Global Industrial Group thyssenkrupp

A digital document management project

thyssenkrupp, a global industrial group, wanted the processing of invoices and travel expenses to be digitized worldwide. They initially tried to convince their numerous international suppliers of the benefits of electronic invoicing. They also planned a change of service provider for travel expense processing.
The company recognized that with a suitable outsourcing partner, the document digitization of invoices and expenses would improve operational efficiency and lead to further business success.
They commissioned the experts in document management digitization, Swiss Post Solutions, with document digitization, process standardization and process optimization for a partnership covering more than 20 countries.

About thyssenkrupp

thyssenkrupp is an engineering group with strengths in materials. Over 162,000 employees in 78 countries work with passion and technological know-how to develop high-quality products and intelligent industrial processes and services for sustainable progress. Their skills and commitment are the basis of the company’s success. In fiscal year 2018/2019 thyssenkrupp generated sales of $46 billion. Together with its customers, they develop competitive solutions for future challenges in their respective industries. With our engineering expertise, they enable customers to gain an edge in the global market and manufacture innovative products in a costand resource- friendly way. Their technologies and innovations are the key to meeting diverse customer and market requirements around the world, growing on the markets of the future and generating stable earnings, cash flows and value growth.

The Challenge

The customer operates several shared service locations worldwide for managing back-office services such as e-billing and accounts payable and receivable. In line with corporate goals, internal services are outsourced to ensure maximum efficiency. Inbound e-mail invoices are to be incorporated into a new standard process.
A further challenge was the administration of numerous different ERP systems and SAP releases. As part of the digitalization process, an Ariba-compliant format was generated and the scanned documents and XML files were provided via FTP.
In order to optimize the invoice management, the company sought a global provider offering the highest possible coverage rate between the scan locations and the company‘s own national subsidiaries.
During the selection procedure with different suppliers, SPS scored as a global full-service provider for physical and digital document management in several respects:
  • Location coverage by SPS is ideal for providing professional support to 24 countries
  • Renowned reference customers confirmed the competence and reliability of Swiss Post Solutions, which already handles invoice processing for 40% of all DAX companies
  • In addition, the highly motivated team at the SPS site in Vietnam, which is responsible for post-processing, was impressive

The Solution

The solution to standardizing document management across 24 countries was to connect all of the locations digitally. Such as grand operation needed to be outsourced to ensure impartial and high-level project management, in addition to being able to use the skills of an outsourced document management vendor.
The digital transformation of global document management enabled the customer to:
  • Process invoices and travel expenses worldwide, from locations across 24 different countries
  • Receipt, digitization, organization and archive standardization of invoices via different input channels
  • Further processing of invoices via SPS‘s digital input platform
  • Post-processing at the SPS site in Vietnam
  • Provision of files via FTP

Regional invoice processing with central quality assurance

In order to create a globally standardized process, all invoice management was outsourced to SPS. Standardizing this operation involved processing invoices received at many different regions and being managed at one central location: SPS.
SPS would receive the invoice documents, which were addressed to the customer, via different input channels from across the world. After initial sorting, the paper documents would be digitized. The documents were then further processed via SPS‘s digital input platform. The header information and invoice items were read out automatically. If anything was unclear, the SPS team manually ensured that the documents, which were available in around 20 different languages, were entered correctly as part of quality assurance. As soon as the digitized data was transferred to the company, the original documents were destroyed in a legally compliant manner.

The Benefits

  • 24 countries with one standardized invoice management process
  • Faster processing thanks to digitization and automation
  • The whole process took 6 months to go live in Germany
  • Compliance with country-specific requirements
The implementation of the process, in which around 4 million documents were processed annually in the final stage of the roll-out, took just under six months. Within a few months of signing the contract, all German travel expense receipts were being processed by SPS and a few weeks later invoice processing in Germany was converted.
After the successful execution of the process in German subsidiaries and a stabilization phase, the systematic roll out into the company’s other country organizations took place. Depending on their size, individual countries were grouped together to ensure efficient rollout. The country-specific regulations were observed during processing.
Start a conversation with SPS about standardizing your document management operation,

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