Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

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Best Trade/Supply Chain Finance Solution Highly Commended: Kuehne + Nagel

Melanie Girouard, Citi and Benedikt Zimmermann-Kuehne, Kuehne + Nagel

Together with their e-invoicing partner and key relationship bank, Kuehne + Nagel has developed a fully technically integrated, one channel, seamless straight through invoice-to-cash platform, complemented with an accelerated supplier payment feature in the form of a receivable purchase option.

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Photo of Melanie Girouard, Citi and Benedikt Zimmermann-Kuehne, Kuehne + Nagel.

Roger Sutter

Group Treasurer

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Since 1890, when the business was founded in Bremen, Germany by August Kuehne and Friedrich Nagel, Kuehne + Nagel has grown into one of the world’s leading logistics providers. Today, the Kuehne + Nagel Group has some 1,300 offices in more than 100 countries, with over 70,000 employees.

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E-invoicing platform offers early payment option

The challenge

Kuehne + Nagel (KN) wanted to provide its suppliers with an early payment solution without having suppliers or KN to connect to different platforms. The existing e-invoicing platform was extended with an early payment option with the following objectives:

  • One platform for invoicing and receivable purchase activities.

  • Efficient on-boarding.

  • Possibility for payment within a few days.

  • Full invoice status transparency to suppliers.

  • Possibility for full ERP integration on KN and supplier side.

  • Multi-bank possibility for financing of receivable purchase activities.

  • Attractive financing rates.

  • Global solution.

The solution

KN is moving from paper to electronic invoices and handles purchase orders with auto-matching functionality in the ERP, allowing fast and efficient invoice handling and approval processes.

Roger Sutter, Group Treasurer explains, “Together with our e-invoicing partner, Tradeshift, and our key relationship bank, Citi, we developed a fully integrated, one channel, seamless straight through invoice-to-cash platform. It is complemented with an accelerated supplier payment feature in the form of a receivable purchase option.”

“Winning this award is a great recognition for Kuehne + Nagel for this unique solution which provides significant working capital benefits for all participants through an efficient and fully integrated platform.”

This solution allows a supplier to raise an invoice electronically online and to receive payment as early as within three days when participating in the receivables purchase programme. Suppliers can monitor the status of the invoice and on the same website interface all necessary details related to the early payment (eg payment date, discount fee, etc) into the supplier’s ERP. Roger Sutter says, “We created for our suppliers an integrated website for all invoicing and receivable purchase activities and have this now live in our key markets in Europe and North America – a total of 14 countries.”

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Best practice and innovation

This innovative platform for invoice-to-cash cycle (including ERP connectivity) integrates KN’s e-invoicing and banking providers on a single platform. Each party ensured that best practices in their area of expertise is being followed, creating this unique solution. This innovation links an e-invoicing platform to a key financial partner to deliver a seamless technically integrated omni-global connectivity channel for suppliers.

Harnessing new technology and capitalising on the global footprint of KN, both the banking and the e-invoicing partner have significantly improved the invoice-to-cash cycle for KN’s suppliers and ensure fast invoice payment for those suppliers who participate in the receivables purchase programme.

An intuitive on-boarding website facilitates the receivable purchase solution, including chat functionality with the bank and access to marketing and on-boarding documentation.

This innovative solution allowed KN to negotiate attractive financing rates for the benefit of its suppliers.

Roger Sutter concludes, “In collaboration with our key partners we significantly improve our suppliers’ cash cycle, allow efficient invoice-to-cash processing through one platform and create working capital benefits for all participants.”

Key benefits

  • Single platform with full technical integration.

  • Significant efficiency gains.

  • Significant working capital improvement.

  • 250+ suppliers now on board.

  • Global availability of the solution.

Portrait of Roger Sutter

Roger Sutter

Group Treasurer

Roger Sutter joined Kuehne + Nagel in 2011 as Head Treasury and Working Capital. In this role he oversees all treasury and working capital related topics. Roger has a banking background and also worked in the finance department of an international food manufacturer.

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