By Gindelin Low
All over the world, Singapore is renowned for its iconic skyscrapers, bustling malls and squeaky-clean streets. Though often unnoticed, the country’s sparkling surfaces are made possible by the frontline workers in the waste management and sanitation industries.
Local technology company Terra Sol is on a mission to empower these workers and make their jobs safer and more efficient through innovative solutions. With their passion for driving smart and sustainable technologies, the company’s solutions aim to support corporations in deploying intelligent solutions that pave the way for a cleaner and greener future.
Though sustainability is often discussed within the context of environmentalism, its most basic definition refers to the ability of a practice to be maintained at a certain rate or level. For a small, but rapidly growing company like Terra Sol, manual processes like invoicing were proving to be unsustainable—posing roadblocks to efficiency and taking up precious time employees could be using on other tasks.
In a bid to throw out inefficient practices and welcome more productive alternatives, Terra Sol embraced InvoiceNow—a nationwide e-invoicing initiative by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). By automating recurring bookkeeping processes, InvoiceNow has made Terra Sol’s operations much smoother, freeing up valuable hours for the firm to focus on their core mission of empowering leading companies to adopt smart and sustainable solutions.
Terra Sol’s big beginnings
Terra Sol’s story started in 2015, and is the company that introduced the Bigbelly range of smart bins to Singapore and the region. A leading waste and recycling solution, Bigbelly bins incorporate smart technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation to improve waste collection processes. As their name suggests, the bins are equipped with a much larger capacity compared to traditional bins—holding up to eight times more waste.
In addition, the bins also come with automated real-time collection notifications and an in-built compactor. With all these convenient features, it’s no surprise that Bigbelly bins are now a common sight at many iconic landmarks and high-traffic areas across the island, including Changi Airport, Gardens by the Bay and Universal Studios Singapore. Since then, Terra Sol has expanded to offer a myriad of smart solutions to improve traditionally labour-intensive jobs such as waste management, sanitisation andlogistics .
Given their focus on sustainability, Terra Sol had already been thinking of improving its invoicing process for some time. Coincidentally, the company soon received an email from the Accountant-General’s Department (AGD) encouraging their vendors to send invoices via InvoiceNow. With this nudge, Terra Sol finally made the leap—joining the network in April 2020 through their accounting solution Xero.
Towards smoother and fuss-free invoicing
With InvoiceNow, invoices are directly sent across finance systems in a structured digital format—enabling a more seamless verification process of the invoices and faster payments. “Since adopting InvoiceNow to send e-invoices to the AGD, the company has witnessed an approximate 30-50 percent in time savings,” said Mr Jason Kumar, Chief Operating Officer at Terra Sol. These time savings allow the company to dedicate valuable resources to pursuing their main business objectives.
The entire process has been very convenient as invoices are sent straight from our system. Most of the transactions went smoothly with minimal errors.
Mr Jason Kumar
Chief Operating Officer, Terra Sol
Terra Sol has also started utilising theSG Peppol Directory to find other businesses on the network and requested for them to start transacting with them via e-invoicing.
Now, only about five percent of all invoices are carried out manually. Having experienced first-hand the benefits of e-invoicing, Terra Sol is now encouraging its business partners to embark on their own InvoiceNow journey. Mr Kumar noted that the long-term gains of adopting e-invoicing outweigh any initial technical issues that may initially arise with changing processes.
With e-invoicing firmly in its arsenal of digital tools, Mr Kumar has big plans for Terra Sol’s future. “In the next five years, we hope to grow our business significantly by broadening our customer base and providing more solutions to both our existing and new customers. This will undoubtedly increase our invoicing volume,” he said.
If done properly and with full the engagement of our valued clients, e-invoicing can help us manage our increased administration needs with potentially minimal to no increase in resources.
Mr Jason Kumar
Chief Operating Officer, Terra Sol
Follow Terra Sol’s footsteps and embark on a more efficient and sustainable e-invoicing journey today! Find out more about InvoiceNow and how you can enrol your business through our monthly business briefing webinar—conveniently available in both English and Mandarin.