Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Norwegian) is a diversified cruise operator of leading global cruise lines spanning market segments from contemporary to luxury under the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. These brands operate a combined 21 ships with approximately 40,000 lower berths visiting more than 430 destinations worldwide. The company’s brands have plans to introduce five new ships through 2019.
Managing thousands of paper-based invoices per month for 21 ships that are out to sea longer than they are in port was a significant undertaking for Norwegian’s accounts payable (AP) department every month. Having such an inherently inefficient and labor-intensive process, Norwegian’s manual invoice processing was regularly delayed, which frustrated vendors awaiting payment.
Why the delays? Norwegian’s AP personnel were constantly keying in data and applying foreign exchange rates, tracking down lost invoices, and fixing inaccurate and duplicate invoices. Unique to the cruise industry is another challenge – with ships in port on an infrequent basis, it became quite a chore to quickly transfer large quantities of paper invoices off the ships before they departed on their next cruise.
Wanting to improve its ability to manage company money and resources, Norwegian decided to automate its AP processes by implementing a wellknown AP software solution. Unfortunately after three years and a significant financial investment, the IT team abandoned the implementation citing technical issues and time constraints.
Recognizing there must be a better way to manage paper-based AP documents and information, Norwegian’s Director of Accounting John Birdsall went in search of a solution that would automate the AP process, which is where Recall comes in.
The Recall Solution
After evaluating several solutions, Norwegian selected the Recall ReView digital document management solution to help automate AP processes. On the heels of a failed implementation, Norwegian’s executives were impressed with Recall’s three-month – as opposed to three-year – implementation timeframe. Second, the company’s technical knowledge and ability to understand the cruise line’s unique requirements made Recall a clear choice.
Now with an automated, end-to-end digital document solution in place, Norwegian’s AP department is able to eliminate mistakes and exceptions, while improving accuracy. In addition, Recall does all scanning, indexing and uploading into the ReView solution. Norwegian’s AP department can focus on more value-added tasks while ReView processes an average of over 2,000 invoices per month for them. With Recall’s help, Norwegian now benefits from reduced processing costs and optimized cash flow, which is converting the AP department from a cost center into a center for business strategy.
“The most significant benefit Recall gives us is increased visibility into errors in our system that we never knew existed before. We now have secure, real-time access to complete transactional records that enable us to see and address liabilities immediately. With Recall ReView’s intuitive interface, we’ve easily been able to automate workflow processing that makes my job easier, while creating a more effective AP department,” said Birdsall.
Norwegian also liked that Recall’s solution was hosted, secure and passed all internal and external auditing requirements. This delivery model enabled IT personnel to focus on mission-critical activities for the organization, as opposed to setting up servers and performing ongoing maintenance, including backups and upgrades. Lastly, the hosted solution gives Norwegian the ability to access approvals, even while ships are out at sea with sporadic internet service. As soon as the ships are online, the system syncs up with the hosted solution.
In November 2014, Norwegian went through a significant business event, acquiring Prestige Cruises International, Inc. Because Prestige already had an AP solution in place, Norwegian opted to do a side-by-side comparison of both solutions. In the end, Norwegian chose Recall because of its demonstrated scalability and flexibility.
“Not once, but twice, Recall proved the value of its ReView solution, giving us room to grow in the future. Recall’s ability to configure ReView to meet our needs, such as adding in new required fields and setting up approval limits, was invaluable to us as we strengthened our internal controls and began processing invoices in a fraction of the time,” said Birdsall.
Read how Recall™ helped one law firm incorporate two rooms’ worth of an acquired firm’s files into its system.Read More
Highly secure Recall™ Document Management Solution produces audit reports that comply with federal requirements.Read More