Everyone can send e-invoices—that is Svevia’s clear message. We meet Beatrice Albertsen and Linda Broby at Svevia’s accounts receivable, who talk about the journey from paper to e-invoices.
Each year Svevia receives approximately 300,000 invoices. Managing incoming paper invoices is enormously time-consuming. This is nothing new. Before Svevia and InExchange started their collaboration, Svevia had quite a reasonable incoming e-invoice flow of around 60%. They naturally wanted that number to increase and got in touch with InExchange.
“The large organizations represented the majority of our e-volumes,” explains Linda Broby of Svevia. “But as the technology progressed and made it possible for all kinds of companies to send e-invoices to us, we saw no reason to continue accepting paper invoices at all.”
Svevia was actually one of the first players in Sweden to put a clear stop to using paper. In the middle of September 2015, Svevia sent a message to its suppliers:
“If you send paper invoices to us, we will send them back.”
“Today we are at 92% e-invoices. Of course, there may be a number of reasons why people haven’t made the switch, but when we set a stop date and explained that we would be returning paper invoices, things really started to happen,” states Beatrice.
We still use smoke signals where we live
Svevia covers the whole size spectrum of suppliers—everything from smaller farmers who shovel snow to larger companies and municipalities.
And reaching the very smallest suppliers is often the hardest.
“I received a call the other day from a man who was slightly worried. ‘E-invoice? Computers? We still use smoke signals where we live!’ For those companies that have neither computers nor Internet connections, we offer the self-invoicing service which InExchange has developed. The supplier can easily turn to their local Svevia office, the invoice will be keyed in by our personnel, the supplier gets their money and we receive an e-invoice.”
Smart adapted solutions for the very smallest, and integrated solutions for the larger suppliers seems to be the recipe.
“Our major suppliers are offered integrated solutions which can be initiated very quickly. Before we started working with InExchange, this type of integration would take several months before our supplier would be able to send their first invoice to us.
This is a huge difference, and our suppliers now feel it is incredibly smooth and easy.”
Any tips for others who are embarking on a similar journey?
- Clear information for all suppliers
- Offer the suppliers customized sending solutions
- Ensure that everyone gets started. We have received amazingly good help from InExchange supplier activations.
“The changes will bring many positive effects.
When our suppliers accept e-invoices, we all achieve a more streamlined and secure flow that saves us money and handling time,” concludes Linda.
In the fall of 2015, Svevia received the InExchange environmental award for its work in digitizing invoice processing.