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Vanderlande Achieves Centralized Data and Efficient, Automated Processes with Longview Tax

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In Brief

  • Logistics process automation leader improves efficiency and saves time with Longview Tax
  • Delivered on time and on budget
  • 70% automated tax processes
  • 25-50% reduction in time spent on corporate income tax reporting
  • More robust tax reporting process
  • Close collaboration between Vanderlande, insightsoftware, and implementation partner Taxvibes

Vanderlande is the global market leader for logistic process automation at airports. It is also a leading supplier of process automation solutions for warehousing and in the parcel market. Vanderlande’s warehousing solutions are the first choice for many of the largest global e-commerce players and retailers in food, fashion, and general merchandise across the globe.

Vanderlande’s baggage handling systems are capable of moving over 4 billion pieces around the world annually. More than 52 million parcels are sorted by its systems every day. Established in 1949, the company employs over 7,500 people and has established itself as a highly reliable partner for future-proof logistic process automation.

Hampered by Manual Processes

Vanderlande was acquired in 2017 by Toyota Industries Corporation which will help it to continue its sustainable profitable growth. At that point, the company had a strong need to increase the efficiency of its tax processes.

In March of 2020, Sebastiaan Stoffelen was hired by Vanderlande as a Tax Assurance Specialist. At that point, the company still relied upon time-consuming manual tax data management processes with a strong need to increase efficiency and reduce the risk of errors.

The tax team at Vanderlande were faced with increasing pressure to meet challenging deadlines for month-end close. The business needed a solution to automate the close processes, and empower them with accurate, real-time data that would save time while maintaining data integrity and quality.

“When I joined the company, we had a monthly tax reporting process that relied on various Excel spreadsheets, which was prone to error,” said Stoffelen. “The reporting timeline we have within Vanderlande is quite narrow, so an automation tool was considered key to make the whole process more efficient and robust.”

Introducing Longview Tax

Tasked with finding a solution, Stoffelen began to research the market to find a solution that best fit Vanderlande’s needs. “The most important thing is that the tool shouldn’t be the goal itself. You need to think about the business problem you’re trying to solve, and the tool should facilitate that,” Stoffelen said.

After reviewing Vanderlande’s tax reporting processes and establishing their requirements for a new solution, Stoffelen scheduled demos with seven potential software vendors. During this stage, his team agreed that their ideal solution must provide three key features:

  • High degree of efficiency for automating existing processes
  • Supplier’s ability to achieve the implementation in a short timeframe
  • Ability to be maintained by Vanderlande without the need for outside support

After evaluating different options, Stoffelen and his team selected Longview Tax from insightsoftware. The solution was able to deliver on all Vanderlande’s requirements, including:

  • Automating tax data collection, calculation, and consolidation
  • Freeing up time to refocus efforts on more added-value activities such as review and analytics
  • Uncovering critical insights from tax data that supports strategic decision-making

“For me, the key benefits for my review and analysis process are the drillable reports and tax analytics provided by Longview Tax. I can easily do my checks and validations in the most efficient manner,” said Stoffelen.

Smooth Sailing Through the Implementation Process

To assist with implementation, Vanderlande partnered with Taxvibes, a team of tax technology professionals dedicated to bridging gaps between tax and finance, with specific experience in automating tax reporting and transfer pricing processes. Vanderlande chose Taxvibes because of their extensive experience with tax automation processes.

When the time came to implement Longview Tax, Vanderlande needed to meet a challenging timeline of November 2020 to March 2021. After holding an initial kick-off meeting, its Longview Tax instance was set up within weeks, and already up and running by mid-November. “The implementation plan and cost proposal were spot-on to what was delivered. The project was completed on time and on budget,” Stoffelen explained. Some smaller issues inevitably came up during the implementation process, but these were resolved very quickly and satisfactorily.

Even with a well-earned festive holiday break, the entire system was almost fully set up by January. A few final tweaks to the configuration still left time for the testing to be completed by mid-February. Because Vanderlande’s implementation goals were achieved so quickly, Stoffelen’s team had the luxury of dedicating approximately a month for user training and solution rollout.

One of the key success factors of the implementation project was the project team taking ownership and being involved as much as possible. By preparing and delivering the end user training themselves, Vanderlande’s tax team built a strong understanding of how to use the Longview Tax solution. They were able to hit the ground running as soon as the new system was set up. They also gained the knowledge required to maintain the solution themselves on an ongoing basis.

Partnering with Taxvibes was the right move for Vanderlande

Another key success factor was the close collaboration between Vanderlande, insightsoftware, and Taxvibes, using weekly calls to remain aligned and ensure that the implementation was on track. Through these partnerships, Vanderlande was able to leverage both the tax reporting advice and industry best practice from Taxvibes, as well as the product knowledge and integration expertise of insightsoftware. This enabled them to have a smooth implementation process whilst also ensuring the result met all their business specific requirements. “Our shared goal was to automate the tax reporting processes in a user-friendly way, enabling the team to move from collecting to reviewing tax data and thus trusting the results,” said Peter van Tiggele, Tax Automation specialist at Taxvibes.

The tax team at Vanderlande is delighted with the advice and guidance provided by Taxvibes. “Taxvibes provided us with hands-on experience,” said Stoffelen. “They brought the practical knowledge from other clients they worked with, which was extremely valuable for the scoping session and during the implementation process. Also, Peter and his colleagues at Taxvibes challenged us from both a technical and a tax accounting perspective, which improved our decisions. This proved to be one of the success factors of the implementation.”


Greater Usability

As a result of the Longview Tax implementation, Vanderlande has consolidated their tax data into a single source of the truth. Because the company is currently running business partly remotely, this is especially important. No matter where a user is in the world, they can pull data from one easy-to-access location.

In terms of user interface, Longview Tax was a perfect match for what Vanderlande needed. Longview Tax provided greater usability for Stoffelen’s team, as well as improved robustness and automated validations.

“Implementing Longview Tax resulted in a bespoke component that was built in the specific way that Vanderlande needs journal entries to be output by the system,” Stoffelen explained. “With the help of Taxvibes, we have tailor-made functionality for that.”

Improved Efficiency

Vanderlande has seen a variety of benefits by using insightsoftware’s solution, including:

  • 70% automated tax calculations
  • 25-50% reduction in time spent on corporate income tax reporting
  • More robust tax reporting process

“Before I kicked off the project, I did a survey with our user group to ask how much time they were spending on the corporate income tax process with the existing spreadsheets,” Stoffelen said. “A couple months after we went live with Longview Tax, I did another survey to ask how much time users estimated they saved. The majority responded that there was up to 25 to 50% less time spent.”

More Flexibility

Longview Tax has empowered Vanderlande with the flexibility of features custom-tailored to their company, which can grow and change at the speed of business.

After implementing the product, Sebastiaan found that a specific journal entry item needed a different system set up. Thankfully, Longview is a very flexible tool and Taxvibes was easily able to configure the required functionality without additional costs.

Through Longview Tax, Vanderlande now enjoys centralized tax information, more efficient and automated processes, and robust data management. Going forward, the business has plans to implement Longview Transfer Pricing to further automate their business processes.

“We found a lot of value in the automation because of our tight reporting timelines. At the end of the process the disclosure notes are all fully automated, resulting in a more controlled outcome because of the validation checks that are built into Longview Tax. Ultimately, we aim for a holistic approach to our tax processes, with one source for multiple users.”

Sebastiaan Stoffelen Tax Assurance Specialist

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