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Using NetSuite to Create a Faster Billing Process for an Airport Terminal - Case Study

Faster Billing Process for an Airport Terminal: A Case Study

Client: A major airport terminal in the United States

Location: New York

Technology Solutions: NetSuite and PowerApps

Results at a Glance: A modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution automated sales, billing, and collection processes.

One of the most frequently used terminals at the United States’ most popular airport for international travel handles a healthy portion of the 33 million international travelers who pass through its gates annually. What makes the airport and each of its terminals unique from other airports in the area is that each terminal is owned by an airline or consortium. This specific terminal is under the direction of a consortium of carriers who make up the client company. While the company was able manage flights, services, and shops with ease, they were challenged with keeping track of billing, receivables, and collections.


Handling the needs of four partner airlines and 17 contract carriers, the company needed an easier way to bill for flights and ancillary services provided to its customers. The company was relying on paper-based processes, resulting in month-end delays, inaccurate billing, and problems for the company’s revenue streams. The major challenges were billing airlines for services provided and acting as a landlord for the dozens of businesses operating within the terminal.

The company needed to track the delivery of services and their contracts, including changes in pricing over the life of the contract. Pricing structures and increases to fees differed with each airline; some would see annual percentage increases while others would see nominal increases. Also, roughly 20% of the company’s revenue came from the operation of shops, restaurants, and facilities, in which fees were charged to the retailers as a percentage of sales. These pre-negotiated fees scaled with the volume of sales for each business. Calculating this constantly-changing percentage and comparing it with the minimum annual guarantee on paper was both time consuming and inaccurate, requiring a large amount of work for a small portion of revenue.


Citrin Cooperman developed a two-fold approach to meet the client’s needs. The client required a system that could manage pricing, invoice generation, and billing. This system also needed to be tailored to each existing contract while having enough intelligence to handle the changing needs written into the contract. Citrin Cooperman developed an interface within NetSuite that offered a unique and flexible contract management solution that could handle complex contracts with different airlines. Our team also developed a contract escalation process with a logic-based program where a user could easily enter the percentage or dollar amount increase that will occur each year and automatically adjust as needed. We also included the flexibility to adjust for other factors, like minimum wage increases, and made it easier to document the inventory used so it could be presented to a customer, making it easy to provide them with an itemized invoice that matches the exact language of the contract.

Citrin Cooperman also implemented the NetSuite Customer Portal so the client could directly enter information into the portal and generate an invoice that incorporates both the minimum annual guarantee and tiered cost structure. The portal also provided the client with the ability to track sales from the nearly 50 businesses that existed across the terminal and allowed tenants to log into the portal and see what they owed based on the percentage of sales. For customers needing ancillary services, we developed a remote order entry app using PowerApps that allowed an airline manager to request and sign-off on services from a mobile device. The request would route into the customer portal and automatically generate an invoice.

Key Benefits

  • A flexible and easy to use contract management system and customer portal simplified sales, billing, and collection processes.
  • NetSuite’s automated solution gave our client visibility, control, and major cost savings, allowing the company to track every input to provide an accurate and timely invoice for customers.
  • With automatic calculations, the terminal could bill more accurately, collect more money, and serve its clients more effectively.

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