Swedavia, Pagero and IFS: flying high on the wings of sustainable invoicing
Swedavia prides themselves on developing “airports of the future” that provide a smooth, safe travel experience. Fifteen years since they integrated Pagero’s services into their IFS system to digitalise their invoice handling, the focus is still on innovation and sustainability. Going digital has not only led to greener business practices but also more cost-efficient ways of running the airports.
Streamlining processes since 2005
Swedavia owns, operates and develops the national infrastructure of airports in Sweden. The ten airports form a system that connects Sweden – and Sweden to the world. The company was formed in 2010 and is wholly owned by the Swedish state.
In 2005, when Swedavia was still part of LFV (the Civil Aviation Administration) it became a requirement for Swedish authorities in the public sector to be able to receive e-invoices. Since their ERP system supplier IFS was already partnered with Pagero at the time, they chose to go with Pagero’s solution for receiving e-invoices. Later, to further optimise their invoice flows, Swedavia began using Pagero for sending e-invoices as well.
“Before we started with e-invoicing, the process involved a lot more manual work. This was mainly enveloping, mailing and requesting copies from suppliers on invoices we had not received,” explains Klara Bodin, support specialist at Swedavia. “We work primarily in IFS of course, but I log on to Pagero Online every day to check when e-invoices were sent or received and to control our scanned e-invoices. Our entire flow now goes through Pagero before it lands in IFS, making everything electronic for us,” she says.
“We save a great deal of money with e-invoicing, both in terms of labour costs and incidental administrative costs”
Discovering potential through data and electronic flows
According to Bodin, one of the most useful platforms in Pagero Online is the Analytics Dashboard: “Utilising the possibility of analysing our flows, we have discovered where there’s potential for improvement and which customers we can push to increase their flows.”
The dashboard is always developing to meet customer needs. The recent release of the Environmental Dashboard ties in neatly with Swedavia’s own work to become more sustainable. “We can use the Environmental Dashboard to make a case for customers who are reluctant to switch to e-invoicing,” Bodin comments.
More than just saving paper
E-invoicing started as a requirement, but now it is an important part of Swedavia’s sustainability work. The company has formulated strategies for long-term sustainable development and have set a zero percent emissions target at their airports. “Swedavia takes the responsibility of reducing paper consumption and minimising mail handling seriously by digitalising our business processes,” declares Bodin. Emeli Arnryd, application manager at Swedavia adds, “The environment is always top-of-mind for us, so we want to waste as little paper as possible on print-outs. This is a way of minimising our impact on the climate.”
Paper invoicing is a wasteful process, not only because of all the single-use products such as paper, stamps and envelopes. The transportation of invoices also plays a big role in making paper invoicing an unsustainable, costly and time-consuming process. “We save a great deal of money with e-invoicing, both in terms of labour costs and incidental administrative costs,” explains Arnryd. She continues, “Today we have no packaging costs, no paper costs and minimal postage. The biggest profit we have gained, though, is through savings on labour costs. We have an unbelievably efficient flow today because nothing requires any hands-on activity, neither for inbound nor outbound invoices. Instead, we handle everything completely digitally.”
“One of the biggest reasons we chose to go with Pagero’s solution was thanks to the partnership with IFS”
With the help of Pagero’s application for IFS, Swedavia has been able to streamline both their AP and AR processes. “One of the biggest reasons we chose to go with Pagero’s solution was thanks to the partnership with IFS. It is an advantage that Pagero is knowledgeable about our systems and already has solutions for the challenges that we come across,” Bodin states. “It’s apparent that Pagero is a well-established company with very extensive experience of the e-invoicing process. Apart from a great knowledge of IFS, they are able to handle a lot of different formats and are always up-to-date on industry news,” she says.
To 100% e-invoice flows, and beyond
What advice would Klara Bodin give to other companies looking to digitalise their invoice processes? “Get help from Pagero with processing of the suppliers and/or customers when starting up. This will get the process going faster. A lot of times when you do an onboarding project and there’s a snag in the process, it’s up to the service providers to work it out. My experience has shown that it can get really messy, but that’s not the case with Pagero. We always get quick help with anything regarding support and they have a really knowledgeable staff,” Bodin affirms.
When asked about future plans for Swedavia’s collaboration with Pagero, to Bodin the answer is simple: “Continue working to increase our number of e-invoices.” There are more areas in the financial department that they also want to streamline. “We are interested in looking at the possibility of also handling orders in e-format, so that might be the next step for Swedavia,” Bodin muses.
Swedavia owns, operates and develops Sweden’s national basic infrastructure of airports. These ten airports form a system that connects Sweden together – and connects Sweden with the rest of the world.