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Achieving efficiency gains and cost savings through automation
Greater efficiency and better spend visibility with Basware’s easy-to-use, scalable, maintenance-friendly e-invoicing solution that integrates with SAP.
Impressed by its ease of use and functionality, Bilderberg decided to move away from manual processing and automate its invoice handling process with Basware. Bilderberg’s 18 hotels are situated across the Netherlands, often in beautiful, wooded locations. They aim to ensure that every stay – whether for business or pleasure – is a remarkable experience.
Bilderberg can offer a very personal set-up compared to their larger competitors in the Netherlands. As a bespoke hotel chain it has a long-tail of suppliers helping cultivate its unique experiences. Bilderberg’s suppliers submit around 40,000 invoices each year.
FTE productivity gain
Until Basware, the company’s 18 hotels independently ordered their products from regular or local suppliers. The invoice was sent to the hotel that placed the order and was manually entered into SAP.
To achieve greater efficiency, we decided to automate the invoicing process as part of our corporate reorganisation. Bing Váhl, Purchase Manager, Bilderberg
While the administration was decentralised, payments were centralised at the head office in Renkum. However, to achieve greater efficiency, Bilderberg needed to embrace automation.
Spend visibility was challenging. It was easy for an employee to assign an invoice to a different spend category than their colleague at another hotel. This made it nearly impossible for Bilderberg’s purchasing department to have a good overview of hotel purchases.
Bilderberg had approximately 40 financial staff working across the hotel locations, which were responsible for invoice processing. Centralising this workforce would help drive efficiencies and productivity gains.
Bilderberg spoke with four companies, including Basware and Basware’s implementation partner, iCreative. Bilderberg selected Basware primarily for its ease of use and because it’s scalable, maintenance-friendly, and has a strong track record integrating the SAP systems.
Once that decision was made, a Basware expert from iCreative worked with Bilderberg on developing the blueprint for their solution and the implementation rollout.
Its user-friendliness, in particular, was phenomenal. Installation went well and was successful. A dedicated project manager, assisted by a technical consultant, helped us get used to the new program.Stéphanie van der Stelt, Manager Finance Accounting & Control, Bilderberg
After a successful installation, Bilderberg trained all hotel employees in electronic invoice receiving and invoice validation. Also, a supplier enablement program was set up as suppliers now have to send their invoices electronically.
Invoices arrive via the supplier support portal or a centrally managed inbox where they enter the Basware system. The invoices are received and coded by line item automatically and routed to the correct workflow.
Then, the hotels are notified that an invoice is ready for approval. Everything is centrally received and processed. The only decentralised activity is approving the invoices.
The ease of the Basware solution was one of the deciding factors. When you enter into a major change, you don’t want to deal with cumbersome, overly technical systems. All invoices need to enter the same workflow as soon as possible. Bing Váhl, Purchase Manager, Bilderberg
The total number of full-time employees (FTEs) has been significantly reduced from 40 down to 3, and Bilderberg now has 100% spend visibility into payments. Invoices are now easier to track, as the team can locate the exact whereabouts of an invoice. Bilderberg now has much more insight into what each of its hotels is doing.
In the past, all Bilderberg hotels received 90% of their invoices via regular mail. Today, they receive 80% of invoices electronically. Of course, there is the hope that in the future, all invoices will be paperless.
In short, costs have been reduced, and efficiency has gone through the roof! Stéphanie van der Stelt, Manager Finance Accounting & Control, Bilderberg
The first part of the transition at Bilderberg – moving to a digital invoice handling process – has been completed. Purchasing will be the business's next focus, as increased efficiency in this part of the organisation is a priority.
Bilderberg is also looking to implement Basware Analytics to identify even more efficiencies gains in their ap and procurement processes.