Business Case: B2B Gateway for Cass Europe
The American Cass Information Systems is a market leader in the area of expense management for the transport, utility, and telecom industry. Its European subsidiary Cass Europe B.V. mainly focuses on Transport Expense Management.
Invoice processing, audit, payment and information services are the core competencies of Cass. On behalf of its clients, Cass processes more than 47 million invoices per year with a total value of more than 33 billion.
By linking to CEDG (Cass Europe Data Gateway), carriers can submit their invoices digitally with Cass Europe. By doing this, the invoices are processed automatically, it reduces the costs due to errors and the invoices are paid quicker. This is beneficial for the client, the carrier, and for Cass Europe.
The full-service gateway of Copernicus allows Cass Europe to connect new carriers without compromising on quality and data integrity. The unique web portal with the Excel validator is a great extension to the service package of Cass. Copernicus employs people who enjoy collaborating and finding constructive solutions, and who are not afraid of taking up a challenge.
Kees de Jongh
Managing Director Cass Europe b.v.
How can you connect a large number of carriers to a system? How can we do this in a structured manner? And how can we monitor the process and its progress? These were the problems Cass Europe was facing early 2012. The challenge was linking the large number of carriers and the diversity of message formats that result from that.
For Cass Europe, Copernicus has developed a full-service B2B gateway which enables carriers to submit invoice data with Cass in a quick and easy manner. Cass handles the further processing of the data, it performs checks and arranges the payments on behalf of its clients. The gateway is completely based on the Niklas integration platform. Niklas takes care of the data communication and the transformation of the invoice data to the central Cass format. With regard to the data communication, carriers can choose to upload their data via FTP or to upload the data manually via a portal. In addition to these two communication channels, there are other options for communication channels.
When a carrier enters an invoice into the gateway, this invoice will follow a number of process steps. The first step is authentication. Carriers log in with their personal, uniform login code. The submitted invoice is then automatically validated. Possible errors are reported back, so the carrier can fix them. What makes the system unique in its kind, is the so-called ‘Excel validator’. This validates the Excel sheet which the carrier has uploaded to the portal on the presence of mandatory columns and on structure errors. The results are notified to the transporter immediately during the uploading of the sheet.
The next step in the process is the translation of the invoice into the central data model. Each message format is translated into this data model. The data model ensures that changes in the translation programs can be realised quickly. The data model is then translated into the standard XML format that can be read by the Cass headquarters in the United States. Again, validation takes place on the data quality before the invoice information is forwarded. It is essential for this system that each invoice received in the gateway is registered, so Cass can track down the invoice information at every moment, and that it can discover and solve possible errors in time.
In addition to the development of the gateway, Copernicus is also responsible for the hosting and support of the solution. The support desk is responsible for proactive and reactive support, and it makes sure that the system runs optimally.