E-invoicing has well and truly surpassed the one billion mark, with the latest figures from members of the European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association (EESPA) reporting that 1.25 billion electronic invoices were processed and delivered for their clients in a 12 month period. This is definitive evidence of something we at Tungsten Network know well – e-invoicing is gaining an unstoppable momentum and transforming the way many of us do business.
These figures reveal a staggering year-on-year growth of 27 per cent, compared with the previous year’s volumes of 985 million. Around two thirds (766 million invoices) of these invoices were B2B or B2G (Business-to-Business or Business-to-Government) and a third (485 million invoices) were B2C (Business-to-Consumer).
One reason why this growth will continue is the move to e-invoicing by EU public administrations as a result of Directive 2014/55/EU but we also believe that increasing numbers of private businesses are embracing e-invoicing, recognising the numerous benefits, cost savings and efficiencies.
One such business is Mondelez, the world’s largest snack producer. It has thousands of suppliers across the globe and has been working with Tungsten’s platform since 2009.
Mark Boswell, procurement business process manager at Mondelez, explains: “We’ve always been ahead of the curve when it comes to e-invoicing but, that said, it’s been a tough journey. One of the main hurdles we’ve found is to make sure all the different parts of the business are aligned.”
In this interview Mark outlines the challenges Mondelez faced in explaining how e-invoicing works to the different parts of the business and helping his colleagues see that a PDF invoice is no more reliable than a paper invoice. Establishing true e-invoicing across the business has been a long process which started off slowly but now has an impetus of its own.
Mondelez is typical of the sort of business we work with – we want to be more than a service provider and to really add value and reduce friction in the supply chain. The Mondelez journey is a good example of how we work hand-in-hand with a business and in its case, how we have run workshops to educate suppliers and other stakeholders in key areas surrounding the uptake of e-invoicing. This approach is bearing fruit for Mondelez as over the past three years, it has gone from processing 80,000 invoices digitally a year to 500,000….and the journey is not over yet
In his interview, Mark engagingly predicts that e-invoicing will continue to revolutionise the payment process for businesses across the world. He sees the evolution of e-invoicing as similar to the journey from landline to mobile or fax to email. He concludes: “In 10-15 years, we will be in a very different place. It might take some time, but the benefits are well worth it. In time, paper invoices will be forgotten.”
We believe that Mark’s optimism is spot on. Despite smashing through the “billion invoice” mark last year, there is still so much potential for growth. Our mission at Tungsten is to continue to spread the word about the power of e-invoicing to transform business processes, and success stories like Mondelez are all part of our word of mouth campaign.