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Procure-2-Pay scenario under SAP S/4HANA

With software from xSuite, Swiss meat manufacturer Bell Food is building a cross-country solution for integrated ordering and invoicing processes
Dina Haack, xSuite Group
March 7, 2023
Bell Food Group
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Standardization in demand

Bell Food Group Ltd. is the Swiss market leader for meat processing and convenience food with annual sales of 4.2 billion Swiss francs (2021). The company is represented in 15 European countries. Following the group's decision in 2017 to switch from the old SAP ECC 6.0 to S/4HANA, previously used SAP add-ons also proved to be outdated. The invoice solution used in the home country was not standard and compatible with S/4HANA.

"The whole application had only been developed for Switzerland and would have had to be revised. That was too tricky for us because we were looking for an invoicing solution for international use," explains Manfred Portmann-Philipp, SAP expert in the IT department of the Bell Food Group (BFG). A new solution was therefore sought for Switzerland and at the same time for the entire Bell Food Group.

Good experience with xSuite in the neighboring country

At that time, the German subsidiary had already been using an archive and the invoice receipt processing solution from xSuite for several years. Based on the experience there, Bell Schweiz AG also decided to implement the invoice workflow based on S/4HANA as well as the SAP archive, both from xSuite. "The manufacturer made a very good impression in its presentation. xSuite offers a holistic portfolio that can run under S/4HANA and enables us to roll out internationally," explains John Martinussen, ICT Project Manager at Bell Food Group AG. Several Bell national companies are now working with S/4HANA in the on-premises variant, including France, Austria and Germany, as well as various Swiss BFG companies.

Bell Food Group
Headquarters of the Bell Food Group

Bell Schweiz AG itself was still running an SAP ECC 6.0 system until 2021, which has now also been migrated to S/4HANA. So wherever the new SAP product generation is used in the Bell Food Group, incoming invoices now pass through the SAP-integrated solution xSuite Invoice. And the SAP-certified xSuite archive is also used. Not only invoices are stored in it, but all SAP-related documents that need to be kept in an audit-proof manner. Slaughter documents from meat production, for example, which Bell digitizes using a scanning solution installed at several locations.

550 people in the release workflow, and rising

The invoice processing solution from xSuite is currently being rolled out internationally. In Switzerland, 70 percent of invoices already arrive by e-mail as a normal PDF, while the rest are scanned. The situation is similar at Bell Germany, where the proportion of structured data records in ZUGFeRD or XInvoice format is also continuing to increase. These are also accepted and processed with the xSuite solution. Around 400 people are connected to the approval workflow in Switzerland, and 550 already internationally, with an upward trend. John Martinussen: "The cooperation with xSuite is exemplary. We have excellent experts at our disposal who support us promptly."

The goal is end-to-end, automated P2P processes

The majority of the approximately 100,000 incoming invoices at Bell CH/F each year are order-related. Lukas Husi from the group's purchasing department: "Our goal is to merge ordering and invoicing processes into continuous, automated P2P processes without media breaks. By introducing the procurement solution from xSuite, we want to achieve this." Purchase order requests will then no longer be made by mail or on demand, but entered directly into the system. "Here, too, we were able to draw on the experience of our German colleagues in Switzerland, who have been working with xSuite Procurement for some time," says Lukas Husi.

Technically everything from a single source

With the solutions for processing order confirmations and delivery bills in SAP, Bell wants to form a holistic solution in which everything is technically from a single source. Although order confirmations (AB) were already processed in the past, the method used at that time had no future in view of the S/4HANA migration and the idea of a holistic solution. Lukas Husi: "The interaction of all components from xSuite results in a perfect match: Invoices run through automatically in the dark if no discrepancies are detected between quantities and price. As a result, we have significantly less effort in invoice processing."

The introduction of the xSuite Business Partner Portal is another option for Bell Food. With this central platform, P2P processes can be carried out digitally and standardized with suppliers. Purchasing, accounting and suppliers exchange all procurement-related data and documents via this, and an automatic transfer of all data and documents from the portal to the SAP system relieves the burden on purchasing and accounting. "With xSuite, we have chosen the right solution portfolio, as you can see from the fact that commercial processes are viewed holistically" states Husi. "Not everyone delivers an outstanding product that can be used to set up international P2P scenarios under S/4HANA."

Dina Haack, xSuite Group

Dina Haack has been at home in the B2B software industry for more than ten years. She is responsible for marketing at the globally active xSuite Group in Ahrensburg. Thematically, she focuses on SAP-integrated business processes and forward-looking e-invoices. She has long since found her way to the cloud. Since February 2022, Dina Haack has been chair of Bitkom's Digital Office Services & Cloud working group.

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