Sodexho-Alliance Group is a worldwide leader in the restaurant and services sector, with 24,900 sites in 76 countries, 313,000 employees, and a turnover of EUR11.5 billion. Sodexho France is one of the Group's major subsidiaries.
Sodexho France has made significant gains in its Shared Services Centre by automating its supplier invoice processing. This automation is a key element in its strategy to reduce costs and implement a set of best practices within the Group.
Thierry Person, Chief Accounting Officer of the Shared Services Centre recalled their goal: "We were looking for a solution that could be constantly upgraded, but first of all we wanted to maintain the Group's existing SAPÂ® based infrastructure. In addition, we were not willing to give up the gains we had already made thanks to EDI."
Xavier Filiu, Chief Officer of SAP Projects at Sodexho's Continental Europe IT Services, specified: Each of our projects must provide significant benefits for our personnel and support services. At Sodexho, we chose our Automatic Document Processing solution with the utmost care to ensure it would offer us the maximum return.
When Sodexho consulted with its integrator, IBM, it quickly realised that ITESOFT.Freemind for Invoices was the best solution for its needs. Xavier Filiu added: "The fact that IBM was favourable to ITESOFT's solution helped us make a decision more rapidly. In any case, ITESOFT.Freemind for Invoices corresponded exactly to our specifications: the best automation performance, optimal validation methods, simplified dispute management, centralised document processing, and guaranteed fast payments thanks to a gain of time in terms of invoice processing.
IBM took full responsibility for installing ITESOFT.Freemind for Invoices in a situation characterised by a wide variety of sources (6,000 suppliers) and a technical environment with "full SAP" for the ERP, the DMS and the workflow system. Thanks to its worldwide reach, IBM can also help set up this solution throughout the world at other subsidiaries of the Sodexho Group. The ITESOFT.FreeMind solution has been operational since Q1 2005.
In conclusion, Thierry Person declared: "Invoice processing with the ITESOFT.Freemind for Invoices solution really helped convince people that it would be possible to set up centralised invoice processing at the SSC. We optimised operations to process invoices better and more quickly! The figures speak for themselves: we had estimated that our ROI would be in 8 months, but it came even quicker!"
Xavier Filiu emphasised that: "This initiative-backed up by its concrete results--is complementary to our initial desire to develop EDI exchanges with third parties. It gives us easy access to images of invoice documents integrated into SAP using a simple indexing system. Although the final result is not a paper-free office, it has become much easier to consult invoices. In the near future, we will focus our efforts on the reading of handwritten documents with the help of ITESOFT".