TUI Group, the world’s number one tourism group with 1,600 travel agencies, 6 airlines with around 150 aircraft, over 380 hotels and resorts, and 17 cruise liners, has been on a mission to find the best-of-breed automation solution capable of handling the scale and complexity of its business.
Operating in a competitive and price-sensitive industry such as consumer travel, TUI Group recognises the need to reduce back-office costs, boost the speed and consistency of financial processes through automation as well as increase cross-border standardisation to be able to satisfy customers while ensuring profitability and paying business partners promptly.
After pushing for its ERP financial system migration from Oracle to SAP, the scale, complexity, and variance of the enterprise’s extensive global footprint appeared to be a challenge for TUI to move further and achieve a higher degree of process automation in the new environment.
Finding the Best-fit Solution
Going beyond automating the five million incoming supplier invoices the AP team manages per year, TUI Group aimed at automating the entire chain of financial processes across Purchase to Pay (P2P), Order to Cash (O2C) and Record to Report (R2R) by choosing to deploy the solution Kofax ReadSoft Process Director™ for SAP. Ultimately, with TUI’s worldwide presence, the financial processes automation will enable country offices to work together more effectively; to help senior management better understand costs; to settle invoices accurately and rapidly; and to ensure that millions of vacations went as smoothly as possible.
Matthew Miles, Finance Project Manager at TUI UK said:
“The Kofax solution forms a seamless element within our SAP landscape.”
“The flexibility of the Kofax technology, and the short timeframe in which we got the integrated solution up and running, met our needs well,” he added.
Process Director for SAP’s Capabilities
TUI utilises Process Director across a growing number of process areas within finance automating Purchase Requisitions, Sales Order Processing, Master Data Management, Financial Postings, and Reporting among many others.
- It eliminates the need for ongoing integration or exporting of core data and provides a completely familiar interface for rapid and easy user acceptance since it resides within the SAP system
- It is certified for compliance with SAP; ensuring full compatibility and reducing deployment risk.
- It utilises advanced OCR combined with rules-based validation to capture all incoming documents across all channels regardless of format (fax, paper, PDF or EDI)
- Fully integrated with SAP, it rapidly and efficiently interprets and processes incoming documents minus the human intervention
Following the successful rollout to UK and Ireland with Kofax, TUI was able to independently implement the rollout to its Central region, and will soon complete deployment to the Nordic region without assistance. With the self-sufficiency and capability of customisation, Process Director will be used as a workflow platform for automating other areas of SAP functionality, giving the company the freedom and flexibility to adapt to changing requirements in all geographies without incurring high costs for external consultants.
Aside from out-of-the-box support for country-specific requirements globally and ease and flexibility in customisation to meet organisation-specific requirements in different regions or business areas, TUI leveraged Process Director to meet the demands of many specialised billing cycles and payment plans.
“With Process Director for SAP, we have automated what was a complicated deposit reclaims process between TUI and hoteliers,” shared Miles. “The solution saves time and effort, and allows us all to avoid labour-intensive manual activities and focus on the core business.”
Existing SAP users can easily identify and associate with the Kofax solution even if it is fully customisable to TUI’s needs. The need to manage business rules and master data in two different systems was made possible with the tight integration between the two environments. In the same light, the solution is easy to audit since the storage of data (for example, images of invoices) are in standard SAP structures and formats.
Moreover, TUI’s KPIs are met with the Process Director’s capability to show status information in real-time and deliver fast end-to-end reporting.
The Deployment Outcome
With TUI’s deployment of Process Director as an integral element within its SAP landscape, the following results were achieved:
- Significant increase in the level of standardisation and automation in its P2P, O2C, and R2R processes
- Increased efficiency and fast access to the consolidated financial information
- Increased speed of processing incoming invoices from business partners strengthening relationships
- Rapidly identifies and escalates incoming invoices that are submitted too early or are otherwise incorrect, enabling TUI to handle these exceptions much more efficiently than before.
“With Process Director, most incoming invoices are now automatically receipted and can be approved for final payment through a genuine one-touch process,” Miles explained. “The automation provided by the Kofax solution represents a significant time saving, enabling us to redirect administrative resources towards activities that add more value to our customers and partners.”
TUI can manage the vast scale and diversity of its financial processes efficiently and accurately, industrialising critical back-office processing and enabling finance staff to focus on higher-value activities with Process Director for SAP.
“Kofax is helping us to drive greater value out of our investment in SAP technology,” stressed Miles.
“Process Director has helped us streamline invoice processing and given us greater control over our international operations. High rates of no-touch automation have improved the speed and efficiency of our financial processes and increased standardisation positions us for better economies of scale as our business grows. Crucially, the solution also improves financial visibility and control, and ensures full compliance with our SAP environment,” he detailed.