DBS introduced August 13 Singapore’s first automated supplier procure-to-pay (P2P) solution for the construction sector, developed by Singaporean fintech Doxa. The payments solution, Doxa Connex, is a first for the sector in Singapore and aims to help main contractors improve cashflow management with their suppliers as well as lift productivity and efficiency. Main contractor Tiong Seng Group (Tiong Seng) has signed up as the pioneer adopter.
Doxa Connex hopes to help main contractors eliminate often manual administrative processes that plague the construction industry. By automating payments from main contractor to supplier, the payments solution automatically tracks the entire process from a contractor’s invitation to quote all the way to procurement orders to delivery orders to last mile payments.
Chew Chong Lim, managing director and global head of real estate, institutional banking, DBS explains that the solution was conceptualized ground-up through several industry workshops organized with Tiong Seng and their supplier network at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in February.
Once the solution was conceptualized, DBS and Tiong Seng then worked with Doxa through numerous ideation and solutioning workshops, which were run using DBS’ in-house 4D (Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver) methodology to build Singapore’s first automated supplier P2P solution.
Accounting for more than 4% of Singapore’s GDP, the construction industry has in recent years taken steps to embrace technology along the construction value chain. However, a recent study by Autodesk and IDC (International Data Corporation) noted that only 2% of construction firms have automated most of their manual processes and the sector continues to rely heavily on manual and paper-based payment processes, with payments done predominantly using paper-based cheques.
“Tiong Seng is keenly aware of the need to embrace Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) in the entire value chain of the built environment sector, as promoted by the industry and the government in recent years,” says John Keung, chairman of Tiong Seng Contractors (Pte) Ltd.
According to data from Doxa, Doxa Connex digitalizes and automates the majority of the manual procurement and payment processes and documentation, which could lead to a reduction in administrative fees and processing costs of at least 50%. Tiong Seng can also expect to reap time savings from the streamlined P2P process and enjoy a significant reduction in working days required for administrative tasks enabling it to redeploy their employees to focus on higher-value work.
“Covid-19 has accelerated the need for many industries to turn to digital solutions to continue operating safely even amid manpower constraints, and the construction sector is no exception," Chew adds. "Proactive and timely digital transformation will put construction companies in good stead for recovery and growth when economic activity picks up and demand for construction services resumes."