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Advanced financial management processes

Advanced financial management processes Itella Information offers companies, large and small, a wide range of services in areas such as electronic invoicing that can help them focus on the core aspects of their business, save money, and rely on invoices and other documents reaching recipients rapidly and securely.

Today’s Itella Group serves millions of customers in northern and central Europe and Russia in the mail, information logistics, and material logistics sectors – and the information logistics part of the business, known as Itella Information, has become a major rationaliser of financial information fl ows and a European forerunner in electronic invoicing.

Itella Information’s services are linked to core financial administration processes covering outbound and inbound invoices, and include solutions for processing incoming invoices within an organisation and despatching invoices in electronic or printed form cost-effectively using state-of-the-art technology.

Companies using the iPost system in Finland can receive invoices directly in their purchase invoice processing systems, while consumers can receive electronic letters sent to NetPosti, Itella’s e-service for consumers.

The customer base includes thousands of companies and organisations in Europe, which are provided with services ranging from invoice management and transaction services and document management to business communication and supply chain management.

As a supply chain partner, Itella Information ensures the secure transmission of business-critical messages between a customer’s IT systems and those of its partners using rapid EDI and XML connections – processing electronic purchasing and sales orders, order confirmations, invoices, customs papers, delivery notes, and numerous other documents rapidly and automatically.

Flexible and economic

Itella iPost offers an excellent solution for enhancing the efficiency of an organisation’s mailing processes and is ideal for frequently recurring, standard items, such as invoices and payslips, which can be sent cost-efficiently in paper format or electronically. In use for over 20 years in Finland, where more than 90 million iPost letters are delivered annually, iPost was extended to Sweden, Germany, Norway, and Denmark in 2008, and to Central Eastern Europe in 2009 – and the service now handles 105 million letters a year.

Itella serves around 250,000 corporate customers globally under the Itella brand and some 5.3 million consumer customers in Finland under the Posti brand.

Itella iPost is a completely content-independent service that enables companies and other organisations to send invoices, account statements, payslips, and other types of letters to consumers and businesses. Material is sent electronically to Itella, where it is printed out, inserted into envelopes, and posted to recipients or sent electronically.

Companies in Finland can receive invoices directly in their purchase invoice processing systems, while consumers can receive electronic letters sent via Itella’s e-service, NetPosti. Electronic copies of messages for consumer customers have been generated using the NetPosti system since 2008, and NetPosti handles the reception of electronic material from more than 2,000 companies.

The iPost service received the 2008 innovation award in the finance category at the CeBIT technology trade fair in Germany in 2009 in recognition of the innovative nature of the service and its usability and suitability for small and medium-sized businesses in particular.

A major reduction in CO2 emissions

A study commissioned by Itella Information in 2009 on the CO2 emissions of its electronic iPost service compared to the traditional paper process – the first of its type in Finland – showed that the emissions generated by a completely electronic letter are approximately 40% lower than those of a paper letter delivered in the traditional way.

The paper process, including delivery, generates approximately 50 grams of CO2 per item, compared to 30 grams for an electronic letter. As the volume of electronic letters increases, however, carbon emissions could be cut by nearly 90% compared to paper letters.

The figure for the paper process was calculated on the basis of the carbon emissions related to the processing, printing, enveloping, and physical delivery of letters received at Itella in electronic form, and included the energy consumed by servers, paper, envelopes, printing and enveloping processes, air conditioning, facilities, and the fuel and energy used in the delivery process. For the electronic process, the figure was based on the energy consumed by servers, air conditioning, and electronic delivery.

The study also factored in the energy used to read electronic letters and the six-year archiving provided by the NetPosti service.

Managing information and product flows

  • With roots dating back to 1638, the Itella Group is divided into three business groups: Itella Mail Communications, Itella Information, and Itella Logistics. These provide paper-based communication and delivery services; multi-channel information logistics services for managing information flows; and logistics services for managing product flows
  • Serves around 250,000 corporate customers globally under the Itella brand and some 5.3 million consumer customers in Finland under the Posti brand
  • Key customer industries include retailers and distributors, media, financing, telecommunications, and the public sector
  • Operates in Northern and Central Europe and Russia
  • Net sales of €1.95 billion (2008)
  • Approx. 96% of net sales comes from companies and organisations
  • International business accounts for 31% of net sales
  • Currently employs approx. 31,700 people.
> Satu Lintola
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)