With millions of invoices received annually in countries around the globe, it was inefficient for ABB to continue relying on manual invoice processing methods. The company turned to Basware's invoice automation solution with the goals of increasing efficiency, achieving a higher degree of visibility and standardizing the invoice handling process.
Establish shared service centers
As the global leader in power and automation technologies for utilities and industry, ABB receives and processes millions of invoices each year in countries all around the world. Trying to keep track of all these invoices and manage accounts payable (AP) processes was a very labor intensive and time-consuming process. With a vision to standardize processes and improve efficiencies, the company decided to establish country-based Shared Accounting Service Centers (SAS Centers), governed by the Shared Accounting Services Lead Center (SAS LC). At the same time, the company embarked on its journey to further automate AP operations.
In addition to AP, Accounts Receivable, General Accounting and Fixed Assets operations were implemented in SAS Centers in several countries around the globe. Currently, SAS Centers are operational in 34 countries. Determined to achieve more effective invoice processing, ABB conducted a thorough evaluation of automated invoice processing solutions, and with input from several ABB locations worldwide, selected Basware’s invoice automation solution as a preferred solution.
Basware and ABB Switzerland jointly designed the system architecture based on ABB’s processes and requirements, with input from Basware regarding best practices. Basware configured the system to interface with the company’s SAP systems. The Basware solution is being used by 4,000 users in Switzerland, alone.
Processing time cut in half
Today, the Basware solution is used to scan in purchase invoices, validate the scanned data, and incorporate the invoices into Basware’s invoice automation system in one single step — cutting the initial processing time in half. After the invoices are scanned into the system, they are automatically sent for review and approval and then transferred to the ERP system for payment. The Basware solution enables ABB Switzerland to adopt end-to-end electronic processes, as well as ensures efficiency and reliability
Global productivity gains, process improvements
The flexibility of Basware’s invoice automation system and its ability to adapt to local variations of ABB’s standard accounts payable process, enabled ABB to implement the solution in 18 countries so far — including Switzerland, Russia, China and Japan — with more coming on board over the next couple of years.
”The increased visibility and efficiency that invoice automation provides has made it an attractive solution not only for countries with high labor costs, but also for those where labor costs are low, such as China and Egypt,” says Jonsson.
Continued process improvements lie ahead
“We were already using Basware in a few countries, and the solution had a solid track record of results."
Pether Jonsson, Group Vice President.