The success of the Electronic Invoice at Abertis at a Global Level

There are many companies that suffer from a multitude of inefficiencies in terms of their procurement management and their accounts payable integration process. This is what we call the P2P process (Procure to Pay ), and the great challenge is to be able to identify the points of improvement that will allow us to optimize the process, and to rely on the appropriate technological solutions.

This was the strategic objective set by our client Abertis, and in this post we want to tell you about the success of the analysis of their internal processes, the effect of implementing a global solution with which they addressed the improvements identified, and how they relied on the use of electronic invoicing to optimize the management of documents received from your suppliers.

Abertis is a leading Spanish corporation in infrastructure management. It is the leading toll road concessionaire in Spain and the world’s leading operator in terms of the number of kilometers managed in Europe and Latin America.

Challenges in the Abertis P2P process

Abertis did a great job of internal analysis to identify the challenges and, therefore, the objectives that had to be met in order to overcome them:

  • Purchase planning: management of cost planning in SAP by means of the purchase plan.
  • Simplification of purchasing circuits: decentralization of the purchasing process in the technical areas and adoption of procurement circuits that simplify the process.
  • Service acceptance: improvement of the material/service acceptance process and reduction of the process delivery time, eliminating the use of paper and the exchange of documentation.
  • Supplier invoice management: automate administrative tasks, reduce invoice posting time, and take advantage of the opportunities and benefits offered by electronic invoicing.

Objective

The main initiative with which they addressed all these challenges was the implementation of a global digitalization model, capable of establishing guidelines and best practices at the process level that could be replicated throughout the group at the international level.

From Brait we were fortunate to accompany them in the definition process with which they approached the optimization of the management of supplier invoices, and the following objectives were se

  • Prepare the system for automatic electronic invoice integration.
  • Reduce document rejections.
  • Reduce invoice management time.
  • Prevent late payments.
  • Promote the acceptance of the service / material before the invoice arrived.
  • Provide information to operational areas.

The implementation of mandatory electronic invoicing is spreading worldwide, which represents a great opportunity for companies to automate the processing of these invoices.

The opportunity lies in the great benefits involved, some of them being:

  • Reduction of lost invoices.
  • Cash flow improvement.
  • Reduction of approval time.
  • Improved data quality.
  • Cost reduction in the management of such invoices.
  • Regulatory compliance.

In the case of Abertis, they were able to take advantage of this opportunity to automate and standardise their procurement processes with a solution that was scalable for the entire group:

On the one hand, they opted to rely on local digitisation platforms that would allow them to cover the legal reporting needs of each country. These platforms are responsible for centralising the receipt of documents from suppliers in each location, and are in turn responsible for digitising and transmitting the invoices to the Abertis SAP system.

Once the documents have been digitised and integrated into SAP, Abertis opted for the Vendor Invoice Management by OpenText solution to cover the entire invoice management and accounting process.

With this solution, Abertis covered the automation and control of all the verification, accounting and approval processes to which its documents are subjected before being released for payment:

Digitization Model and Invoice processing

The results

The benefits of implementing the solution are numerous:

  • Implementation of a global industrial model valid for the entire group.
  • Workflow of purchasing documents integrated into the system.
  • Greater involvement of technical and operational areas through the use of SAP Fiori.
  • Automatic registration of invoices and reduction of processing time (clear and easily addressable responsibility).

Control has also been gained:

  • Reduced manual labour and increased productivity.
  • Invoices filed and approved in the system (eliminates the use of paper).
  • Easy tracking and traceability of the entire invoice cycle.
  • Backlog visibility.

En In numbers (in less than a year):

  • Automatic invoice posting:
    +15% of total invoices.
  • Invoices matching Goods Receipt:
    64% match.
  • Invoice processing days (receipt vs. posting):
    -2,2 days on average. From an average of 5 days to an average of 2.8 days.
  • Average time for exception handling:
    reduced by 4,5h, from 6 hours to 1,5 hours.

The key to the success of this project is the adaptation of the solutions to the legal regulations of each country, as well as the understanding of Abertis’ business process and its specific challenges.

This project has been rolled out over the last 3 years in countries such as Italy, France, Mexico, Chile and Spain. We are still working to adapt Spain to the regulations of the Ley Crea y Crece in terms of electronic invoicing, and the next challenge will be to roll-outs in Brazil and Argentina.

If you want to see a demo, or consult your specific case, do not hesitate to contact us, our team of experts will be happy to assist you.

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