Stolt-Nielsen Automating AP

Chemical transporter targets 85 percent invoice cycle time reduction by streamlining accounts payable

Vienna, VA September 9, 2003 Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group, the world's largest provider of transportation services for bulk liquid chemicals and edible oils, has tapped a solution from HandySoft to centralize and automate its processing of global invoices.

HandySoft, a provider of business process management (BPM) solutions, this week announced the general availability of BizFlow Accelerator for Accounts Payable (AP), the latest solution in the BizFlow Accelerator Suite for Finance.

Stolt-Nielsen's accounts payable process is extremely complex due to the global nature of its business and the rigorous approval controls in place. Cargo of this nature requires invoicing that must include environmental regulation permissions and approvals. As a result, a single invoice can exceed 100 pages. Moreover, invoices have to be routed to and from Houston and Greenwich, Rotterdam, Singapore as well as more than 20 other locations worldwide.

By using BizFlow Accelerator for AP, Stolt-Nielsen projects an 85 percent reduction in invoice cycle time via integration with its Hummingbird electronic document management system and its financial enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

"We process about 900,000 invoices on an annual basis, and we felt that we could realize tremendous cost and efficiency savings by centralizing and automating our accounts payable processes," said Mickey Stayman, business systems manager at Stolt-Nielsen. "BizFlow Accelerator for AP enables us to almost completely automate our AP processes, reducing cycle times from 20 to three days, eliminating the re-keying of data into the ERP system and providing our managers with complete visibility of the status of any invoice at any time."

A recent survey of more than 500 companies conducted by The Institute of Management & Administration (IOMA) showed that enhanced automation of the invoice and travel and expense (T&E) voucher process can reduce invoice-processing costs by 50 percent, while vendor payment cycle time can be reduced by almost 80 percent. Similarly, the cost to process T&E voucher payments drops by up to 80 percent through high process automation, with a sharp drop in the processing error rate.

HandySoft said its BizFlow Accelerator for AP optimizes cash flow, strengthens and improves vendor relationships and gains the reporting needed on accounts payable and related systems to take additional steps in corporate governance. It also enables integration of current AP systems and processes into a unified solution that tracks payables from submission to payment, auto-pays routine invoices, handles exceptions that require human attention and reports on where invoices are in the approval and payment process, according to HandySoft.

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