Investment

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eBilling = Environmental Billing at DHL In October 2008, DHL, global leader in the international express and logistics industry, announced its plans to eliminate over one third of the 18 million paper invoices it sends out across Europe annually by 2010, saving approximately 2,400 trees and 600 tonnes of C02 each year. DHL customers using the eBilling service no longer need to receive their invoices on paper, they simply log in to an online portal to view and approve them electronically. In this interview, Brian Thumwood, eBilling Manager, Europe at DHL talks to Helen Sanders, Editor.

eBilling = Environmental Billing at DHL

Interview with Brian Thumwood, eBilling Manager, Europe

In October 2008, DHL, global leader in the international express and logistics industry, announced its plans to eliminate over one third of the 18 million paper invoices it sends out across Europe annually by 2010, saving approximately 2,400 trees and 600 tonnes of C02 each year. DHL customers using the eBilling service no longer need to receive their invoices on paper, they simply log in to an online portal to view and approve them electronically. In this interview, Brian Thumwood, eBilling Manager, Europe at DHL talks to Helen Sanders, Editor.

Customers' invoice processing is enhanced as they can import data directly into their systems without scanning.

What made you decide to implement eBilling at DHL?

Protecting the environment is very important to DHL and eBilling plays a significant role in our social responsibility and sustainability plan. The marketing strap line for this project is ‘eBilling – loved by trees’ as we know that this issue really matters to our customers too. Valuable resources including paper, ink, electricity and fuel are all consumed unnecessarily in the paper invoicing process every day. 

However, while we have been under increasing pressure from some customers to generate invoices electronically, both for environmental and processing efficiency reasons, until 2006 we did not have resources internally to manage the migration from physical to electronic invoices. We then appointed a new manager with experience in eBilling who could co-ordinate the project.

How did you decide on which solution to use to support eBilling?

The decision to implement an electronic document exchange system brought a variety of challenges as we needed to transmit the invoice data rather than simply an image. We had an EDI gateway already through which we can exchange PDFs with customers or post invoices to the web. It was difficult to find a partner to help us with delivering a genuine eBilling service, as although there were lots of promises by prospective partners, there were very few solutions which would meet our needs. For example, although there are a number of domestic solutions available, we were looking for a pan-European solution delivered by a vendor with experience of similar implementations. We selected Accountis Ltd, a division of Fundtech, which is a provider of secure financial document exchange and payment systems with whom DHL has now been working for over two years.

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