We spoke to ACC’s IT Division Head, Daniel Gunawan Soesilo, to discuss the company’s journey to digital transformation
Astra Credit Companies (ACC) is one of Indonesia’s largest car and heavy equipment financing companies with a growing reputation for using digital innovation as a business enabler in a location with a reputation for being somewhat cautious with regards to technological adoption both at business and customer levels. However, this rather traditional landscape will not last forever, and ACC has bold ambitions to transform its business through technology.
Indeed, ACC is now two years into a massive digital transformation of both its internal and customer-facing operations, as it strives to better its current standing as Indonesia’s second-biggest financier. ACC has made great strides in focusing on innovation in order to scale up and survive in the largest and fastest-growing country in Southeast Asia, which also boasts the largest internet user database. ACC’s quest to become the market leader prompted a massive decision in 2017, when, after an initial round of consultancy with Gartner, ACC decided to partner with OutSystems in the digitisation of its operations.
We caught up with ACC’s IT Division Head, Daniel Gunawan Soesilo, to discuss the company’s journey through digital transformation. Based in ACC’s headquarters in Jakarta, Daniel is keen not to take all the credit for the incredible changes afoot at the financiers.
“This work is being carried out by the whole team, not just me,” he says. “I cannot stress that enough. It is a team effort. Everybody plays their part.”
According to Daniel, the aims of the digital transformation were to help the company become more agile in its operations. Some of the top line aims handed to OutSystems included increased processing of loan applications, reconfiguration of price awards to achieve the best possible price and increased capacity for offline new and used car selling. ACC also wanted to improve customer relationships and after-sales services through digitisation while also opening up new business opportunities.
However, improving the agility of the systems and operations is not an easy task, and so how does one home in on the right solutions?
“We wanted to get a fast and comprehensive partner with the tools that can help us,” Daniel explains. “That’s why we chose a partner. And that’s why we chose OutSystems, and Gartner, one of our consultants.”
ACC kickstarted the process with its partners by mapping various pain points within its business, and the wider landscape of the market and its competitors, locating processes in need of improvement to arrive at a blueprint plan.
“After that we needed a roadmap to address our priorities,” Daniel explains. ACC’s motto is: “Think big, start small and scale fast” and it’s a mantra ACC adhered strictly to during its digital journey.
“We deliver piece by piece and bit by bit,” he says. OutSystems was determined to help ACC stand out through diversification of products and services through its digital transformation as it aimed to keep one step ahead of its competition in an ever-evolving technological landscape. The first step in establishing a strategic framework for this transformation involved the creation of a digital ecosystem to enable digital business optimisation and digital business transformation.
This aimed to increase internal efficiency in daily operational processes while providing customers with a seamless and personalised experience in financing products and services. ACC also wanted to retain existing customers with improved after-sales services and recycled loans to new products and services while increasing internal employee and customer satisfaction. The transformation also aimed at expanding and unlocking new customer segments and boosting product life cycle increments.
Of course, the bottom line to all this change was to increase the overall profitability of the company. To this end, Daniel insisted that his team, and the business in general, started to think and behave like a start-up: to be agile. ACC not only wanted to transform the product itself, but the process too.
“So, point one is the product, end-to-end, that’s the customer’s need. And because we know the first component is the customer, it follows that B2C without the B2E component would be messy inside,” says Daniel, “So, we initially focused on the B2C and the internal process. And so, the second phase was the process end-to-end, that the customer also needs.”
The third segment of the plan addressed the end-to-end process for employees or the ‘ecosystem’.
“We moved onto B2B because we have many partners in the business that we must help in order to transform the process and the partners in resetting the B2C, B2E and B2B; our ecosystem. Gartner helped to gain a good digital transformation perspective on that. The fourth wave of change focused on the process end-to-end that our B2B also needs: the tech-office engine. So, we divided the landscape and initiative into four parts to deliver that piece by piece. These were the four items we wanted to transform, protect and process.”
ACC established two main business strategies. To realise the Digital Business Optimisation, ACC built ACCME (Mobile Enterprise) as an internal process enabler.
“It helped us to transform our process end-to-end from the acquisition, credit scoring and contract signing. We are the first mover to implement the e-signature capability in the multi-finance industry.”
That’s also one of the products embedded into ACC.ONE; part of the second business strategy: Digital Business Transformation. ACC.ONE is an integrator for all ACC business capabilities and ACC digital initiatives that provides convenience for customers, existing and new, in obtaining financial services. ACC also built exclusive apps to facilitate specific needs such as ACC.BID (online auction marketplace) and ACC.MART (online car marketplace), built to accelerate the sales of ACC inventory as well as ACCTRADE (used car trade and credit purchases) and ACCRENT (operating leases). Soon ACC.ONE will be enriched with cross-selling products and credit funding for priority customers. The biggest challenge facing ACC was time, which is why it needed to be agile on the approach.
“The process had to be agile,” Daniel explains. “The methodology must be small like a start-up. We just followed the start-up way to deliver the different methods. We wanted to test our process, our thinking, and our people to embrace the start-up way. That’s the culture that aided our transformation. After all, we were the first company in Indonesia to have an end-to-end solution.”
ACC also needed the right people involved at a time when a global tech skills gap was proving to be a problem for many enterprises.
“Talent is quite difficult because everybody is searching for talent right now. Every start-up, every big company, has the same objective – digital transformation – and that’s why talent is so difficult to find.”
The success of the ongoing digital transformation at ACC is visible for all to see. The delivery time for ACC.ONE was an incredible two weeks and in early 2019, it became the #1 trending app in Google Play Store, downloaded by more than 5,000 users and rated 4.98 stars.
“That’s why we are very, very happy with our situation, our progress, our condition, our achievements,” Daniel enthuses. One of ACC’s recent successes was to receive the Mobile Excellence Award from OutSystems. “The OutSystems Innovation Awards recognise, honour, and celebrate the organisations and people that are using OutSystems to make IT dramatically more proactive, productive, and essential to creating business value and driving innovation,” says OutSystems.
“This year’s winners distinguished themselves in their respective categories, displaying unmatched innovation using the OutSystems platform.” However, Daniel refuses to get carried away with ACC’s digital progression. “The digital transformation is a journey. We must follow it continuously because the customer changes, the market changes, the partner changes and the internal process also changes. So that’s why we deliver piece by piece. Every day we can improve something.”