STX France Builds the Largest Cruise Ship in the World with Esker’s Accounts Payable Solution for SAP®

Sydney, Australia — October 26, 2015 — Esker, a worldwide leader in document process automation solutions and pioneer in cloud computing, today announced that it has been selected by STX France, a maritime construction and services company, to automate its 50,000 annual vendor invoices with Esker’s cloud based Accounts Payable automation solution, fully integrated with its SAP® system.

STX France is a global leader in designing, fabricating, erecting and commissioning highly complex ships and offshore installations. In 2013, the Saint-Nazaire France shipyard, which is owned and operated by STX France, was tasked with building Harmony of the Seas℠, the largest passenger cruise ship in the world for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Thanks to Esker, STX France will be able to process twice the amount of invoices specifically related to the construction of Harmony of the Seas.

Beyond the need to modernise their accounting and financial system, several other factors motivated STX France to automate their vendor invoicing process, including:

  • A large number of suppliers throughout the world
  • Over 500 invoice validators, often out of the office
  • A significant increase in workload due to the construction of Harmony of the Seas

We met Esker at the French SAP Users Group,” said Thierry Pralong, Head of Accounting at STX France. “We were won over by their degree of innovation, solution flexibility, impressive customer references and their certified integration with SAP.

Plug-and-Play Solution

STX France selected Esker’s solution for its seamless SAP integration, SaaS delivery model, and ability to automatically manage supplier invoice reconciliation with purchase orders entered in SAP.

We wanted a solution that could easily connect to SAP without any additional development,” said Pralong. “Esker perfectly met our needs: It’s easy to use and incredibly flexible. Functionalities like customisable dashboards, intelligent invoice sorting and task prioritisation were things we didn’t anticipate, but which are fully appreciated and have helped improve our daily operations.

Some of the biggest advantages STX France has achieved since implementation include:

  • Time savings for AP staff with manual data entry and document handling virtually eliminated
  • Mobile accessibility for managers who need to review and approve vendor invoices on the road
  • Improved invoice visibility and real-time tracking
  • Increased accounting profession value thanks to staff being able to focus on higher value jobs (e.g., managing disputes, supplier relations, proactive case monitoring, etc.)
  • Improved workload management and prioritisation thanks to customised dashboards and weekly reports sent to team managers
  • Simplified solution management and maintenance thanks to the SaaS model

Our objective was not to replace our teams, but rather facilitate their daily work by eliminating low-value tasks and better manage high-volume periods,” added Pralong. “Esker has enhanced the financial and accounting services by providing them with an innovative tool. The solution is universally appreciated by the IT department, the accounting department and the operational staff — everybody wins!

Esker’s Accounts Payable automation solution was implemented in less than two months, and now automates 100 percent of STX France’s vendor invoices.

About STX France

STX France is part of STX Europe, an international maritime construction group, looking to become the leader in the construction of cruise ships, ferries and other specialised vessels. STX France designs and produces some of the largest and most complex floating vessels in the world. The company employs over 2,000 people in France.

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