DHL plans to eliminate over one third of the 18 million paper invoices it sends out across Europe annually by 2010, effectively saving approximately 2400 trees and 600 tonnes of C02 each year by deploying e-billing from Accountis. DHL customers using the electronic billing service will no longer receive their invoices on paper, but instead log in to an online portal to view and approve them electronically.
The environmental benefits of e-billing were high on the agenda when DHL launched the service for customers in Belgium in 2007. In an interview with gtnews, Brian Thumwood, DHL’s e-billing manager for Europe, said: “As a large multinational transport organisation, we are aware of our carbon footprint and the impact that has on the countries where we work and are deployed. It is one of our core beliefs, part of our mission statement, to reduce our footprint and be more favourable to the environment we work in.”
DHL is currently experiencing a 30% increase in the number of e-invoices sent through the system each month. This proves “that organisations across Europe are ready and able to embrace this greener technology,” said Thumwood.
There are also economic advantages to adopting e-billing, such as reducing delivery costs, deflecting customer service calls, removing the need for reprints, improving accounts receivable efficiency, and releasing working capital. Thumwood believes this is a ‘win-win-win situation’ because the company saves money at the same time as being good for the environment and pleasing customers as well.
Accountis will support DHL’s e-billing expansion into most major European territories by the end of this year. When asked if DHL will deploy e-billing outside of Europe, Thumwood replied that the present conditions within Europe, compared to other jurisdictions, makes it more conducive to e-billing. “The economic advantage for us is that we can save money by switching off the paper because the solution is compliant with the EU directive, which means that the tax authorities have to accept e-invoices rather than paper. We don’t necessarily get those advantages in other countries,” he said.
Accountis has been working with DHL for two years developing its e-billing capabilities. DHL chose Accountis because it could provide a pan-European solution that was fully outsourced – a managed services package. “They had exactly the solution we wanted with the breadth of provision and style of service needed,” said Thumwood.
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