Voice of the Industry

An Van Brussel, Joris Vanderlinden, and Bart de Backer: Barry Callebaut Belgium adopts Anachron`s e-invoicing solution

Monday 24 November 2014 14:35 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Voice of the industry

Anachron’s e-invoicing solution delivers a superior customer experience and accelerates the order-to-cash processes

“We’ve started with our bigger customers, because it’s easier to sell them on the benefits of e-invoicing, and it has a significant impact. Convincing a large customer to move invoicing online can reduce our paper invoices by 1%, whereas a smaller customer might only decrease it by 0.1%.”, says Joris Vanderlinden, Process and Change Analyst, Customer Care, Western Europe.

Customer success at a glance
Client: Barry Callebaut Belgium
Industry: Food manufacturing
Specialty: High-end cocoa and chocolates

Key facts

• 9,300 employees
• 30 countries
• 50 production facilities
• USD 6.5 billion/ EUR 4.8 billion in annual revenues
• Global leader in sustainable cocoa production
• E-invoicing platform to distribute 150,000 invoices annually

E-invoicing goals

• Provide electronic invoicing capabilities for enterprise customers
• Meet customer demand for instant and ongoing online invoice availability
• Comply with complex market and legal requirements
• Acquire hybrid – e-invoicing and print and mail – invoicing capabilities
• Implement leading solution quickly and cost-effectively
• Reduce lost invoices, decreasing staff workloads and accelerating payment cycles

Project scope

• Chocolate business in Western Europe

Anachron solution attributes

• Deploy corporate e-invoicing SaaS platform
• White-label solution for Barry Callebaut’s businesses
• Provide print and mail capabilities via partner Pyramid
• Integrates seamlessly with SAP ERP system
• Scales easily to add new businesses and geographies
• Offers multi-lingual, multi-currency e-invoicing, with digital signatures and archiving
• Ensures compliance with individual country requirements

Roadmap for adopting e-invoicing

• Use Gartner recommendations to evaluate several providers
• Select Anachron as e-invoicing partner due to expertise and solution breadth
• Barry Callebaut chooses to generate invoices internally
• Anachron and Pyramid handle invoicing distribution

Plan for success

• The e-invoicing platform went live in January 2014 in Western Europe
• Seeking to move 50% of invoices online by the end of 2015

Customer results

• 400+ customers are now online
• +25% of non-EDI invoices are distributed electronically
• The solution distributes invoices to 25 European countries
• The company uses business rules to govern invoice production
• Electronic invoices are delivered on the same day they are posted
• Mailed invoices are delivered within one to five days using priority stamps
• Lost invoices have been significantly reduced

Barry Callebaut Belgium adopts e-invoicing to deliver a superior customer experience and accelerate the order-to-cash process
A global leader of cocoa and chocolate products manufacturing, Barry Callebaut is renowned for its commitment to innovation and sustainability. Founded more than 100 years ago, the company has grown its market share by expanding its high quality products, evolving its production processes, and developing a dynamic supply chain that benefits all participants.

Barry Callebaut takes the same approach to its corporate processes, seeking to adopt new technologies that reduce costs, scale with growth, and empower customers. While Barry Callebaut provided electronic data interchange (EDI) services for its largest corporate customers, EDI wasn’t a feasible invoicing option for most enterprises due to its cost and complexity.

An Van Brussel, an IT Project Manager with Barry Callebaut, explains, “We were looking for an electronic invoicing solution for our customers in Western Europe so that they could have instant access to their invoices and download them anytime. In Europe, you have all of these countries with different legislative requirements. So it’s not just about presenting invoices in multiple languages and currencies, it’s about meeting country-by-country digital signatures and archiving requirements.”

Furthermore, Joris Vanderlinden, Process and Change Analyst, Customer Care, Western Europe, adds “Our e-invoicing project was about customer care. We want to offer a certain level of service to our customers and constantly improve it.”

Build vs. buy: outsourcing offers faster path to success
Barry Callebaut stood up an e-invoicing team that included An, Joris, and Bart de Backer, Credit Controller. The group quickly decided that building an internal IT solution wouldn’t be feasible. An stated “let’s look at an outsourced solution and really investigate SaaS platforms. We did what we often do with other projects, which is turn to Gartner,” states An.

Printing costs also factored into the team’s decision making, as handling print and mail internally would have required the purchase and operation of expensive machinery and ongoing materials costs. So it was clear that any e-invoicing solution provider Barry Callebaut partnered with would also need to provide print and mail capabilities.

After reviewing Gartner’s recommendations, Barry Callebaut invited five companies to meet with them. Anachron made the shortlist and was selected as the company’s new e-invoicing partner. An says that Anachron was the logical choice based on the company’s expertise in the complex European market, completeness of its solution, and ability to integrate with the company’s SAP ERP system.

Planning the journey to e-invoicing
Barry Callebaut decided to implement the invoice management solution using a phased approach. The company went live with Anachron’s corporate e-invoicing solution in January 2014, white-labeling it for its chocolate business customers in Western Europe. Customers have already responded favorably to the new service, according to Joris. Staff at a leading snack company have told the team that they appreciate the fact that Barry Callebaut is delivering exceptional “21st century service,” while employees at a key bakery supplies manufacturer appreciate their partner’s support of their drive to create a paperless office.

A hands-on approach to winning solution adoption
Taking a personal approach to adoption, Bart’s team is contacting customers directly and explaining the benefits of electronic invoices. “If you have a great system, you need to sell it accordingly and make sure that everyone knows about it,” says Joris. He believes that one-to-one outreach has been critical to winning rapid support from the larger customers who generate most of the company’s invoicing volume. While each call takes a few minutes, it avoids the need to send multiple letters and emails, which customers might ignore.

The Credit Control onboarding team focused its energy on its largest accounts first. Joris explains: “We’ve started with our bigger customers, because it’s easier to sell them on the benefits of e-invoicing, and it has a significant impact. Convincing a large customer to move invoicing online can reduce our paper invoices by 1%, whereas a smaller customer might only decrease it by 0.1%.”

Currently, more than 400 of the company’s 3,500 customers for the Western European operation are using the e-invoicing platform, and the company has already achieved its 2014 target of generating 25% of its invoices online. Pyramid Document Solutions provides print and mail services, which are fully integrated into the e-invoicing solution to accelerate document flows.

Faster order to cash processes strengthen financial operations
Using the white-labeled Anachron platform enables Barry Callebaut to streamline the order to cash process. Previously, it took the operations two to seven days to mail printed invoices. Now, the finance group uses business rules to guide the invoice production process. Electronic invoices are delivered the same day they are posted, and mailed invoices are delivered in one to five days, using priority stamps. In addition, lost invoices are now a rare occurrence, due to electronic delivery.

While Anachron provides invoice generation services, Barry Callebaut chose to keep these processes in-house due to their complexity. Barry Callebaut provides Anachron with invoice PDFs and I-docs with data for customer overviews. Anachron distributes the invoices on its platform, providing them in the language and currency each customer uses, ensuring they each have the correct digital signature, and archiving them according to each country’s legal requirements.

Working with Anachron
Besides the already finalized project, the two partners will use the strong foundation they have established to push forward and achieve Barry Callebaut’s business objectives for the Western European market. For this cocoa and chocolate products manufacturer, simplifying invoicing processes for its customers will be a lasting and sweet victory.

About Anachron
Anachron e-invoicing solutions enable companies to provide exceptional customer service, increase financial transparency, and gain significant cost savings that accrue to both billers and recipients. Firms ranging from global companies to small businesses use Anachron’s SaaS invoice management platforms to streamline critical business processes in complex markets.
Anachron has been named by Gartner as a leading e-invoicing provider on three separate occasions. For more information, please visit www.anachron.com.

About Barry Callebaut Group
With annual sales of about CHF 5.9 billion (EUR 4.8 billion / USD 6.5 billion) in fiscal year 2013/14, the Barry Callebaut Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products – from sourcing and processing cocoa beans to producing the finest chocolates, including chocolate fillings, decorations and compounds. The Group runs more than 50 production facilities worldwide and employs a diverse and dedicated global workforce of over 9,300 people.

For more information, please visit www.barry-callebaut.com

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Keywords: An Van Brussel, Joris Vanderlinden, Bart de Backer, Barry Callebaut Belgium, Anachron, e-invoicing solution
Countries: World

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