Automated shipment cost processing– Eastman 



Company Name / Department Eastman Chemical
Contact Person

Sofie Wallyn

Location Rotterdam / Gent/ home office
Study programme(s)

Industrial Engineering

Community ESCF
Start Date

February 2023

Housing arranged by company To be discussed


Travel expenses, if any

Company Description

Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of chemicals, fibers and plastics materials found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2018 revenues of approximately $10 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA.

Project Description

Today’s invoice approval process at Eastman is partially automated, partially manual. The purpose of the project is to explore opportunities to automate also the manual approval flow for extra costs which are charged to us by our carriers.

The process flow today is:

  • A carrier informs us of the extra costs via email. When the logistics planner knows the extra costs in time and they can be linked to a specific shipment, the planner adds those costs in a text field in the shipment. When the invoice comes in, the invoice approval team checks the texts in the shipment and processes the invoice.
  • Alternatively, the extra cost is entered in an excel spreadsheet ‘OLT20XX’ and the carrier uses that OLT reference number on his invoice, so the invoice approval team can check the file for invoice processing.

The purpose of the project is to explore whether from the emails from the carriers we can autopopulate a standard file, that can then be linked to the open invoices that the invoice approval team needs to process, so that approval can be automated.

 If time allows, scope of the project could be expanded to build the link with the carrier portal and on time delivery data from carriers (eg. extra charges for waiting hours should not be accepted if carrier did not deliver on time). This is to be further defined during the project, should it appear that part I of the project does not take us far enough

Goals of the Project

Faster processing of extra costs, less manual work for Logistics Planners and rate audit team


Explore if it is possible from emails on extra costs, AI can populate a rate audit sheet that planner can upload and so that amount is entered in the shipment. When that is done, and when the invoice amount ties to the shipment (now also including the extra costs) the invoice would be approved by the system and move to A/P for payment.

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