Digital Business, News & Press

Carl Kühne implements solution for automatic invoice processing in SAP, and archives its data using EASY ENTERPRISE

Carl Kühne KG, one of Europe’s largest producers of mustards, vinegars and pickles, implemented an automated solution for processing incoming invoices in SAP throughout the company.  WMD (Workflow Management & Document Consulting) of Ahrensburg was commissioned to implement this project. Integration of the information capture solution Kofax Ascent Xtrata Pro ensures efficient digital classification and extraction of documents to be read. The EASY ENTERPRISE DMS/Archive server performs revision-proof archiving. Fully automated, this integrated DMS solution has been running in production mode since July 2007. It is used enterprise-wide by about 150 users.

Carl Kühne KG receives more than 60,000 mostly multi-page invoices from about 3,500 suppliers every year. These invoice documents are captured in the Hamburg-based center for one client and two company codes, and passed on to four sites where they are audited and posted. This used to be a time-consuming and work-intensive manual process.Â
Therefore, Carl Kühne KG decided to accelerate and considerably simplify this process. The implementation of an automated invoice processing software was additionally meant to include connecting the solution to the existing SAP system and to the EASY ENTERPRISE archive system that Kühne was already using.

Convincing functionality and value

Frank M. Schnepel, project leader and head of Finance and Accounting at Kühne, explains: “We were able to see for ourselves the functions and value of the planned solution on-site with WMD reference customers who were already successfully processing their invoices automatically.  This was the crucial factor for us in selecting EASY.”
The WMD overall solution is used to initially capture all incoming invoices at a central scan workstation. The FI/CO invoice data is then classified and extracted using the information capture solution Ascent Xtrata Pro.  Legally required invoice data, such as UID, tax number, date, sales tax/VAT rate, etc., is read and verified.  Following this, the read data is transferred to the central SAP system using the WMD interface FlexPost.  The created images are transferred to the EASY ENTERPRISE archive system in parallel. Documents pre-captured in SAP are created from the invoice document data, and further digitally processed using a standardized SAP business workflow.

Incoming invoices: significantly reduced processing times

This workflow ensures that the Accounting department will now definitely be aware anytime of who edits which invoice, where the invoices are being circulated, and when meeting discount deadlines is endangered.  Despite the fact that sites are spread all over Germany and are part of the verification and release cycle, the processing times of invoices might be reduced to less than a day.
At Kühne, 150 users are currently using the enterprise-wide workflow for factual invoice verification, which is ensured for SAP users in the SAP GUI, and for all other users via a Web front-end. The release of invoices is performed via the cost centers and cost center groups. Release for other postings takes place at GL account level.
The Hamburg-based family business plans implementing a digital statement processing solution as its follow-up project.

About Carl Kühne KG

The foundation stone for Carl Kühne KG (GmbH & Co) was laid in Berlin in 1722. Today Kühne is still a family-run business. Being one of the most successful premium brands for vinegars, mustards, delicatessen and pickles, Kühne represents healthy and enjoyable food. In Germany, the company is the market leader in nearly all of the above commodity groups; it is one of Europe’s  largest producers of vinegars, mustards and pickles. Its headquarters has been in Hamburg since 1945. The Kühne Group employs a staff of 1,600. Its German facilities are located in Berlin, Cuxhaven, Hagenow, Hamm, Schweinfurt, and Straelen. Its European sites are in Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Poland, and Turkey.

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