Holcim Cement Bangladesh Limited:
A Concentrated work on credit reconciliation
Holcim is one of the world‟s leading building material companies which has its root from Switzerland and has a presence on all continents. With its solutions based on innovative products and services and a commitment to sustainable construction, Holcim is contributing to the success of its customers around the world – as a trusted partner for more than 100 years. Holcim Bangladesh is an operating company of Holcim Group and it has its operation in this country dating back from 2000. This report has been written as a completion for an internship of the Undergraduate program. The topic of this report is Customer Accounts Reconciliation Of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd: A Concentrated work on credit reconciliation. Where it is mentioned about the guidance of performing the reconciliation. The report also broadly narrated about the challenges faced and the Learning from the Critical customers. The challenges faced and the Learning during the reconciliation process is different for every critical customer and thus it will add a great value to the employees of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd for their ease of work. Basically, the goal of this project is to match the balance of outstanding with the customers of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd. Worked as an intern, I have gathered many experiences in Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd which will help me in my career field in the future ahead. After that the report also has the SWOT analysis of my internship and also the Recommendation where I have given some of the points which are necessary for the employees of this company to focus for the betterment of the Reconciliation work. Finally, this Reconciliation project has been quite successful and will also be more ahead due to its dedication, commitment, and dynamic leadership of the all those employees who worked every day for it.
Holcim Bangladesh is an operating company of Holcim Group – one of the world „s largest construction material manufacturers – supplying cement, aggregates, ready-mix concrete and additional support, including leading-edge technical solutions, in more than 70 countries around the world.
Holcim established its presence in Bangladesh in 2000, through the acquisition of Hyundai Cement Bangladesh. Later Holcim acquired two more grinding plants, United Cement Industries and Saiham Cement Industries, as part of its expansion strategy. Currently, Holcim Bangladesh has 7 operating mills, producing nearly 2 million ton cement per year. (Holcim Cement Bangladesh Limited) HBL is the first cement company in Bangladesh to have application-based multi-products. Since beginning, it has shifted focus from a mere production orientation to a marketing and services orientation that includes Customer Care Center – a 24- hour virtual service, Mobile Concrete Laboratory facility, delivery in bulk, home building facilitation program, and club for architects and engineers, among other initiatives.
The name “Holcim” has become synonymous with “quality cement for large construction projects”. Various infrastructure icons of the country, including City Center, the tallest building in Dhaka, Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge, the longest bridge in Bangladesh and other notable construction projects have been built with Holcim cement. As a customer-focused, socially responsible and best-managed company, Holcim Bangladesh has been honored with various prestigious awards, recognitions and accolades over time.
Almost every year Holcim Bangladesh undertakes various CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) initiatives including plantation projects, education assistance for the children of masons, training and insurance facilities for masons, medical treatment for local communities and sponsoring of sports programs.
Holcim believes in doing business in the right way – by being compliant with local laws, global best-practices and group directives. One of Holcim‟s core objectives is the creation of value for all and the company strives to ensure their actions are sustainable at all levels – economic, ecological and social.
Mobile Concrete Laboratory:
Holcim does not only sell products, it also provides services and solutions to its honored customers. In its continuation, Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd has introduced Mobile Concrete Laboratory. So, what is a Mobile Concrete Laboratory and what it does? Mobile Concrete Laboratory is a moving prototype of formal laboratory- designed to perform major concrete test right at the construction sites. It reliefs the customers from the hustle of carrying sample in different laboratories for even the simplest test reaching on the construction sites to test the concrete and aggregate as per recommendation. What does the lab ensures?
- Most major test of concrete and aggregates will be done right at the site and gives prompt spot solution.
- Expert support will be available to produce quality concrete with guidelines of proper mix design.
- Saving of time, cost and effort from Holcim global knowledge base.
Holcim Green Build Bangladesh:
Bangladesh is the one of those countries that will be adversely affected by massively changing climate. Our country is also going through rapid growth where huge constructions are necessary. But we can no more afford to ignore the consequences of these rapid constructions on the environment. Holcim Green Built Bangladesh (HGBB) is a contest to encourage our engineers, architects, planners, students and all concerned to focus on sustainability and strive to develop the approaches of green built concept in Bangladesh. The contest includes innovative, futureoriented and tangible sustainable green construction projects. Project “Symbolic Living” by Suvro Sovon Chowdhury and his team owned the first prize in the Idea category and project “Weekend House” by Sheikh Ahsan Ullah Mozumder owned the first prize in the Built category at the first cycle of Holcim Green Built Bangladesh which was arranged at 2009. Renowned Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury was the Chairman of the Advisory Board. Chief Guest of the first cycle of the prize giving ceremony was Honorable Finance Minister A M A Muhith.
Rules and Regulations of Holcim:
Code of Conduct:
This Code of Conduct establishes a common and consistent framework across global organization for how they will achieve their mission and goals. It provides direction and clarification in how they conduct their daily business. High business ethics and personal integrity ensure their credibility and reputation as a Group.
Corporate Governance aims at protecting the legitimate interests of stakeholders in an appropriate and effective way. Corporate Governance considerations are consistently reflected in evolving organizational structure and procedures.
Corporate Social Responsibility:
Holcim recognize their social responsibility and aim to improve the quality of life of their workforce, their families and the communities around operations. They pursue a clear policy dealing with employment practices, occupational health and safety, community involvement as well as customer and supplier relations.
Sustainable Environmental Performance:
Holcim strive to preserve the environment for future generations by striking a balance between economic growth and continuously improving environmental performance and social responsibility.
Appropriate measures are put in place to assist in complying with applicable laws and regulations in the businesses and countries where we operate.
Holcim respect the principles and rules of fair competition prohibiting anticompetitive behaviors and the abuse of a dominant market position.
Bribery and Corruption:
Holcim will not utilize bribery and corruption in conducting our business. Holcim will not offer or provide, either directly or indirectly, any undue pecuniary or other advantage for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, directing or securing any improper business advantage.
Use and Protection of Assets and Information:
Holcim is responsible for the careful use, protection, expenditure and administration of such assets. Holcim use and protect confidential proprietary information, except to the extent we are required to disclose such information in the proper cause of duties. Holcim pay particular attention to IT aspects such as data protection and data security.
Conflict of Interest:
In situations in which our personal or financial interests may conflict materially with those of Holcim, we are expected to fully disclose them. Holcim shall not take part in any business activities of Holcim where we may be influenced by their personal relations that are, or may be, construed as a hindrance to objective decision taking.
Gifts and Donations:
Holcim are prohibited from offering, soliciting or accepting gifts and donations related to their business. Donations for political or social purposes are permitted only within the limits of local laws and incomplete transparency.
Records and accounting:
All business transactions are recorded in a true, fair and timely fashion. In accordance with established procedures, appropriate accounting systems, controls and audits, they ensure the reliability and accuracy of their accounts, records and reports.
Challenges faced and Learning from Critical customers of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd:
The challenges faced and my learning on the 10 critical customers of the Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd during my internship program is as follows:
- NAVANA Group: NAVANA Group comprising of a number of companies, has diversified
its activities in various areas like product and project marketing, construction and real estate business, international trading, distributorship and product of various items and already attained significance in the business arena of Bangladesh. They have always remained VIP customers to Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd from 2003 for taking huge bulk of cement for their various construction purposes. The challenges and learning are as follows:
- Visiting Gabtoli Navana plant for collecting their Ledger account.
- Matching every details of ledger of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd with The ledger of Navana Real Estate Ltd (NBPL) – 4,333,427.60 taka and Navana Construction Ltd – 12,871,180.00 taka outstanding amount.
- Checking the cheques to verify whether amounts are correct or not.
- Finding errors in the Holcim delivery history.
- Collecting challan papers from the factory of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd.
- Procedure of Reconciliation is extensively learned here.
- It is important to maintain separate accounts for separate companies despite of being of same group.
- Necessary to update the information in the software as soon as any changes occur in the delivery process.
- Realizing that error may also occur in own system and not in that of customer‟s account.
- DOM INNO BUILDERS LTD: DOM-INNO Builders Ltd. is one of the leading real estate companies in Bangladesh. It specializes in developing exclusive apartment complexes in prime locations of the Dhaka city. DOM-INNO is also an active member of Real Estate & Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) and ISO 9001:2008 Certified. Being another important customer to Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd the challenges and learning are as follows:
- DOM INNO BUILDERS LTD disagreed with the outstanding amount of 22,447,907.80 taka that Holcim will get.
- Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd didn‟t had some of their bill numbers
- DOM INNO BUILDERS Ltd didn‟t have most of their details.
- Checking the number of every order quantity.
- Checking and double checking the entire ledger account of own before claiming any amount from the customer.
- Keeping all the bills and documents in both hard and soft copy in organized form and for long period of time.
- Lack of evidence to claim money from customers may result write off which may be a negative aspect for a company.
- Project Builders Ltd: Project Builders Ltd was established as a firm in the year 1976 and with a view to make significant contribution in the field of civil and mechanical engineering construction. Being a very old customer to Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd the challenges and learning faced are mentioned below:
- Mistakes in the account of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd of outstanding amount of 5,079,134.70 taka with Project Builders Ltd.
- Project Builders Ltd maintains the ledger manually.
- Long and tedious work for checking the accounts.
- Not ordered by Project Builders Ltd is mentioned in the system of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd as delivered.
- It is important for keeping the account of customers in a well-organized manner to keep free from all kinds of errors.
- Maintaining both hand written and typed documents for easy transferrable process.
- Asset Developments & Holdings Ltd: Asset Developments & Holdings Ltd, a steadily growing Company developing high quality home has been another critical customer of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd. The challenges faced and learning from this is mentioned below:
- Providing challan and other documents like delivery and payment history twice as an evidence for the outstanding claiming by the Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd.
- Still not agreeing with the outstanding amount of 5,880,749.00 taka.
- They have said that they have paid all prices of the order of cement of in advance.
- Necessary to take signature of the receiver in the photocopy of the documents as evidence.
- Need to sit with the ledger of both the parties and perform the work of matching the delivery of cement received and delivered.
- Handed over to higher official of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd to communicate with their higher official to deal with this matter as lower officials were not bringing much better results out of it.
- BTI: Building technology and ideas ltd. (BTI) is a pioneer Real Estate Developer in Bangladesh. One of the founder member of REHAB- Real Estate Housing Association of Bangladesh and the first real estate company in Bangladesh to be awarded with the internationally recognized ISO 9001-2008 certification for quality in „Design and Construction of Buildings‟. The challenges and learning from this customer of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd is as follows.
- Unable to figure out the actual problem with BTI for the reconciliation.
- Denying the outstanding amount of 367,636.00 taka as proper evidence not provided.
- Lack of supporting evidence.
- Unable to communicate with them in time.
- Lack of proper support from their management resulted to write off.
- Need to figure out the actual root of problem for reconciling.
- Proper supporting evidence like challan papers, invoice and other documents are important for reconciliation.
- Proper support and communication is necessary from the customers to perform the reconciliation.
- Globe Construction Ltd: A leading construction company of Bangladesh under name of Globe Janakantha Shilpa Paribar has been taking cement from Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd for the last 8 years. The challenges and Learning From the Globe Construction Ltd are as follows:
- The customer is not informed about the reconciliation process for the last 8 years.
- Globe Construction Ltd doesn‟t have any documents of delivery and payment of the past years to match with that of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd.
- The customer has showed less hope to Holcim Cement of providing the outstanding amount of 811,390.00 taka claimed by Holcim.
- It is necessary to inform the customer about the reconciliation process during the period of delivery and payment process.
- Lack of necessary documents from the both parties may result difficult situation in case of reconciling.
- Concord RMC Products Ltd: Concord RMC products Ltd a leading construction firm of Concord Group has been a very old customer of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd. The challenges faced and my learning out of this customer is as follows:
- Matching the outstanding balance of 15,216,546.90 taka of Concord RMC Products Ltd.
- Two parties use different software. Concord uses ERP and Holcim uses SAP.
- No Bill number available to Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd of the previous years.
- Problem of not matching due to missing of previous data of both parties.
- Learned to communicate extensively with the Finance manager of Concord RMC Products Ltd.
- Filtering information of the three projects of Concord RMC products Ltd – CPCL, RMC-1, RMC-2, from each other and separating them based on date and location.
- Need to use similar software in every company to avoid any sort of hassle.
- Documents needed to be placed in an organized manner.
- Bengal Development Corp Ltd: Established in 1951, Bengal Development Corporation is the. Oldest and one of the major construction companies of Bangladesh. The challenges and my learning out of this customer are as follows:
- Needed to provide cement consumption vs. concrete production report of that particular delivery dates.
- Needed to match with every deliver order quantity with that of BDC to find errors of mismatch.
- BDC deducted 66,000.00 taka out of the total outstanding of 1,578,251.50 taka as they said they received less cement as9 MT cement less received in 2011 by 3 bulk carrier as complained by BDC.
- Finding the exact valuation of the quantity of cement along with the delivery fare.
- Updating information is in time is necessary so that there may not has to face any problem in future.
- Every detail is important for the customer to understand the problem of the mismatch.
- Learned that Date wise Holcim delivered quantity vs. actual receiving quantity along with copy of Holcim Gate pass/ Challan is necessary to provide for the ease of customer.
- Ha-Meem Group: This is one of the largest Bangladeshi conglomerates in textile and garments sector. The challenges faced and the learning out of this customer is mentioned below:
- Ha-meem Group has various wings where cement is delivered but Holcim uses one account for all of these.
- Bill no. has been mismatched with Ha-meem group.
- They keep the bill manually.
- Mismatch of bags of cement showing 400 bags instead of 200 bags.
- Mismatch with Invoice and challan number.
- It is necessary to have separate accounts for separate wings.
- Bill number needs to be kept in typed form.
- Invoice number, challan number and number of goods delivered have to be kept properly for avoiding problems of reconciliation
- South Breeze Housing: South Breeze Housing one of the pioneering real estate development companies in Bangladesh has been a regular customer and still is now for the last 5 years. The challenges faced and lesson learned out of this customer is mentioned below:
- Needed to provide the entire delivery and payment history from old software (OPS) of Holcim cement Bangladesh Ltd.
- Informing the Factory to provide the challan papers of some specific delivery of cement.
- Long and tedious work of matching the outstanding amount. Of 159,205.00 taka.
- Old Software which was used previously but not now can also be helpful to customers for reconciliation.
- Challan papers play an important role of evidence in case of delivery of goods.
The rest other customers communicated by me don‟t have much problem with reconciliation. Most of them have agreed to pay the outstanding amount to Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd as there is not much mismatch in the balance of accounts.
After working on this huge list of customers‟ accounts of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd for the last couple of month, I found that there are some customers whose address and contact numbers have been changed, as a result it became very difficult for me to detect them and work for the reconciliation project. I also came to figure out that most of the customers were willing to cooperate with Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd about the Reconciliation project. Although there were some of the customers who showed disinterest when it came to the matter of outstanding amount but the entire project for reconciliation was beneficial for both the parties.
The diagram below shows the current situation of the customer accounts reconciliation project throughout my internship period:
Fig: Current situation of the Customer Accounts Reconciliation project
Some of my personal Observation on this Reconciliation project is as follows:
- Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd has its delivery status and payment status of Cement in a very organized manner in its both old software OPS and its new software SAP.
- Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd makes sure that their employees are getting good environment, containing healthy foods, prayer room, health facilities and many more.
- The environment of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd is very friendly. They call each other as “Bhai” and “Apu”.
- All the employees here make sure that papers don‟t get wasted; used papers that have other side blank are utilized. This refers that they are taking green corporate initiatives.
- All the Customers for the reconciliation want the Ledger to match their outstanding balance.
- All the customers want the delivery challan papers as evidence.
- Most corporate offices of the customers of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd are in the Dhaka city.
SWOT Analysis of the Internship:
- 4 months practical real work experience. Moreover it adds value to the CV.
- Applying knowledge and skills in work related situations; helps to find out what one can do and what one needs to work on which helps to clarify career goals.
- Established a network of contacts, mentors and references that will be valuable for future letters and support.
- Exposure to real world helps to create confidence and improve communication skills.
- Not involved with direct operation with the Finance activity.
- Worked as a representative with a well-known multinational company like Holcim cement.
- Gained knowledge and experiences about Reconciliation directly.
- Risk of negative response about Holcim cement Bangladesh Ltd from some customers.
- Risk of unintentional information sharing as everything is supposed to be confidential.
- Risk of getting late at office which can create bad impression.
However, I was working on the Customer Accounts Reconciliation project. I have come up with some important points which I believe will improve the quality of work as well as its efficiency.
They are as follows:
Customer Accounts Reconciliation is necessary in every month:
Although Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd is doing Reconciliation with its all customers. But, it is necessary to perform this work in every month. As more and more customers are taking cement from Holcim in huge bulks of millions of tons, the amount they are paying is huge. So, it is necessary to match the balance of both the parties – Holcim and its customers for the benefit of both and avoid the mismatch.
Updating the latest address and contact numbers of Customers:
Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd is one of the largest cement in this world. Along with other countries. Bangladesh also has a huge demand in the sector of construction, real estate and other infrastructure and it is also one of those countries where there is a huge competition in cement business. So, for this it is necessary for Holcim to always keep update of the address of its old and new customers for marketing cement as well as Reconciliation purpose.
Keeping all the previous documents in an organized manner for future purposes:
During my internship process one of the main challenge I faced was lack of previous documents which could have been helpful enough for the Reconciliation project. It is necessary for Holcim to keep it‟s all the documents either in manual form or in software or both so that the company may not face any trouble if they need in future for any important purpose.
Providing monthly training to all the employees of Holcim:
Training helps an individual to improve him/her for giving better output. I believe, it is necessary for Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd to provide training every month for the betterment of the company. Monthly training for all the employees along with some form of motivational lessons would definitely enhance the quality of services.
In conclusion it can be said that it was a lifetime experience for me to work in the Customer Accounts Reconciliation Project and gather knowledge from it. Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd is such an organization which tries its level best to keep good relation with its customer by providing them world class cement and good services. In this project although there may have a lot of limitation but then again this project will benefit the organization as well as my career.
Reconciliation is very important for not only Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd but also for every organization for confirming the balance with that of its customers. It also helps to know which customer has been the maximum buyer of cement and thus considering this it also help to generate new ideas which helps to take the business ahead. Finally, it can be said that the ultimate success comes by dedication, commitment and dynamic leadership management committee and in this Customer Accounts Reconciliation of Holcim Cement Bangladesh Ltd: A Concentrated work on credit reconciliation report everything is present and for that reason this project gets the ultimate success.
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