Tommy Hilfiger Europe has deployed an e-invoicing system to automate processes and reduce the cost of cross-border trading.

The clothing firm, whose UK headquarters are based in London, is using Sterling e-Invoicing from IBM firm Sterling Commerce, integrating with its SAP platform. Tommy Hilfiger’s accounts receivable department processes on average 33,000 invoices per month from 4,000 customers, and the company sought to improve profits by ensuring all invoices are processed accurately and on time.

An end-to-end audit of accounts receivables processes found that invoices cost around one Euro each to print and post internationally, and additional costs were incurred through lost receipts and person-hours to rectify errors and chase-up receipts. Tommy Hilfiger wanted to reduce the error rate in its invoice processing and speed up payments.

“To us, e-invoicing is the future of invoicing and we wish to be among the first companies in our industry to offer this service to our customers,” said Frederick Kolff, vice president of credit management at Tommy Hilfiger.

Kolff said the new system was improving the company's speed, accuracy and efficiency of invoicing, and ensuring compliance with auditing regulations in different countries. It is also cutting the amount of paper used.

The system can be used to ensure automated tax and regulatory compliance across countries, and to archive invoices to meet specific requirements. It also offers audit and reporting tools to accommodate tax authorities’ demands, and provides signed PDF authentication and non-repudiation services globally.

The system can be deployed on-premise or as-a-service. Tommy Hilfiger opted for an on-premise deployment to integrate into its SAP business system.

Greggs the baker went live with an automated invoicing system earlier this year.