tangro IM on S/4HANA at Ricola:

More efficient invoice processing

S/4HANA was introduced at Ricola on 1 September 2019. It replaced an old SAP system that was over twenty years old. Due to a number of legacy items in the old SAP system, the Greenfield approach was adopted for the S/4HANA implementation. At the same time, this was used as an opportunity to review and optimise old processes.

One of the processes that required optimisation was the electronic processing of vendor invoices. The old system featured a solution that comprised tools from multiple different software providers. If there were problems, it was often unclear which provider was responsible for solving the issue, the ball was frequently passed back and forth.

When assessing the new vendor processing tool, it was paramount for the solution to be fully integrated in SAP and for the tool to be S/4HANA capable. tangro met both of these requirements.

tangro was also impressive in terms of functionality as well though. Thus, for example, it supports all standard SAP transactions in accounts payable. That means: Even the four somewhat specific processes such as posting asset acquisitions, down payment requests, and the two “Subsequent debit” and “Subsequent credit” processes in the area of logistics invoice verification. “A lot of tools from other software providers were not able to handle these standard SAP processes,” says Michaela von Aesch who, as SAP FI/CO consultant, was responsible for the tangro project at Ricola. The users had already been shown all accounts payable processes on a demo system during the evaluation phase.

Another benefit with tangro is that there is no need for data duplication. Because the tool is fully integrated in SAP, access to the master data and transaction data is direct.

Such changes in SAP, e.g. data from business partners, G/L accounts, cost centres, etc., are available in tangro in real time.

  • Industry
    Food sector
  • Headquarter
    Laufen, CHE
  • Subject
    Incoming Invoices
Ricola processes invoices automatically with tangro.
Optimized invoice processing at Ricola thanks to tangro software.

Complete integration with SAP and S/4HANA capability

Support of all standard SAP transactions in accounts payable

Direct access to master and transaction data

All invoice processing procedures from a single mask

Immediately posting of invoices with purchase order reference

Mobile workflow tool

After the initial demonstration of tango, users were already impressed. All invoice processing procedures can be triggered from a single mask. The tool is extremely intuitive and easy to use. “This impressed everyone. In the end, the entire finance team voted for tangro unanimously,” says Michaela von Aesch. She also adds:

“Compared to all the other invoice processing tools I have come across over the years, in my opinion, tangro is the best tool. And all of that with a great price-performance ratio.”

The introduction of tangro began at Ricola’s headquarters in Laufen where all invoices from four companies are processed centrally. The first documents were successfully processed with tangro just three months after the software was chosen. Michaela von Aesch is confident that the project time without absences due to holidays would have been even shorter. “The project ran smoothly without any problems.” Even the minor changes required due to modified fields in S/4HANA (e.g. VAT ID, partner bank type, etc.) were swiftly implemented by tangro. Familiarisation with the product proved equally straightforward.

“We didn’t even need to train users in any major way. The system is extremely intuitive. Those who already worked with SAP found their way around tangro straight away.”

Ricola receives 80 percent of its invoices by email to a central email address and, from there, they are automatically forwarded to the tangro entry list. The finance team can see the status of each individual document in the entry list at a glance. The processing of each invoice can be started from the entry list directly. Invoices with a purchase order reference can be posted immediately as long as there are no price or quantity differences because the purchase order has already gone through a prior purchase order approval process and so no further approval is required. For invoices without a purchase order reference, a workflow is started in which the various authorisation levels configured in tangro are run through. If an employee falls behind with the approval, the system sends an automatic reminder by email. This ensures that all invoices are processed in a timely manner. “The lead time is much, much shorter,” says Michaela von Aesch.

All things considered, Ricola is saving money.

On the one hand, there are no more lost cash discounts because the entire invoice processing procedure has been optimised with tangro and, on the other, the fees for external consultants who previously had to be contacted again and again for the various tools used, have been eliminated. Even the transparency has improved significantly.

“At any point, the finance team knows who a document for processing is currently with."

An extremely detailed workflow protocol means that who changed things on a document and when is also more traceable afterwards. This workflow protocol is attached to the document in SAP and to the PDF invoice and can be retrieved at any time, even by the auditors,” says Michaela von Aesch.

The use of tangro will be rolled out to all Ricola companies worldwide over the next few years.

About Ricola

Ricola AG is one of the world’s most modern and innovative sweet manufacturers. The company exports herbal specialities to over 50 countries and is famous for its fine Swiss quality. Founded in 1930, with headquarters in Laufen, Basel, the company now has subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the USA. The combination of the traditional values of a family company with a sense of quality and a thirst for innovation is the foundation of the Swiss leading brand’s success.

Compared to all the other invoice processing tools I have come across over the years, in my opinion, tangro is the best tool.
Michaela von Aesch SAP FI/CO consultant at Ricola
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