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Founded in 1978, Kinnerton Confectionery Company Ltd is the fourth largest chocolate producer in Great Britain.
Employing 1,000 people, it produces 10 million Advent calendars and 20 million Easter eggs each year from its factory in Fakenham (Norfolk). Kinnerton also makes licensed chocolate brands depicting children’s characters and has been part of the Zertus GmbH food group since 2013.
Many companies look at updating or changing their payment systems in order to comply with technology advancements, security measures, new regulations or legislation. A Bacs security enhancement led Kinnerton Confectionery to implement Bottomline’s cloud-based payments platform.
On the back of a long-term working relationship with Bottomline, Kinnerton found a cloud-based solution offered better insulation against such change, an improved appearance, easier workflow and an increase in Bacs usage.
Until upgrading to PTX Payments and Business Solutions Suite, Kinnerton relied on a Bottomline on-premise solution for Windows platforms.
The original on-premise software was installed on two PCs for payroll and supplier payments with mutual backup arrangements. Any hardware changes or software upgrades always meant chargeable engineer visits, although this ensured everything kept running smoothly. “Bottomline support was helpful if something needed resolving but we’ve never had any failures,” says Knights.
The company’s only business reason for change was therefore entirely down to new Bacs requirements. Any replacement system had to read data files exported from Miracle Dynamics MiraclePay and from the purchase ledger (QAD Accounts Payable).
As a modern cloud-based solution, Bottomline’s proposal of moving to the PTX platform removed dependency on local hardware and software. It was also accessible from any desktop or elsewhere if the need arose. A monthly subscription fee would be charged based on transaction type and volume.
Recognising Bottomline as a trusted long-standing supplier proposing a good replacement, Kinnerton saw no reason to look elsewhere. The new cloud-based system seemed more flexible and was considered an improvement for the company’s payment processes. Not having engineer visits was a bonus, and any future Bacs security or feature changes would be handled by Bottomline.
“I just wanted something that was going to work. We have been with Bottomline for many years and their solutions always work,” says Knights.
The implementation of the PTX platform proved to be very straightforward. It involved setting up PTX profiles for payroll and supplier payments. The training was handled by phone and did not take very long. Knights then passed on his knowledge to a colleague processing supplier payments.
“Bottomline did the setups and we just gave them the existing payment files,” says Knights. “When PTX was ready, Bottomline phoned and talked me through using it.”
Kinnerton has not looked back since. There is a weekly payroll run of around 650 people along with two salary payrolls each month.
In a recent two-month period, the company also made six supplier payment runs to pay 805 suppliers a total of £5.59 million pounds. The two processes follow similar preparation, checking and approval steps.
A file is exported from MiraclePay containing details of contacts and the amounts owed. This is uploaded into PTX. The data exported from the QAD Purchase Ledger is handled likewise. Following internal approval, card readers and bank smart cards are used to authenticate direct Bacs submissions.
It’s easy to track uploaded payment files, payments and Bacs responses from within the PTX platform. It also automatically reports any issues such as an incorrect sort code or bank account numbers. For example, if a Kinnerton employee forgets to advise a bank account change, the necessary information can be quickly requested. “We get an e-mail saying there is an AWACS [Advice of Wrong Account for Automated Credits Service] report”, says Knights.
The PTX platform is now considered a welcome improvement as the use of Bacs for supplier payments has increased. “The appearance of the system is better than before and it provides easier working steps. Everything is running smoothly,” says Knights.
Knights also likes the way that any Bottomline changes to PTX are flagged up as on-screen alerts. Thanks to an intuitive interface, learning any new features is simple with no need to ring Bottomline support. The platform is able to support the company’s payroll and supplier payments in a better-looking system with simpler operational steps. While the change of payment system may have originally been because of Bacs requirements, it’s worked out very well for the company.
What do secure payments look like? And how can Multi-Factor Authentication protect payments for your business? Watch our video to learn more.
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