ERP systems serve important organizational functions, including in the area of procurement. However, they were designed as internal systems and lack the ability to effectively communicate with trading partners without extensive human involvement, which by its nature involves high rates of errors, fraud, and delays.
Various automation tools and procurement applications came into existence to address this challenge, but some require extensive customization of the ERP system, while others are excessively slow and expensive to integrate.
The Nipendo platform was designed, from the start, to cause minimal business disruption on both the buyer and supplier sides, yet to bring about effective, end-to-end hyperautomation that completely removes errors and fraud, while adding significant business value. The platform includes a plug-in to SAP and to other ERP systems, a factor that greatly contributes to the platform’s rapid deployment within 10-12 weeks, at a fractional cost of the competition.
Beyond simple automation
Nipendo’s plug-in to SAP supports a multitude of functions and business processes, including e-invoicing, PO, GR, Payments, Supplier Master Data, PO confirmation, Shipping notifications, attachments, and Business Chat. It is installed by a Nipendo SAP specialist, who also performs setup, configuration, testing and deployment, limiting the need for internal IT resources or third-party teams.
The platform’s ready interfaces include not only data transfer capabilities, but also solution templates for a variety of business processes, such as:
• Goods and Direct Spend: e-invoices, PO confirmation, schedule confirmation, delivery confirmation, PO change, PO status (Closed, deleted), shipping notification, GR and invoices with 3WM validations and automatic posting in the ERP
• Services and Indirect Spend: e-invoices, PO and e-invoices: PO with service lines, PO confirmation, PO change and PO status, automatic creation of SES (Service entry sheet) / GR based on the invoice, standard approval workflow for the SES/GR In the ERP and automatic validation of the invoice against PO and SES, automatic posting of service invoice in the ERP
• Business Chat between the supplier and the customer directly from the ERP to Nipendo’s platform
• Transaction Monitoring and configuration form in SAP
• Send Payment Status
• Receive acknowledgement from Nipendo for every SAP transaction sent to Nipendo • Send status message to Nipendo following every IDOC received into SAP • An integration management dashboard, which displays all integration aspects • Tax solution for scenarios in which tax is not included in the PO (i.e. tax amount is translated into a tax code using a customization table)
• Invoice parking mechanism
Effective Data Transmission
Interfacing Nipendo with SAP requires an implementation process that adapts each SAP solution to Nipendo business transactions. The implementation uses the SAP “Z” program, which was developed for this purpose, and is designed to include client workshops, SAP Nipendo console installation, and customization of required objects for each solution.
Data transmission relies on the use of process integration to send IDOCs and to transform them into XML and on the use of Nipendo’s Web Services for communication. SAP’s “Z” program already includes a user interface based on SAP’s GUI configuration tools, which allows for simple maintenance and access to SAP-related tables and customization tools.
Additional Modules and Enhancements
Additional Nipendo modules include the Document Management System (DMS) integration, addressing inbound invoice IDOCs and outbound PO IDOCs; additional Z fields mapped from EKKO/EKPO or to RBKP/BSEG as required, sent alongside the PO or IR fields; proforma invoice and tax invoice handling; unique tax calculation handling capabilities; credit invoice handling; advance payment processing; general ledger movements; and more.
The Bottom Line
Interfacing SAP in the realm of RFx-to-Pay process automation is typically complex and expensive. However, with Nipendo’s home-grown plug-in to SAP, implementation of its rich hyperautomation tool for complex procurement and supply chain processes, is significantly shortened, is cost-effective, and is done with minimal business disruption to both buyers and suppliers.
Director International Growth Strategy and Engagement