Various invoicing systems in the logistics environment have already been completely ported to BRIM, but the biggest change is still to come: the replacement of the central invoicing system KUREPO (KUnden-REchnungsdaten POstdienstleistungen), in which the core postal services are processed. KUREPO is a historically grown in-house development of Swiss Post and will be transferred to BRIM step by step over the coming years. In a first step, revenue data posting was already migrated to BRIM in 2022 in order to take advantage of the FI-CA subledger, which is designed for mass data. It will take several more years before the maintenance of customer and price master data, the rating of consumption data are adopted. E3 Magazine spoke with Flavia Colaianni, SAP-BRIM module consultant at Swiss Post, and Stefan Swoboda, Principal Consultant at SAP implementation partner GTW.
E3: Ms. Colaianni, what exactly is behind the acronym KUREPO?
Flavia Colaianni, Swiss Post: The abbreviation stands for Kunden-Rechnungs-daten Postdienstleistungen (Customer Billing Data Postal Services) and is a central system for managing customer and rate master data as well as billing and invoicing for core postal services such as letters, parcel post, newspapers and forwarding orders. KUREPO is a non-SAP system and enables customer relationships to be managed efficiently and all relevant information on customers, contracts and services to be stored in a central location. As we have decided to use SAP BRIM company-wide as the central billing solution for bulk data, the replacement of KUREPO is now also taking place in stages.
Stefan Swoboda, GTW: The customer development KUREPO has been in use at Swiss Post for over 20 years and has grown historically. It is therefore particularly important to transfer the core functionalities and processes to SAP BRIM and at the same time to map them in a future-proof manner. The goal is to map the entire invoicing process, including receivables management, on the central S/4 platform in BRIM, using the generic and standardized processes that have been built up over the past few years.
E3: And what are the special features?
Colaianni: Both postal and third-party services are billed via KUREPO. We are very open and innovative when it comes to our service business, which often goes beyond pure postal services, for example Recycling at Home with Nespresso to take back empty capsules, Take me back with Swisscom and UPS Switzerland, home delivery service with libraries, delivery of regional products for farms and specialty stores, and meter reading for electricity, water and gas. Anything that cannot be billed directly via KUREPO is processed via so-called miscellaneous invoices, which are currently already processed via BRIM via file upload.
E3: How does the KUREPO project fit into your SAP activities?
Colaianni: It is quite a large SAP project covering various aspects of customer service, billing and receivables management. KUREPO is part of a very large and complex IT architecture and integrates with other SAP modules and components to ensure seamless business operations.
E3: What are the objectives of the introduction of BRIM?
Swoboda: The goals include correct and timely invoicing as well as transparent and audit-proof posting in SAP, no delays in invoicing due to interfaces to accounting, support for all business transactions processed by KUREPO, error-free mapping of revenues in FI, CO and COPA, and correct processing of revenues from various SAP and non-SAP source systems. Also important are correct and complete accounting of sales tax, correct processing of foreign currency invoices and supplying credit management with open items.
E3: What distinguishes the billing solution?
Swoboda: With the use of BRIM, the entire process for handling the consumption-to-cash process for mass data can be automated. Despite different upstream systems and data structures, the creation of a consolidated invoice is greatly simplified. The full integration of BRIM with S/4 Hana Finance, Treasury and Controlling is also a major advantage.
E3: Can you briefly explain the master data model?
Colaianni: Currently, KUREPO is the leading system for customer master data and transmits the mutations via master data interface to S/4. A customer with
1 to n debtors in KUREPO is mapped in BRIM as business partners with 1 to n contract accounts. Typically, a separate contract account is created for each business area. In the target solution, S/4 is the leading master data system; business partners and contract accounts are created via Master Data Governance, MDG.
E3: You mentioned various invoices - what is behind them?
Colaianni: Miscellaneous billing provides a way to bill for services that cannot be handled directly through the company's standard billing system, in this case KUREPO. These can be various types of services, such as post office box rental, forwarding orders or even parking space rental to postal employees.
E3: And how does the billing work?
Swoboda: The process of miscellaneous billing is based on a CSV or Excel upload in BRIM. The relevant data is read into the system via a Fiori app. Billing and invoicing are then triggered automatically. The functionality can be used for both regular customers and business partners entered in MDG. The bookings can also be transferred directly to the general ledger if required. This additional process is not limited to one business area, but can also be used by other areas such as logistics services or customs clearance.
E3: From your consulting experience, what is particularly important in this mammoth project?
Swoboda: For a project of this size, it is advisable to establish a core team that is available for the entire duration of the project. This team should consist of project managers, specialist departments on the customer side and experts in the software solution. Furthermore, it is necessary to rethink existing processes. The new solution should not be adapted to the existing processes, but the existing processes should be rethought and mapped in the new solution in as harmonized a way as possible. Above all, this requires a great deal of communication between those involved, but also their openness to the new solution.
E3: What will KUREPO look like in five years' time?
Colaianni: The posting of revenue data and accounts receivable management have already been completely transferred to BRIM in 2022. Master data management and billing are currently still running in KUREPO, but this will now be gradually transferred to BRIM. In the target picture, SAP BRIM will be the only billing system for mass data billing at Swiss Post. In addition, this future solution will also harmonize all sub-ledger processes such as dunning, payment, installment plans, interest calculation, collection etc.
E3: Thank you for the interview.