Solvay Strengthens Its Customer Relationships and Reduces Its Carbon Footprint with Esker

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Sarah Fane
Mar 27, 2024

Esker,global cloud platform and provider of AI-driven process automation solutions for Finance, Procurement and Customer Service functions, today announced that Solvay, a leading multinational chemical company, has selected Esker Order Management to automate customer orders from its 10 global business units (GBUs). This worldwide deployment has enabled Solvay to considerably reduce its order processing time while significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

With hundreds of thousands of orders processed manually by its 10 GBUs, Solvay’s order management process proved costly and time consuming, often resulting in lost orders and a high risk for errors. These obstacles complicated the work of the Supply Chain department, which was unable to properly process product returns or claims. Faced with the functional, technical and financial limitations of its existing systems, Solvay accelerated its digital transformation three years ago and implemented Esker Order Management. Seamlessly integrating with the company’s SAP® ERP, Esker’s solution simplifies order processing, thereby reducing time spent per order and freeing up Solvay’s eBusiness teams to be able to focus on improving its customer service. Not only did automation of the order management process result in improved performance, it also aligned with Solvay’s sustainability efforts by reducing paper usage.

“We are committed to improving our processes, particularly those linked to the order-to-cash cycle. This aligns perfectly with the Solvay Way, which encompasses our commitment to sustainability,” said Sonia Boibessot, eBusiness Process Specialist at Solvay.

Since Solvay operates on an international scale, the company chose to run a pilot project at Novecare, Solvay’s specialty surfactants division. Given the success of this trial run, Esker Order Management was then rolled out to other business units, including Special Chem, during the pandemic. Although the teams worked remotely, Esker was able to uphold the implementation schedule and provide continued personalized support, meeting the expectations of all stakeholders.

The implementation project covered four geographic zones and multiple languages. Due to its own global reach and international Support teams, Esker was able to accommodate the different languages used at Solvay, which include English, Portuguese and Mandarin. “This was one of the factors that made this project so successful,” said Boibessot.

Significantly cutting order processing time and improving customer service

The implementation of Esker’s solution for 90% of Solvay’s locations has substantially reduced order processing times and improved the overall quality of Solvay’s customer service. The teams have seen an improvement in the reliability of order processing, as well as considerable time savings in data entry. In most cases, simply sending an email to Esker’s platform is sufficient for the order data to be automatically captured in the ERP.

The solution’s dashboards enable Customer Service managers to anticipate potential bottlenecks in the order process, such as a missing promise to pay prior to the delivery date. The Customer Service team can then jump in to offer superior customer service on a personal level. Team collaboration and efficiency have seen improvements. In case of absence of a team member, others can easily take over, ensuring an uninterrupted service. These efficiencies are reassuring to users, team leaders and managers, making the day-to-day a lot easier for everyone.

“We went from needing four minutes to manually process an order to just 30 seconds for an order automatically processed by Esker. When you multiply that by several thousands of orders, it represents considerable time savings,” said Boibessot. “This has enabled the Customer Service team to concentrate on higher-value tasks, such as offering customer support. In Brazil for example, where 80% of the Customer Service team’s portfolio is automated, we have been able to reallocate resources to manage claims, which previously, did not have a dedicated team.”

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