The Silicon Review
“At xSuite, we believe in the potential of digital technologies to empower people and contribute to a positive work environment.”
xSuite Group is a software manufacturer of applications for document-based processes. The company provides enterprises across the globe with standardized, digital solutions, making work simple, secure, and fast. Its products provide digital document management, automation of important work processes, and efficiency in using e-files. With over 200,000 users benefitting from its solutions, xSuite processes more than 60 million invoices per year.
Danny Schaarmann, CEO of xSuite North America Inc., spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review on how xSuite Group automates document-based business processes digitally. Here’s what he said.
The Rise of xSuite Group
xSuite Group was founded in 1994. Back in those days, working with digital solutions was rare. Most back-office processes were paper-based and manual. The founders of xSuite recognized early on that digitization would significantly alter and improve business processes. They envisioned a paperless office. This seems quite natural nowadays, but nearly 30 years ago, only a few could imagine what it would be like to manage daily work without any paper. The founders of the company truly believed in this vision and were convinced that work in the future would be digital and paperless.
They started by setting up digital archives and scanning solutions for their clients. However, they quickly realized that using software to automate workflows would be a real game-changer and provide significant benefits to businesses and their employees. So, they began developing their own software solutions. The first one was the accounts payable (AP) solution for SAP.
Companies using xSuite’s solutions no longer process invoices manually but entirely digitally. Invoice data is automatically read and transferred to the SAP system, which only needs to be checked for accuracy. The subsequent process steps, i.e., invoice approval, posting, and archiving, are also digitally mapped. Therefore, the average lead time from invoice receipt to payment can be reduced significantly. In fact, one of xSuite’s U.S. customers, a major player in the entertainment industry, has successfully reduced the average lead time from 30 to only three days.
“Our software solutions are always aligned with the requirements of our customers, i.e., we want to make it as easy as possible for the end-users who work with our software every day. We pursue the goal of making processes simple and secure so that our customers can focus on value-adding and strategic tasks.”
“We use artificial intelligence at various points in our software, e.g., to detect anomalies in incoming vendor invoices and forecast future expenses. This improves security and transparency, planning capabilities, and cash management.”
Aside from artificial intelligence, the cloud is an undeniable future topic. Experts predict that by 2027, businesses will no longer rely on on-premises installed software and will instead use it as a cloud service.
“We are at the forefront of this already, and we continue to develop our solutions to ensure that our customers can use them flexibly from the cloud.”
In addition to faster and simplified document handling, xSuite provides greater security. In the past, companies frequently expressed skepticism and wondered whether digital solutions could provide the same level of security as traditional processes. Nowadays, however, the level of security can be increased with digital technologies. Previously, companies relied on the four-eyes principle, with two employees checking an invoice before it was paid. With an AP automation solution, it is now possible to perform a fully automated 3-way match, comparing the data on the invoice with that on the order confirmation and the receipt of the goods. If the data matches, the invoice is automatically released. If there are discrepancies, an employee is automatically notified. Using machine learning algorithms, companies can also better protect themselves against fraud. For example, if a supplier sends more invoices than usual within a certain period, the software automatically sends an alert.
“At xSuite, we always aim to streamline processes and simplify the work-life for our end users so they can focus on more value-adding tasks. Automation is not just about increasing efficiency, generating cost savings, and improving transparency, it is also a lot about employee satisfaction. We believe in the potential of digital technologies to empower people and contribute to a positive work environment.”
At the Forefront
What keeps xSuite’s business relevant is the ongoing development and advancement of technology. Danny Schaarmann said, “When we look back over the past 25 years, we can see that businesses transitioned from purely manual processes to workflows that are entirely digital.” However, there are still significant differences between invoice layouts and processing methods between organizations. This is about to change as the next significant development is already upon us: international invoice exchange will soon be largely standardized. As part of various e-invoicing regulations, countries are pursuing the goal of digitizing and standardizing invoice exchange. With xSuite, businesses who want to prepare for this are in the perfect place.
“The fact that a customer never actually reaches an endpoint with us also keeps us relevant. Since we carefully accompany our customers while they undertake their digital transformation, we regard ourselves as a long-term partner to them. We make our customers fit for the future and grow together to meet new challenges.”
Serving the Best
xSuite’s software solutions are industry-agnostic because the accounts payable process follows the same pattern regardless of industry. The xSuite solutions optimize processes in the cloud, on-premises, and hybrid settings. They cover the whole purchase-to-pay workflow from requisitioning and integrating procurement files to the receipt and processing of order confirmations and invoices.
“A few industries face specific challenges that can be solved with automation. For example, the transportation and logistics industry has several exceptions to the standard process. Since there is no possibility to order a specific amount of a transportation service, each individual order can differ from the previous one, as it depends on the means of transport, the required delivery times, and the distance needing to be covered. Additionally, one order can result in several different invoices. If we consider the journey a container travels from its origin to destination, we can determine different service providers that are involved in the process, a) the company picks up the container from your facilities and takes it to the closest train station or harbor, b) the carrier transporting it across the country or even overseas, and c) the company responsible for the last part of the journey, which involves picking up the container and delivering it to its destination.”
“After having completed the service, each one of these transportation providers sends an invoice to the client. As a result, a company can easily find itself with three different invoices, all resulting from a single purchase order. The only matching reference is the shipping number. These are the challenges our company solves for our client Radiant Global Logistics.”
The food and beverage industry is another interesting case that has undergone massive changes. In the past, companies typically kept a large inventory and only reordered new goods when the stock fell below a certain level. That has changed over the years. Now, only smaller inventories are maintained, and reordering is done more frequently instead. Almost simultaneously, new materials are ordered and produced. To meet these shorter lead times in the P2P cycle, all involved departments must collaborate more closely and quickly. A digital automation solution can perfectly support companies in this.
“Our client Dole Packaged Foods, for example, manages its entire AP process completely digitally. It benefits from shorter lead times, an increase in efficiency, and better transparency throughout the entire company.”
Innovation is a continuous process. Creativity and innovation are two important pillars on which the whole organization is based. “We distinguish ourselves through our strong focus on SAP. To stay ahead in the game, we concentrate on being the best in our core category: Accounts Payable Invoice Automation in SAP.”
“This focus enables us to dive deep into the subject matter and ensure that we provide optimal support for all SAP deployment models. Customers that are facing the switch to S/4HANA can use it to rethink and optimize their current business processes. To provide this service, we maintain a close partnership with SAP, are active in the SAP user groups, and have all the latest certifications. We also work closely with our customers to get their feedback and input. We are interested in the details: How satisfied are they with how our solutions perform in the daily work routine? What can be improved? Step by step, we implement our customers’ feedback into our software.”
“Today, we provide the best solution for Accounts Payable Invoice Automation (APIA) in SAP because we combine the following: we develop our software, we have a deep understanding of accounting processes, and we are true SAP experts. That is why 1,200 customers already rely on us for precisely this topic.”
The Core Principles of xSuite Group
Personal and corporate responsibility is central to xSuite as individuals and as an organization. Following are the company’s three core values: Responsibility, Team Spirit, and Competence.
This is how Mr. Schaarmann explains it.
Responsibility: Personal and corporate responsibility are central to us in our everyday work, both as an organization and as individuals. We see our pivotal role in setting up our customers for the successful use of our software. Our dedication to social and business responsibility goes hand in hand with our success in empowering customers.
Team Spirit: We collaborate internationally while keeping the overall picture in mind. We take the initiative, are willing to make improvements, support one another, and celebrate mutual success. We consider ourselves a trustworthy partner and advisor for our customers.
Competence: We are proud of the high level of expertise and experience present in our daily company life. Our dedication to cutting-edge technologies, our pursuit of personal growth, and our ongoing curiosity all contribute to the culture of our organization. This energy drives us to shape future-oriented ways of working.
“Although xSuite has been around for almost 30 years, we are only at the beginning of our story. Our business remains relevant amid the ongoing digitization. Currently, the topic of e-invoicing is on the radar of many companies because more and more countries are striving to establish a standard for the exchange and processing of invoices. The second phase also includes international standards and the question of how invoices can be issued, accepted, and processed digitally and automatically across borders. xSuite can simplify these complex procedures and accelerate AP processes across national borders.”
“Another important topic among our core target group is the migration from the classic SAP ERP to the new SAP S/4HANA product generation within the next years. We accompany our customers on this path and support them with all questions regarding the move of their financial processes to the cloud. Regardless of where they are in their journey, we are by our customers’ side ready to face upcoming challenges together.”
The Formidable Leader Upfront
Danny Schaarmann is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston-based xSuite North America Inc. He is a successful entrepreneur, a serial optimist, and a strategic go-to-market manager. Growing up as an athlete, Danny approaches his clients and colleagues with a team-driven, collaborative mentality. Early in his career, he successfully transitioned his family-run business into a popular platform before a fruitful exit. Driven by innovation, Danny co-founded TIM Solutions in 2008, Matonu in 2014, and ILC Technologies in 2015, acting as CEO across all of his business properties.