Contact Us

Case Study

Certas Energy Processes Supplier Invoices 93% Faster With IA

93% faster processing of variable and complex supplier invoices
Increased employee productivity
Same Day processing of supplier invoices
"This AP process is a game changer for the business due to the potential growth it has to offer. The sheer logic involved is incredible and has to be seen to be believed.”"
Sean Quinn Head of robotic automation, Certas Energy

Certas Energy is the largest distributor of fuel and lubricants in the U.K. Eight-hundred and fifty tankers operate out of 130 depots nationwide to deliver billions of liters of fuel to thousands of customers each year. To ensure continuous supply and competitive prices, Certas Energy sources products from the major U.K. refineries. Certas Energy has a thousand suppliers and the accounts payable (AP) team processes thousands of invoices from them each year. To pay suppliers quickly and efficiently, Certas Energy deployed intelligent automation (IA) — and took home an SS&C Blue Prism Customer Excellence Award for their brilliant innovations.


Each time a tanker leaves a refinery, its fuel load is measured by volume or temperature. The measurement is noted, and an invoice is created for each individual load. With hundreds of tankers on the road, the number of invoices can top several thousand each month and add up to hundreds of millions of GBP.

Certas Energy’s AP team manually entered data from hundreds of thousands of supplier invoices into the company’s ERP system. This kept a team of full-time staff busy year-round. The work was highly repetitive, yet very complex, so errors inevitably slipped in. The measurements on each invoice were also complicated since the temperature or volume could shift due to environmental factors after the tanker left the refinery. This meant an invoice could appear to be incorrect, when in fact the discrepancy was due to the nature of the fuel. For this reason, simple invoices were processed in five minutes, whereas more complex invoices could take up to 30 minutes.


Digital workers operating in SS&C | Blue Prism® Cloud’s infrastructure now handles thousands of supplier invoices each year. Invoice files are extracted from emails, processed by ABBYY’s optical character recognition (OCR) solution and added to a queue for an SS&C Blue Prism digital worker named Sir Lancelot. The digital worker logs in to Certas Energy’s ERP system and matches the invoiced items to the goods received note (GRN), which was recorded at the point of supply, and confirms the price is accurate. Sir Lancelot has a range in which he can accept numbers that don’t match exactly, which helps account for shifts that may have occurred with the fuel in transit. He checks the data against Excel files and completes a full reconciliation on each invoice, which is key for compliance and audits. Sir Lancelot can also make comments that allow employees to follow up and resolve exceptions.

Since Sir Lancelot performs this task in one minute — instead of up to 30 minutes — he has increased employee productivity. Intelligent automation has eliminated invoice backlogs and helps ensure contractual payment agreements are met. 

IA is used widely across the business in the back office, commerce and sales, customer care, finance, IT and operations. The team continues to challenge themselves by selecting increasingly complex processes for automation.

Ready for your own case study?

Speak to our team of knowledgable experts and learn how you can benefit from RPA

Contact Sales