23 August 2001 | Robin Parker
A technology provider claims its electronic invoice delivery service can save companies millions of pounds.
OB10, from the Open Business Exchange (OBE), sends electronic invoices directly into companies' accounting or enterprise resource planning systems.
Buyers agree formats for invoicing and enroll their suppliers on the service. Suppliers send invoices to the secure OB10 website through the internet. These are then validated for completion of all mandatory fields.
Companies receive a day's invoices overnight, with additional HTML copies to use for authorisation requests, raising queries with suppliers or printing and filing. Processing is handled in the normal way.
OB1o has been launched in the UK and the US, and will be introduced throughout Europe in the last quarter of 2001.
OBE worked with tax authorities in both countries to develop the project. Companies in the UK using OB10 will no longer be required to process and retain paper invoices to meet Customs and Excise requirements.
"Storing paper invoices for six years creates overheads of between £4 and £10 an invoice," said Alain Falys, OBE's chief executive. "When most large companies have over half a million invoices a year, that's several million pounds saved."
Falys said the savings would provide a return on investment within six months.
Fisher Scientific, which piloted the service in June, has now offered it to its top 20 suppliers.