Invoice errors and manual data input, the largest negative impact in AP productivity
Carrefour Group is the biggest retailer in Europe and a leader on the Romanian retail market, operating over 300 retail locations. Its strategy is based partly on aggressive pricing policy, designed to increase the value offered to consumers. The ability to keep prices low hinges on a good cost structure, thus Carrefour embarked on a business process cost optimization.
On the financial operations level, Carrefour identified several challenges:
- Slow and costly process – 1,200,000 invoices from goods suppliers were manually introduced and processed
- Poor data quality – 45% of all invoices contained at least one administrative error
- Difficult invoice control – generating a great deal of workload for invoice correction
- Difficult reconciliation of invoices with POs and receipt notes – delayed payments, with negative impact on supplier relationships
They began to address these through the digitization of business processes with an initial focus on supplier invoice: increasing processing speed, reduction of litigations, due-date payments and receiving correct invoices.
Eliminating paper, seamless integration and matching delivered results
In parallel to paper processing, we started to set up the enrollment of suppliers and move the bulk of paper invoices to e-invocing. During the process, we offered transition support, training and multiple options for sending e-invoices, so that suppliers operations wouldn’t be affected.
Suppliers, depending on their technological proficiency, could either log in and create invoices in our portal, or, integrate their accounting system directly with that of Carrefour. Either way, invoices undergo the same check and validation stages, error management and status management, so that suppliers know in real-time the status of their documents. Plus, suppliers choosing to use our portal also benefit from fiscal document archiving and continous phone support.
Next, DocProcess implemented the e-order facility, helping speed up the AP processes even more. Carrefour buyers create POs in their information system and these are automatically routed to our portal or to the respective supplier information system. The supplier can instantly flip the e-order to an e-invoice. It completely eliminates the manual work of keying-in invoice data in the portal or their ERP, helping them become more efficient.
Within 4 years of working with Carrefour we achieved:
- 95% supplier onboarding rate
- over 2.9 million invoices per year are e-invoices
- accurate invoices with less than 0.1% errors
- paper invoice management time reduced by more than 50%
- a sharp drop in supplier litigation
- full legal and fiscal compliance and traceability for both buyer and suppliers