New Platform for Electronic Invoice Exchange
Deutsche Post and SAP introduce innovative offer for business customersBonn/Walldorf, 05/16/2005, 11:30 AM CEST
Deutsche Post and SAP are offering companies new ways to cut invoicing and invoice-processing costs with a newly developed platform for electronic invoice exchange between business customers. On the basis of software developed by SAP, Deutsche Post imports the electronic invoice data from the invoicer's billing system, converting and then transmitting it to the recipient in the preferred data format. The recipient of the invoice can then transfer the data directly into its own electronically supported clearance process or accounting system. The platform will be added on in the fourth quarter of the year. Following introduction to the German market, the offer is to be gradually expanded to other countries as well.
For German companies, this is an entirely new solution offering considerable savings potential regardless of company size. Invoice recipients lower their costs for processing incoming invoices, while invoicers benefit from a simple and cost-efficient solution for invoice transmission and can simultaneously aid in their customers' efforts to save money with a technically adaptable connection.
Half of all invoices from the top 150 suppliers of a large company come from the 20 biggest suppliers. For cost reasons, setting up a connection over Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is often worthwhile only for these suppliers. In many cases, however, suppliers actually number in the thousands.
Until now, a connection solution at an attractive price was unavailable in particular for smaller invoicers. This means that even companies already using EDI can now tap considerable potential for cutting costs in the area of invoice management thanks to the online document service from Deutsche Post.
In order to achieve maximum simplification and the greatest possible additional benefits for invoice recipients, it is possible to process both electronically transmitted data and incoming invoices on paper. These paper bills are digitalized and then imported together with the invoices received electronically. Initial customer talks revealed that many companies have assigned top priority to the search for a functional solution to optimizing the processing of incoming invoices.
For Deutsche Post, the online document service is an important building block in the company's declared strategy of expanding its range of mail services. "We want to become a communication service provider for our customers. It is therefore only logical that we offer new services to augment the classic mail business together with high-performance partners such as SAP," commented Dr. Hans-Dieter Petram, Member of the Board of Management.
"SAP has already assumed a pioneering role in fostering innovations in a manner that meets established needs. Today, companies' requirements demand rapid and efficient implementation of new business processes. The partnership with Deutsche Post is therefore strategically important to SAP. It provides everything needed for the successful marketing of such an innovative business model with great promise for the future. We provide companies with a clear competitive edge by establishing a platform for the electronic exchange of documents," explains Michael Kleinemeier, Managing Director of SAP Deutschland AG & Co. KG and Regional President of the EMEA Central region.