Zipline Automates Payables Operations to Accelerate Delivery of Life-Saving Drone Services

HQ San Francisco, CA
Customer Since 2019

Industry Manufacturing & Healthcare Services

  • Scaled financial operations globally while reducing resources needed for processing AP
  • Increased spend transparency and control
  • Enhanced integration for purchase order matching with ERP, NetSuite
Rebooting finance teams-rr-em

Before Tipalti, our finance team was working 70 hours a week on AP. Now, that’s down significantly with half the staff needed. It’s a huge reduction in both cost and time.

David Wong | Head of Finance at Zipline

Zipline is “using technology to save lives.”

The world’s largest autonomous logistics network, Zipline is delivering medicine to those in need. Servicing up to 240,000,000 people globally and growing, they have built the world’s fastest and most reliable delivery drone—all in pursuit of the company’s mission to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies.

With a passionate, eco-conscious board that includes U2 frontman, Bono, Zipline is a life-saving company that optimizes technology to achieve their humanitarian goals.

With operations primarily based in the United States and Africa, Zipline had their sights set on continued global growth. But for David Wong, Head of Finance, the continuous addition of new jurisdictions, currencies, and time zones, increased the complexity of their existing payments process.

The process was extremely manual, which created delays in payments. For Zipline, delays in payments directly equate to delays in production—which for us, means life or death.

For finance to successfully scale without adding significant headcount in each new country, Wong knew he needed to centralize the entire function and build infrastructures that could efficiently operate. His first stop was payments.

“We wanted our operations to advance in new countries without the headache of payments. We needed to accommodate as many payment terms and currencies as possible—and we weren’t going to do that manually.”

For Wong, there were three significant challenges that the finance team faced: an inefficient invoice approval process, lengthy data reconciliation, and a lack of audit trail and internal controls. With these in mind, Wong knew he needed an automation solution built for volume and reach—he knew he needed Tipalti.

“The Tipalti workflow has saved our team a significant amount of time—now, one invoice can be paid in just 30 seconds.”

For Zipline, the benefits were significant. By upgrading to Tipalti, the finance team was able to reduce its payments workload by 75 percent. Plus, they were now fully able to streamline their integration with ERP, NetSuite.

Tipalti’s PO matching review and customizable fields are critical to our operations. Not many systems have that complex integration and can directly sync back to NetSuite.

So, what’s the future for Zipline?

“We’re focusing on analyzing what we have spent and how we can optimize. We want finance to be a real partner to the company—every single penny should be spent in a good way.”

And for payments?

With Tipalti, I am confident that we can expand to more countries without adding new staff to handle the operations.

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