Logistics company DHL is rolling out e-invoicing across Europe, and expects to save millions of pounds by reducing billing costs by at least 15% across the region.
E-invocing will enable DHL to eliminate the paper, printing and postage costs associated with traditional billing.
"Savings of 15% is a conservative estimate based on cutting direct costs and switching 30% of customers to e-invoicing, said Brian Thumwood, e-billing programme manager at DHL.
"Additional benefits, such as faster payment and a reduction in the number of copies of documents, will further contribute to savings."
DHL has implemented the Accountis electronic invoicing and payment system in the UK, Belgium and Switzerland. DHL said it chose Accountis because of the supplier's experience in working across multiple countries.
DHL plans to roll out the system to 22 other European countries in the next two years, which will enable about six million paper invoices a year to be eliminated.
The company expects to cut out up to 336,000 paper invoices a year in the UK alone, where it plans to migrate 40% of customers to the system by the end of 2008.
DHL's implementation of e-billing has been boosted by the 2004 EU Electronic Invoicing Directive, which means customers can no longer use the completion of tax returns as an argument for needing paper invoices. However, Thumwood said there was still some resistance to e-invoicing.
In most countries, 30% of customers are expected to switch to e-billing in the first year, but DHL aims to increase this number by demonstrating the greater speed, efficiency and information offered by the system.