150-year-old industry unlocks future-proof invoicing with SAP VIM

Nov 07, 2019
  • automotive
  • SAP

ARaymond is a global reference in automotive components, fixtures, clips and fasteners that was established in 1865. Since then, the industrial assembly solutions firm has opened up plants on nearly every continent. The company collaborates with a wide range of car manufacturers and suppliers. Its vast network makes invoice management a critical process for both efficiency and relationship management.

“We previously had an archiving solution, but every paper invoice had to be posted manually,” asserts Xavier Lapray, SAP Finance IT team leader at ARaymond. “Our ambition was to become a paperless office. That’s why we chose to implement the SAP Vendor Invoice Management module by OpenText.”

While ARaymond has its own IT department responsible for the day-to-day management of their SAP environment, they called on delaware’s in-depth SAP expertise to transform every aspect of their invoicing, purchasing and master data.

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Machines do the work – humans add the value

SAP VIM orchestrates and automates invoicing processes. “VIM can gather invoice data from a variety of sources – including paper. It scans paper invoices and extracts the data they contain using optical character recognition,” explains Hannes Dooms, FAST-Invoice solution owner at delaware. “As you can imagine, this relieves highly skilled accountants of time-consuming, error-prone manual labor.”

After the data is automatically extracted, the invoice can be posted to SAP immediately without the human intervention, except in the case of a discrepancy. “The module also includes a workflow solution for employees in purchasing/vendor master data teams, enabling them to quickly resolve any issues or follow up on discrepancies,” Hannes continues.

“Our team can process an increasing number of documents without their workloads increasing,” adds Ralf Heuberger, head of Purchasing and VIM power user at ARaymond. 

It’s not simply accounting processes that VIM improves at ARaymond. Ruben De Schrijver, project manager at delaware: “Their relationships with vendors are also closer and richer. Status requests can be fulfilled immediately, invoices are processed faster, and approval will be automated and fully digital via a web portal and an intuitive Fiori app.”

Tackling challenges as collaborators

delaware has developed a unique template for SAP VIM, FAST-INVOICE, that unlocks rapid implementation, budget savings and easy configuration for many different types of companies. “But since ARaymond is keenly interested in improving every process to the max, we had plenty of discussions about how to make our standard solution even better,” explains Ruben.

Since the initial rollout in Germany, numerous improvements have been introduced to solve unique challenges in many different domains. “We started implementing the solution years ago, with new features and rollouts being added on a regular basis.”

“To give just one example, their team was running into import documentation issues when importing goods from non-EU countries,” says Hannes. “They needed a unique process to verify the data contained in these import documents and to ensure that the provider is legally compliant. It took some deep collaboration and open minds to develop this solution, which is currently being tested.”

“Collaboration is really a feature of the delaware-ARaymond relationship,” adds Ruben. “We do the technical work, but we think alongside each other to develop complete solutions that solve the needs of the business.”

“delaware consultants have very strong skillsets,” Ralf agrees. “The team is really extraordinary: because delaware experts both consult and develop, they are present on both sides of the project, which speeds up communication and accelerates implementation times.”

Less chaos, continuous improvement across the board

The result? “The main benefit is that the process has become a lot less chaotic. The system includes various automatic checks, allowing the teams to identify problems not only with invoices, but also purchases and goods received,” Ruben goes on to say.” Since it was implemented, VIM has enabled ARaymond to truly identify the pain points in their business and take action on them.”

Invoice follow up has also become simpler, clearer and quicker. “Employees have an instant, at-a-glance overview of which invoice is where, who is responsible for it and its current status – there’s no need to call or e-mail anybody. Thanks to VIM, these processes are also standard across many different entities around the world.

And finally, continuous improvement and new features give ARaymond and delaware the opportunity to introduce future-proof new ways of working and to improve in areas beyond invoicing. Xavier: “The solution helps us achieve our sustainable development goals by unlocking a paperless flow, internal controls improvements and standardized segregation of duties.”

“We’re still rolling out various features of SAP VIM in different countries. We’re all looking forward to the possibilities this technology will continue to unlock,” Ralf concludes.

Manual invoice processing got you down? Streamline every purchasing, accounts payable and vendor master data process with SAP VIM – and our FAST-INVOICE accelerator.