User Report ZUGFeRD!


Gebr. Westhoff create invoices that conform to the ZUGFeRD standards with SAP

In December 2014 the company Gebr. Westhoff GmbH & Co. KG created an invoicing process with SAP which conforms to the ZUGFeRD standards. The traditional, medium sized, family run Bremen company uses the solution created by the certified SAP partner LS GmbH together with the PDF/A experts LuraTech Europe GmbH.

The family run company Gebr. Westhoff with around 200 employees has operated exclusively in the up-market food and hotel sector for over 145 years: Additional to the high value Westhoff coffee, the various Espressi of the well-known label „W Espresso Il Mio“, the most unusual tee sorts with the label „W Tea Dream“ they also offers drinking chocolate and cacao specialities under the label „W Choco Châlet“. The future orientated strategy of the company is reflected in its product areas of the bio Fairtrade label „Café Manos“ and a complete bio Tee range.

The drive to look at the ZUGFeRD data model was initiated by increasing requests from customers to exchange invoices electronically. According to Christian Schrader, the internal marketing manager at  Gebr. Westhoff, they were approached by many middle-sized companies for whom it was not financially viable to invest in the EDI data transfer methods for invoices. The ZUGFeRD data model offers an attractive alternative because the investment for the invoice processing is minimal. ZUGFeRD compatible invoices are in the visual PDF/A-3 format which can be filed away but which also contains the invoice in xml format. The data model has been developed by the Forum elektronische Rechnungen (FeRD) to which many institutes and companies belong.

The Gebr. Westhoff took part in a Webinar organised by the LuraTech and the LS, here they demonstrated their combined solution. The user generates the PDF Invoice with SAP in the conventional way and then passes it on to OSIS, software from the LS. OSIS receives the IDOC export, for example via the SAP-RFC (Remote Function Call) interface, and converts it into an XML file in the ZUGFeRD format.  OSIS passes this onto the LuraTech compressor with the respective PDF file. The LuraTech compressor converts it into a PDF/A file, embeds in the ZUGFeRD-XML file in it and creates the necessary meta data. The result is a ZUGFeRD compatible PDF/A-3 invoice which can automatically be sent per Email, also via OSIS, in electronic form.

The presentation convinced Christian Schrader to get in touch with the LS. At the first meeting in October 2014 the special requirements for the system solution were defined. The company wanted the email text to contain dynamic content from the invoice for example the invoice number and monetary sum. Furthermore the internal sales manager wanted all electronic invoices to additionally be sent to a post-box address from Westhoff, thereby providing an extra control for Westhoff when the receiver’s Email address is not accessible or the invoice is not sent for technical reasons. After the LS had realised all these requirements Westhoff implemented the solution in house. The workload stayed within limits according to Michael Pachali the managing director of LS GmbH and added "With Gebr. Westhoff  and other customers we have gained extensive experience about how ZUGFeRD can be productively integrated into the SAP world, future customers will profit from this knowledge base." Today Gebr. Westhoff works successfully with the automated invoicing process and profits from the reduced workload. Because the invoice exchange is paperless the company is also doing something for the environment. The company Gebr. Westhoff regularly receives positive feedback from its customers some of whom use the XML file to automatically book the invoice in their internal system with a minimum of effort.

You can find more information about the ZUGFeRD solution with OSIS here. We are available at all times to answer any further questions you may have.

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