IRIS Partner: WMD
With over 8,000 customers per year, Carglass is the number-one automobile glass specialist in Germany. The company repairs damaged glass parts in its service centers, numbering over 260 in Germany, or offers customers quick on-the-spot support with its mobile auto-glass service.
In the beginning of 2010, WMD installed a unified ECM system at Carglass. At the heart of the installation is an electronic invoice processing system based on software components EASY DOCUMENTS and IRISXtract™. WMD integrated the invoice workflow with EASY DOCUMENTS into the ERP Platform Oracle Financials. The option of invoice release per mobile device is an aspect that is especially comfortable for the employees connected to the workflow. WMD also converted server-based email archiving with the software solution EASY xBASE. It has clearly lightened the load of the exchange server.
When a regional manager whose workplace is not at the company headquarters needs to release an invoice, he simply starts his Web app. When using a device that is browser-enabled, the mobile user can process documents aided by an integrated movement sensor – at the office, at the airport, or in his home office. “EASY DOCUMENTS Mobile” is the name of this application, optimized for mobile end devices and now used for the first time at Carglass. The option of performing invoice release via mobile devices was one of Carglass’ installation requirements for electronic invoice processing. The automobile service provider requires a system like this to accelerate release processes that have been paper-based, as well as to integrate mobile employees.
EASY DOCUMENTS serves as the software platform for workflow and DMS at Carglass. WMD was contracted to set up the invoice processing solution based on its extensive experience in comparable projects. The workflow EASY DOCUMENTS “Invoice” was set up by WMD as a bi-directional posting interface to the ERP platform Oracle EBS Financials developed by WMD and Carglass in a collaborative project. “WMD xFlow Invoice for ERP” is what this product is called. It allows various workflows that run outside of SAP to be connected easily to ERP systems. This way, Carglass can also monitor the entry of electronic invoices sent by email. Based on XMailFetcher from IRIS, emails are automatically extracted in combination with IRISXtract™.
At Carglass, the vast majority of invoices arrives by post, accounting for approximately 100,000 incoming paper invoices annually. These invoices must be checked by various persons in the company. Most of the invoices arrive at the company’s headquarters in Cologne and are scanned at that location in Accounts Payable. The rest of the invoices are received directly at over 260 Carglass branches across Germany. New workplaces have not been necessary so far for the purposes of scanning – rather, invoices are initialed by the purchaser as correct and forwarded on to headquarters with company post. There, they are digitalized, verified, and fed into the workflow for approval.
At the moment, around 100 approvers and releasers are connected to the release workflow. Depending on invoice volume, up to two more superiors must be involved in the release of every incoming invoice. According to Sonja Goebel, Head of Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable at Carglass, “We have a very stringent approval procedure with corresponding release limits. The agent who performs the numerical checks forwards the invoice on to his or her superiors for approval. Depending on the amount of the invoice, this superior then initiates an additional release level.” Since all releasers have been electronically connected to the process, the average time-span required for release has been dramatically reduced.
A good half of the releasers originate in departments such as Purchasing, Marketing, and Personnel in the central administration. Carglass Germany is also separated into seventeen regions, each of which is headed by a regional manager. In addition, there are three district managers as well as the company management, which is also involved in invoice release. WMD has set up a special feature, mobile invoice release, for them. The Web app functioning with movement recognition, the mobile client from EASY DOCUMENTS Mobile, is being used for the first time at Carglass. Members of the company management and regional or district managers can, independent of network, log into the system from any location and call up and sign the invoices via optimized mobile menus.
The ECM and workflow project at Carglass began in the fourth quarter of 2009; the solution has been in productive operation since March, 2010. Along with invoice processing, WMD has also set up EASY xBASE, a server-based email archiving system for Microsoft Exchange 2010 through which all emails relevant to business originating from 1.300 mailboxes are now securely archived.
“Despite minimal preparation, the collaboration with WMD worked out very well in the project,” says Sonja Goebel. “We are informed of new developments immediately, and WMD has proven to be a competent partner who reacts very quickly to unanticipated challenges. If something doesn’t work as well as planned, WMD is always very accommodating – this is what a good partnership is for us.”
It’s because of this new system that we are so much faster in settling invoices. The processing time for invoices has been reduced through scanning and workflow, and our authority regarding commitments and documents that are in circulation has increased significantly.
Ute Wedding, Payables Team Leader, Carglass