Industry: Aluminium production

Good optimisation: Automated invoice processing at HAI

“Wow, that’s cool!” When a user comes out with this level of enthusiasm when they first see new software, it says volumes about the solution. In this case about the tangro solution, which Hammerer Aluminium Industries, or HAI for short, is using to automatically process its incoming invoices. The software has made the invoice verification and release processes in SAP simpler, faster and more transparent. This optimisation measure has obviously gone down well amongst the staff. “Our vision was a paperless office. And with tangro we have achieved this goal in invoice processing,” says Franz Biereder, head of financial accounting at HAI. “tangro is being up-to-date and delivers the very benefits we had hoped it would.”

HAI, an aluminium specialist based in Upper Austria, employs over 1200 members of staff and achieved a turnover of around €500 million in 2018. The products of the HAI Group can be found in the construction sector, electrotechnology, machinery and plant construction and in automotive and transport technology. One prominent reference from the latter industry is the new railcar bodies of the Wuppertal overhead railway, which were produced by HAI. HAIs headquarters are in Ranshofen, where annually around 49,000 invoices are sent for processing in SAP – the majority of them arrive as PDFs and a few are still paper-based. One central e-mail address serves as the incoming point. The PDF documents are sent here directly and the paper invoices are scanned and then forwarded to this address.

For invoices with a purchase order reference, which account for around 80 percent of all invoice documents, recording, checking and posting in SAP is a fast process requiring virtually no manual intervention. The tangro software automatically recognises the content, compares it in real time with the master and transaction data in SAP and generates a parking document. After a quick check by the administrator, the invoice is posted at the touch of a button. In theory, these invoices could enter the payment run fully automatically, but to date the client has made the conscious decision to give them a final check first.

  • Industry
    Aluminium production
  • Subject
    Incoming invoices
  • Volume of documents
    49,000 invoices/year
tangro solutions at Hammerer Aluminium.

80% of invoices at the touch of a button

End to paper storage

Automated workflows for release and account assignment

Workflow start directly from the tangro cockpit

Traceability thanks to the workflow log

Implementation very straight forward

tangro also significantly simplified processing of the remaining 20 percent of incoming invoices, which do not have a purchasing order reference or where some other form of clarification is needed. The software automatically recognises the vendor and purchase order number and automates the workflows for release and account assignment. The processes involved were designed to be as simple as possible. Following the double verification principle, the document first passes to the approver responsible and then to the administrator or buyer, who checks the goods receipt and undertakes account assignment.

All of this is done at the click of a mouse directly from the tangro cockpit and is sent automatically to the right recipient. “Thanks to tangro we no longer have the time-consuming task of posting paper invoices here and there between staff”, says Franz Biereder. And the same applies to finding the right contact person. Moreover, the risk that a document is lost or forgotten somewhere is also consigned to history. As soon as a scheduled processing time is exceeded, the agent responsible receives an automatic reminder e-mail, prompting them to complete the process.

The five employees working in accounts have a complete overview of all incoming invoices and can see exactly who is processing any invoice at any time. Thanks to the workflow log, the entire process can be traced at a later date. This extensive transparency simplifies controlling too. “Monthly reporting shows instantly the status of any invoices still to be processed. Unscheduled, larger invoices can now also be planned,” explains head of finance Franz Biereder.

The old archiving system has also been replaced. “Due to a lack of space, we had had to outsource our filing archive, which of course came at a price. tangro has finally put an end to paper storage. The documents are stored electronically and can be called up again at any time.” Compatibility with SAP was an important requirement for the company when originally looking for an invoice processing solution. Since it is directly embedded in SAP – without any interfaces – tangro looked like a good choice. And also because it will be able to smoothly handle the switch to S/4HANA, which is to take place in a couple of years.

Being embedded in SAP also meant that implementation was very straightforward. “So little IT work was involved that we have introduced tangro not just in Austria but also in parallel at our German site,” explains Franz Biereder. “The system went live in May and we completed our first month-end closing with tangro in the very same month. We were able to map everything exactly as we wanted.”

So little IT work was involved that we have introduced tangro also in parallel at our German site.
Franz Biereder Head of financial accounting
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