challenge your bank. It’s important to ask, how else can we accomplish our goal? A great partner will sit down next to you with that inventor’s mind set and work on the best way to solve your problem or address your needs. Wells Fargo really acted as a true partner offering their financial services expertise to deliver a winning result. Their API developers were deeply involved with our internal I.T. team during the entire implementation.
>> So appreciate that perspective, Lynn. I think with something as big as what you took on at Ricoh to take this on, I think hearing that perspective around success factors and what were the contributing factor thats led to that is so helpful. So appreciate the candor and the insight behind really what made that successful and appreciate you further taking time to talk with us about really how Ricoh made it simpler for customers to pay those multiple invoices by ACH direct debit and automating that whole receivables process and appreciate, again, the insight into what you and Ricoh have taken on. So let’s take a look at another poll. So on average, how many people outside of the treasury department participate in the decision‑making process for banking solutions that involve technology? We needed maybe a sixth category or ten or more. Maybe I’m bias. We’ll take a minute and compile the results.
[ Taking poll ]
So yeah. Much as I kind of suspected. You know, we see sort of evenly split. One or two, five or more. The consents behind the model is increasingly how businesses are making those B‑to‑B purchasing decisions and one company board study indicated on average about 5.5 buyers are involved in every decision so you are not far off. So we’ve been talking about really upping the game for your business and so far, we’ve tackled how banks partnering within new ways with customers. We’ve looked at how using tech in new ways and and informing strategic partnerships with FinTechs can help or assist. Really, the third part of that equation, the third leg of that overall stool is culture. And you can see on the screen here what Louis Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, had to say about culture. I came to see at my time at IBM is that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game. It is the game, and in the end, an organization is really nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create‑‑ to create value. Lynn, if I can bring you back in real quick the discussion. The your business really adopted this forward‑looking, new type of solution. How did Ricoh’s internal culture make the organization receptive and adaptive to this new way of doing things and the API‑based financial solution?
>> All right. As a financial company and a technology company, we’re always on the forefront of any advancements that will help our customers and our employees work smarter. Our culture is focused on innovation. This includes delivering innovative offerings and constantly enhancing the customer experience. We really push back when we hear an employee say, this is how we’ve always done it. You know, nobody wants to hear that. What we want to hear is what’s the different way that we can do this and make it better? Our management team always makes us feel very comfortable by developing new ideas and trying different things. They’ve been so supportive as to say if we try something new‑‑ say a new process, new procedure‑‑ and it doesn’t work, don’t think of it as a failure. Think of it that we tried to do something differently. At Ricoh, our leaders would rather you try something new to make a difference than to not do anything at all.
>> I love it. I love to hear it, and I think, you know, it’s a trend that we’re starting to see elsewhere but you guys are definitely on the leading edge of this. Just that way of thinking that you try something and it doesn’t work out as planned. It’s not failure, right? It truly is learnings and it‑‑ you iter eight to continue to move on and to innovate. Really daring to do things differently. It’s a great cultural attitude for really cultivating the better way of doing things as Ricoh has learned. So how does organizational culture help us to embrace technology? How is tech really changing culture? As Lewis Gerstner points out, it’s the collective capacity behind the culture, the way people join forces to collaborate that is central to how you play the game and ultimately to winning it. Wells Fargo looks for cultural alignment and when we look at different partnerships and whether it’s with FinTechs or others, right, we’re looking at partnerships that will be around in perpetuity, and we view these as truly relationships and not vendors and natural extensions of the bank, and I think culture plays a key role in that, and speaking of culture, that really brings in our next speaker, Ryan Jenkins to talk more about organizational culture as really an equal plus in that partnership and tech equation. Ryan, welcome.
>> Thank you, Chris. Hello, everyone. You’ve heard a lot of great insights from beginning until now and I’m going to zoom out a little bit and give us a little more texture around the macro trends of technology and how they’re influencing us and I’m going to nudge us in innovative ways that we can have a culture to embrace innovation. Let’s start here. Tech is changing everything. You know that, but let me give you a few examples of how technology is changing things. I’m going to give you four examples and I’m going to show you an impressive stat about that company and then I’m going to give you more shocking stat of really to hammer home this idea of how technology is being disruptive. So let’s start with Halo Top. Many of you might know that popular ice cream brand but the first impressive stat is that Halo Top grew from 230,000 in 2013 to more than 100 million last year. Unbelievable growth. But even more shocking, they have zero company offices, all 75 employees actually work remotely and they use a chat app called slack to communicate. They don’t use email. So that type of unprecedented growth without physical work space or email is truly game‑changing. The second example is a company called software automation. They have actually what they call SOBOTS that can produce 1,142 T‑shirts in just eight hours but even more shocking, that is the work of 17 humans completed without any human intervention. Thirdly, FORTnight, the popular online game that many of you are familiar with, FORTnight launched an IOS version and it was downloaded 100 million times in just five months. And more shockingly, from in‑game purchases alone, they netted 1.2 billion in revenue in just 10 months that type of explosive growth, that type of reach is just unprecedented. The last example is bird. Many of you have these electric Scooters in your cities. They actually now operate in 120 cities. They have over 2 million unique riders and recently surpassed 11.5 million rides and even more shocking, they’ve only been in business since September 2017. Again, that type of explosive growth and reach and scale is just unprecedented. But you and I live in unprecedented times and we’re working in unprecedented times and it’s really important that we get a handle on what some of this change is happening so we can understand it and leverage it. So let’s look at four areas that is being disrupted and changed by technology. The first is company structure. Labor is no longer centralized. The modern workforce is global and distributed. Think back to the halo top ice cream example. They don’t have any office space. Technology has changed the way we structure our organizations.
Secondly, information flow. Information is no longer centralized. People are informed and empowered. You and I can go to our favorite stores and price check in the aisles. We’re empowered. Technology has changed the game as a bridge to information. Leadership approach. Influence is no longer centralized. A network approach is replacing hierarchy. This emerging generation, we have a generation that’s coming into the workforce that doesn’t give their parents, teachers and managers the authority anymore but rather what they consider the collective mass, the crowd source, the internet as the authority. And fourthly, rules and responsibility have changed because of technology. Scale is no longer centralized. Artificial intelligence and robotics will force rescaling.
So why and how is everything changing so fast? What is at the crux of this. It’s really these two items. These two images you see here and what these represent is increased influences and abundant access. These two items are at the core of all of the experience, all of the change that you and I are experiencing in our personal lives and in our work lives. So let’s look‑‑ let’s peel back the layers on each one of these categories first starting with increased influences.
So it wasn’t too long ago that we were only exposed to what happened in our tribe or in our community. It was easy for our values, expectations, behaviors to remain relatively unchanged for centuries. So it looks something like this. You know, the weather, the source of food, landscape, and family and friends that were in our tight‑knit tribe were really the only influences that would impact our behaviors and our decisions. Well, if you contrast that with today, something can happen half way across the world and you and I are exposed to it instantly and it can influence us. So weather, family and friends, landscape and food still influence a lot of our behaviors and decisions and on top of that, because you and I live in a connected world, education, entertainment, technology, news, social media, cities, money, music, podcasts, various communication channels and so much more all influence us and they’re changing our behaviors and expectations. So the increased influences are forcing to us think differently about cultivating a culture to embrace innovation. So increased influences was one player. The second player was abundant access. So think about this for just a second. Generation Z, I spend a lot of time talking about generations and studying generations. Generation Z is the youngest generation. They’re 21 years and younger, the post‑millennial generation, but that entire generation is younger than Google. That’s hard to wrap our heads around, right, and it’s crazy. They don’t know a world that hasn’t been curated by Google. If you think about many of our behaviors and many of us that are listening to this, if not all of us, we live a very connected life where we have so many tools and resources right at the palm of our hand, right in our smartphones, so we have abundant access and that access is now following us into wearables. We have access to do less with artificial intelligence and our health really at the tip of our tongues, in many cases.
So let me unpack this a little bit further. I want to talk about how much abundant access that you and I really have. Connectivity, right, our mobile devices are connected. The reason you’re able to consume this content whether live or recorded is because you have connectivity, and we can launch a business or a brand with the webcam in WiFi. It’s never been easier to be an entrepreneur, and it’s never been sexier to be an entrepreneur, so connective resources can come from seemingly nowhere and disrupt industries and disrupt our behaviors and change our expectations.
Secondly, opportunities are available. We have access to all kinds of opportunities. We can learn new skill via YouTube or secure a job via LinkedIn, and we have access to capital now. Kickstarter and Zelle enable anyone to secure funds to grow an idea or business. Zelle enables any of our‑‑ if you have children, they can have a lemonade stand and not only can they take cash, but they can take any major credit card. They’ve got access to that in the palm of their hand. Netflix, Amazon, front door delivery of products and Netflix, they stream movies anywhere. It’s right in the palm of our hand. AirBNB and uber, travel and transportation, we have high access to that as well, exploring the world has never been more seamless with AirBNB and uber, and workplace tools like slack and zoom make it possible to be more efficient and productive professionally and personally and all of this is accessed through our mobile device. So access is at the core of a lot of this change. Because you and I now are informed consumers. We’re informed employees and so it changes our behaviors. It chains our decisions. So the bottom line here, I think the biggest take‑away as it relates to abundant access is this. Access leads us away from average. If there are better employers, if there are superior service or improved products out there, they will be found and especially with this emerging generation, they’re super savvy on trying to figure out what tools, what employers, what services are best suited for them. So it’s not necessarily the physical technology that’s asking or forcing us to change. It’s all of these factors that are really causing us to think differently about how we deliver goods and services and how we structure organization, et cetera.
So how to be innovative? That may be the question bubbling in the back of your brain as we’re going through this information and especially in a high‑flux world, how do we be innovative? First, if I’m going to give you my best advice on how to be innovative, we have to understand and you need to know that right now someone, somewhere is messing with the prevailing model of your industry. And that’s true of every industry on the planet. No individual, no industry is immune to today’s exponential times and today’s disruptive‑‑ the disruptive period in history that you and I are living in and working in and the problem with prevailing models is they cause leaders to get complacent. They cause industries to get stuck, and they cause companies to go under. So the next logical questions after this, well, how do we stay relevant? How do we ensure this prevailing model doesn’t hold us back? The answer to that is we must seek uniquely better. What makes your company solutions, products, services for customers and clients uniquely better?
What makes them distinct? What makes them improve from competitors or the industry standard? Now discovering uniquely better, it’s really easy for me to say. It’s really easy for to us grasp but it’s difficult to put into action because it’s virtually impossible doing it alone or in a vacuum. So how we get uniquely better, how we define and how do we unpack and discover what makes our products and services, our organization uniquely better is we’ve got to listen to outsiders. Outsiders aren’t bound by the same assumptions or the same prevailing models that are likely holding the organization back.
So we need to listen to folks that are outside of the organization. That’s why webinars like these are so critical and a played you for taking the time to consume this information. Because you can listen and learn from outsiders outside of your organization. Outsiders of your industry, that’s why it’s important to hear from folks like Lynn and myself and then certainly generations and you can become of aware of the walls that might be holding us back. Listening to outsiders is absolutely critical especially if our goal is to cultivate a culture that embraces innovation.
Now you might know this to be true. Actually, I know you know this to be true but I will put it in words that will be sticky and resonates. Now more than ever, this is always how we’ve done it mind set is a slippery slope to relevance and Lynn touched on this, too. They’ve got a culture that really embraces this, which is just exciting. So prioritize the why over the way is what we need to do instead, and another way of saying that is we need to be Marid to the mission or the goal of the organization versus‑‑ and only date the approach. So we inherited the mission of the organization but only date the approach because the approach is ever‑evolving and hopefully I made a compelling case here of how quickly things are evolving and companies are shifting. So the approach, the way we should be open to that and flexible to that. And for this very reason and your partnerships with banks and other organizations is absolutely critd Cal. So to recap, three best practices for adapting your organization’s culture, listen to outsiders to discover what makes your organization uniquely better. Number two prioritize why over the way, and the mission of the organization and only date the approach and three, seek cultural alignment, seek banks and organizations that complement your culture.
We’ve discussed a lot of interesting trends in this short amount of time and as our time does come to a close, I’d like to leave you with a short story that depicts the stages of change. Of course, there’s a lot of change in store for all of us and for us to move through it successfully, we’ve got to start thinking about some of these different stages. So as I read through this, I want you to think about where are you currently in these stages, and what will it take for you to move to the next stage? So this is called autobiography in five short chapters. Chapter one, I walk down the street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk, I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. Excuse me, stage one of change is ignorance. What needed change might you be ignorant to? Chapter two, I walk down the same street. there’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place, but it isn’t my fault. It takes a long time to get out. Stage two of change is denial. Why are you in denial over the needed change? Chapter three, I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I fall in. It’s a habit, but my eyes are open. I think after today’s webinar, your eyes will be open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. Stage three of change is responsibility. Can you take responsibility and champion change. Chapter four, I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. Stage four of change is resolve and finally, chapter five, I walk down another street. Stage five of change is progress. What opportunities are now available as a result of changing. So may you find the opportunities and fresh perspectives and exciting challenges down your new streets. Thanks for your time and back to you, Chris.
>> Ryan, thanks. I appreciate sort of the insights and best practices on adapting that organizational culture to embrace innovation, make the most of it. You talked about really listen to outsiders, why versus the way in cultural alignment. I think it’s critically important. Folks, we’re running short on time. I do want to open up in just a minute for questions. So please be thinking about some questions. If you can bear with me just a minute. We’ve covered a ton of ground. You know, really, in summary, you know, we’re looking at three forces for change, partnership, tech, and culture and separately each is important but really, the real power comes from combining those and banks as a whole are really evolving how we support customers and we call a lot of that open banking. It’s part of a larger trend toward interoperability and it means thinking differently about how you think about your bank, and so next time you have the opportunity to sit down, I would encourage you to do so with a really inventor’s mind set, a challenging mind set and thinking about ways that you can change things like you heard from Lynn, really, that openness to try new things. It’s exactly what led Ricoh to the success that they had achieved and last but not least, I certainly want to make sure you take into account all the stakeholders that are required to make sure you can be successful. So in closing, if you would like more information on today’s topic, I encourage you to take a look at the emerging commerce section of our treasury insights website. You can click on the gray link icon at the bottom of your screen. You can always contact your Treasury Management representative as well. Again, we’re going to open for questions in just a moment, but down to the reason that I know a number of folks are interested in listening to today’s session, if you attended this webinar for 50 minutes or longer, you are eligible for 1.2 CTP credits from the AFP. You’ll get your accreditation of attendance certification and a replay of this event and you’ll get that email in a couple of days. If you are still there, open up and give folks instructions for how they might want to ask some questions.
Operator: At this time, I would like to remind everyone in order to ask a question, press star and the number one on your telephone keypad. We’ll pause for just a moment to compile the Q&A roster. At had time, there are no questions from the phone line.
>> All right. Guys, I know we’re at time. Just a minute or so over. I appreciate you taking some time this afternoon or this morning and also would like to thank Lynn and Ryan for joining us as speakers and participating in the overall presentation today. I really hope you’ve learned something and look forward to hearing about the innovative thinking that comes as a result of the discussion today. Guys, we’ll go ahead and close. Have a good day.