Motor Presse Stuttgart digitalizes incoming invoice processing and contract management
Media company Motor Presse Stuttgart
Motor Presse Stuttgart is a media company that has grown into an international enterprise since its foundation in 1946. Today it publishes around 140 magazines worldwide in the subject areas of motoring, lifestyle, sport and leisure. Beyond this classic print core business, Motor Presse Stuttgart GmbH & Co. KG has been investing and expanding into new business areas for years. The company’s portfolio now includes a wide range of online products, TV activities, events and services.
Document management with Microsoft 365 and SAP
Why they decided for d.velop
Motor Presse Stuttgart was looking for a SharePoint based solution for the automatic management of incoming invoices (including verification and approval workflow) and contracts.
With the digital invoice processing in Microsofot 365, all desired requirements could be met. Thus, the contract management in Microsoft 365 supports all necessary processes throughout the entire contract lifecycle. And also the use of d.velop solutions for Microsoft 365 and SAP, which Markus Ilka of Motor Presse Stuttgart describes in this report, contributes to a significant improvement of the processes and provides more transparency between the financial accounting and the specialized departments.
The early, digital invoice capture facilitates the in-house tracking of invoices enormously. There is no longer a manual paper archive; each invoice is directly accessible with the appropriate access authorization, both for financial accounting via SAP and Microsoft 365 and for the specialist department in the portal. The specialist departments no longer keep a duplicate paper archive. Information on account assignments or notes from the workflow is retained for transfer to SAP.
For Markus Ilka, Head of Information Management at Motor Presse Stuttgart GmbH & Co. KG, integrated SharePoint solutions have a much brighter future compared to isolated applications. “Every stand-alone solution needs corresponding prerequisites for technical operation. This technology must be embedded in the IT infrastructure, supported, maintained and, last but not least, kept future-proof. The respective specific administration of users or, for example, the control of rights in the various applications also poses problems for us time and again. If we can avoid this by using an integrated platform like Microsoft 365, we have already gained a lot”.
For me, SharePoint is basically a document management platform. Furthermore, it is perfect for collaboration mechanisms. d.velop was the only complete professional solution for SharePoint with the solutions for Microsoft 365 at the time of the solution decision.
Lead Architect MS SharePoint & Vehicle Database
Motor Presse Stuttgart
SharePoint was set as a strategic platform
A major reason for preferring SharePoint solutions at the successful Stuttgart media company is also the better use of existing know-how. The mechanisms and tools used remain identical and can still be flexibly applied to the various requirements and solutions. The strategy of Motor Presse Stuttgart: when analyzing the requirements of projects in which document- and/or role-based processes are in the foreground, the first approach is to use the existing platform of SharePoint technology.
“If this is possible, we don’t even have to face the overall issue of technical implementation. We are also prepared to make compromises when comparing functional scopes to a solution, since our experience to date has shown that the overall costs are noticeably lower when using the existing infrastructure in SharePoint”.
The initial situation of Motor Presse Stuttgart
There were no digital components in the processing of incoming invoices. At the end of the process, the paper invoices were manually entered into the SAP system by the accounting department. The objectives of Motor Presse: All invoices were to be digitized centrally and immediately archived in an audit-proof manner. In addition, direct access from SAP for all employees involved in the respective approval process was to be guaranteed. The digital book of incoming invoices, which is thus automatically available, should provide improved controlling mechanisms. The manually bound paper process and the sometimes duplicate and time-consuming processing of information were to be eliminated, and essential information from the specialist departments regarding the invoice was to be seamlessly retained, made available, and automatically used for posting.
Markus Ilka has been monitoring the DMS and SharePoint market for many years:„For me, SharePoint is basically a document management platform. Furthermore, it is perfect for collaboration mechanisms. d.velop was the only complete professional solution for SharePoint with the solutions for Microsoft 365 at the time of the solution decision. No further products or old DMS components were required. Also, the existing ERP know-how, as in our case for SAP, was decisive for the selection of d.velop AG as a solution provider. With the document management in Microsoft 365 as software, we can archive all necessary documents via SharePoint in an audit-proof way and flexibly integrate our workflow requirements.“
Project “digital invoice processing with SAP
The IT team at Motor Presse Stuttgart divided the overall project into three sub-steps
- Project step
At the same time as the project was set up, invoices from the previous year and the current fiscal year were transferred to the digital invoice archive via a service provider (“late scanning”), via DMS and linked to the SAP documents. The scanning of the current documents was handled by the financial accounting department. The documents can be accessed directly from SAP.
- Project step
The “early scanning”: The documents were scanned before the invoice was circulated. The invoice data was read out with OCR and the corresponding validation and transferred to SAP – here to the Process Monitor of d.velop – as in the case of a preliminary entry. The release process of the invoices is then carried out as usual in paper form. Thus, the employees were successively introduced to the new working methods.
- Project step
The last project step dealt with the introduction of the workflow in which the invoice is transferred to SharePoint after pre-capture. Here, the clerks can choose from various workflow types. The approval process runs differently depending on the workflow type. All necessary parameters for the workflow are stored by the financial accounting department in SharePoint and maintained in the master data. Account assignments or other relevant information can be entered by the employees in the release process. Before the data is returned to SAP for automatic posting, the financial accounting department can perform checks at the end of the approval process. Markus Ilka: “Especially well solved: In a difference display, changes between the preliminary entry and processing during the approval process are visually highlighted”.
SharePoint is set as the central platform at Motor Presse. “We will consistently continue the strategy we have started to implement requirements conforming and fitting within SharePoint.