MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Esker, a foremost authority in document process automation solutions and SAP® software solution and technology partner, today announced it has been selected by Albemarle Corporation, a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals, to automate its invoicing process with a unified platform via the Esker on Demand automation solution for Accounts Payable (AP) processes.
“We considered in-house development, but our expertise to provide a quick solution was limited”
Albemarle’s global invoice processing efforts take place, largely, at two shared service centers in Dalian and Budapest. Supported by an aging, four-line fax server and manually processing about 12,000 invoices per month in multiple languages (i.e., Chinese, Dutch, English, French, Hungarian, German, Japanese and Korean), Albemarle continuously faced visibility, productivity and other performance issues with its previous method of workflow.
“We were expending a lot of time and resources manually processing our invoices,” said Eric Stratmann, Director of Global MRO Purchasing at Albemarle. “It was very limiting. Staff had to manually type in the invoice number, due date and amount, and getting visibility on invoices without a PO was nearly impossible. Our goal has always been to pay our suppliers in a timely fashion. But it was very challenging.”
Due to an antiquated fax system, state-of-the-art functional capability was also a challenge for Albemarle and was a key requirement for any new solution in the future. Albemarle’s current fax server wasn’t equipped to be used on a worldwide scale, provide OCR, or create invoices in SAP. So, Esker on Demand filled a need with a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution with SAP integration that could be implemented quickly.
Selecting a common-sense solution
Albemarle initially considered a “quick fix” approach, consisting of replacing the existing fax system but retaining the current process, as well as an outsourced solution where faxes would be delivered to an independent location. Albemarle considered 4-5 different suppliers but selected the Esker solution because it delivered the functionality they required at competitive pricing. “We considered in-house development, but our expertise to provide a quick solution was limited,” said Stratmann.
High expectations moving forward
Following the implementation of the Esker on Demand solution later this year, Albemarle expects to achieve the following objectives:
- Achieve a touchless processing rate of 50% for incoming invoices
- Greatly increase the productivity of AP processors
- Process 2-3 times more invoices per day
- Pay all suppliers with valid invoices on a timely basis
- Gain visibility on “problematic suppliers” who are not following invoicing rules
Albemarle’s implementation of the Esker on Demand Solution is one of the significant steps in driving global process improvement. Having full OCR and the ability to post invoices in SAP has created a step-change improvement in their global procure-to-pay process.
Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a leading global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, automotive/transportation, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services. Albemarle is committed to global sustainability and is advancing its eco-practices and solutions in three business segments: Polymer Solutions, Catalysts and Fine Chemistry. Corporate Responsibility Magazine selected Albemarle to its prestigious “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for 2010 and 2011. Albemarle employs approximately 4,000 people and serves customers in approximately 100 countries.
Esker is the worldwide leader in document process automation solutions. Addressing all types of business processes from accounts payable and accounts receivable to sales order processing and procurement, Esker cloud computing solutions enable companies to automate the reception, processing and sending of any business document with one platform. Esker helps over 80,000 companies across the world to reduce the use of paper and eliminate manual processes while improving their productivity, efficiency and environmental impact.
With 36 million euros in sales revenue in 2011, Esker operates in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific with global headquarters in Lyon, France and U.S. headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. Esker is listed on the NYSE Alternext in Paris (Code ISIN FR0000035818). For more information, visit www.esker.com. Follow Esker on Twitter at twitter.com/eskerinc and join the conversation on the Esker blog at www.quitpaper.com.
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