The Bosch Group receives its suppliers’ invoices through many different channels, from paper to eInvoicing. Until recently, however, suppliers could obtain an overview of the processing status only for electronically sent invoices. As a result, in addition to balance confirmations or reminders, general inquiries about payment dates or the status of an invoice began to accumulate. For this reason, Bosch, together with SupplyOn, developed a Finance Portal that provides suppliers with a comprehensive view of the processing status regardless of the invoice channel. A request channel in the Finance Portal, which is integrated with other Bosch tools, further reduces internal administrative work and increases the service level.
Robert Bosch GmbH has already been using SupplyOn’s Purchase-to-Pay solution for the digital ordering and invoicing process with its suppliers for several years.
In total, Bosch receives several million invoices per year through various channels. But it is not only the number of invoices that is enormous. The same applies to the associated requests from suppliers to Bosch, for example regarding the processing status of the invoice or the planned payment date. These requests cause a high internal administrative effort at Bosch because the staff have to convert the unstructured requests into a standardized format before processing.
Solution: The Finance Portal
In response, Bosch set out to find a solution that would not only reduce the number of requests, but also enable them to process these more efficiently. After all, the number of inquiries per year from non-production material suppliers alone is in the 6-digit range.
Together with SupplyOn, Bosch developed a financial portal that provides suppliers with clarity, regardless of the invoice channel, as to whether their invoice has been received and approved and when it will be released for payment. All suppliers benefit from this transparency, even those who have not previously used eInvoicing. They too now have a complete overview of all their invoices and the respective processing status. All required data is transferred from the Bosch ERP via an interface to the SupplyOn Finance Portal.
In addition, suppliers can send structured queries directly to Bosch via the Finance Portal. These range from general inquiries, e.g. concerning the invoice status or payment date, to reminders and balance confirmations for auditing purposes.
These requests are posted directly into Bosch’s internal support system. As the inquiries are highly pre-structured and contain a direct reference to one or more invoices where appropriate, they can be processed much faster and more efficiently than before.
Ease-of-use and intuitive interfaces were key elements of the portal solution from the outset. Additionally, the solution needed to handle the enormous amount of data that had to be transferred to the Finance Portal during the roll-out.
Bosch placed big emphasis on creating the highest transparency possible. Therefore, all invoices including status information were to be viewable retrospectively until January 2019. Accordingly, the solution and the roll-out had to be designed in a manner that millions of data records could be imported with no difficulty.
The project was initiated in May 2019. About nine months later, the solution was initially piloted for around 9,000 suppliers in Germany and India at the beginning of 2020. A total of around 18,000 suppliers in 27 countries are to be connected within the first year.
Project Manager Alexandra Mesquita, Global Process Owner for Digital Invoices at Robert Bosch GmbH, is highly satisfied: “With the Finance Portal from SupplyOn, we have gained a great solution for us and our suppliers. It provides us with considerably more efficient processes and a higher service level. On top, our suppliers benefit from a clearly improved transparency on the status of all their invoices to Bosch, no matter which channel they use to send these invoices to us”.
- Suppliers receive a comprehensive view of the status and payment of all their invoices to Bosch – regardless of the respective invoice channel, be it paper, e-mail, fax or via eInvoicing
- Reduced number of inquiries to Bosch due to high transparency of processing status and payment date
- All requests are sent via a single electronic channel. This is directly connected to the internal Bosch systems and ensures that no request is lost
- Simple and structured inquiry process, with mandatory fields, which allows for a clear assignment of the inquiry and thus efficient and faster processing
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates in about 60 countries across the globe. The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility.