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Esker, the leader in document process automation solutions, today announced that KONE Corporation, one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry, has selected Esker to automate and outsource the sending of its customer invoices in France. Specifically, over one million pages are issued each year out of KONE’s SAP application. Deployed in less than eight days, the Esker solution enables KONE to cut in half the time spent sending customer invoices and to benefit from a return on investment solely based on the decrease in postage costs. KONE’s project with Esker is part of its strategy to outsource IT and will enable KONE to progressively move from paper to electronic invoicing.

From the Oxygen Tower in Lyon to the Paris Opera House, KONE manages, in France alone, over 100,000 elevators and 130,000 building doors for its 100,000 customers. This sizeable customer base generates a large volume of invoices – over 355,000 envelopes are sent yearly, with peak volumes capable of reaching over 40,000 on certain days.

Having already decided to outsource the sending of its customer invoices issued from its SAP system, KONE was looking for a vendor capable of addressing issues including a high incident rate, a lack of invoice traceability and occasional restricted mailing needs.

“When working with a critical process such as customer invoicing, we required a level of quality and traceability beyond reproach. Esker was able to perfectly respond to our needs and even delivered solutions beyond what we initially imagined – grouping invoices to the same recipient in one envelope, transpromotional capabilities and the ability to provide information on returned mail, such as when the recipient had moved or was no longer at the indicated address. Our decision to go with Esker was based on its double expertise in mail production and document process automation, which will allow us to gradually move from paper to electronic invoicing,” explained Arnaud Allavena, Project Manager, KONE France.

Implemented without any custom development, the Esker solution has enabled KONE to automate and outsource the sending of over 355,000 envelopes per year – 1,200,000 pages – via Esker production facilities. Thanks to Esker, KONE enjoys numerous benefits including:

  • Customer invoice sending time reduced by more than 50 percent – now only two days are needed to send over 20,000 mail pieces, while previously one week was required
  • Significant reduction in delivery and postage costs with automatic grouping of invoices to the same recipient in the same envelope
  • Broader sending capacities through leverage of the Esker production facility infrastructure
  • Transpromotional communications due to the ability to print invoices in color and systematically include one page of customer communications on the back side of the invoice
  • Guaranteed invoice traceability with real-time tracking and reporting into an SQL database.

“One of the keys to the success of outsourcing the sending of customer invoices was our business approach to the project. Beyond a technology project, it was first and foremost a business project, which required the understanding of the different business processes. Today we are very satisfied with the Esker solutions. The implementation was achieved in a record eight days — not even 10 days were required before we had it up and running with no training needed! We have seen a profitable return on our investment entirely based on the savings achieved on postage costs and the grouping of invoices by customer,” concluded Allavena.

About KONE

KONE is one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry. The company has been committed to understanding the needs of its customers for the past century, providing industry-leading elevators, escalators and automatic building doors as well as innovative solutions for modernization and maintenance. The company’s objective is to offer the best people flow experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely, comfortably and without waiting in buildings in an increasingly urbanized environment. In 2010, KONE had annual net sales of 5 billion euros and approximately 33,800 employees. KONE class B shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd in Finland.