Henkel Wins the 2020 EDIZone Award for its Invoice Automation Project with Lidl12. January 2021
12th January 2021, Brno - December marked the tenth edition of the EDIZone portal’s competition for the project of the year in the field of commercial and logistical process automation. The winner was the project of the company Henkel, which had introducted the supermarket chain Lidl into its electronic data interchange, and, as a result, now processes almost 100% of its invoices digitally. Among other companies that ranked high were Parfumerie Douglas, which had implemented the automation of its purchasing process, and Smart Comp., which is now processing its received invoices using artificial intelligence.
Year after year, the professional portal EDIZone.cz awards companies and projects which innovate commercial and logistical processes using automation and digitizition, and by doing so become pioneers of similar solutions on the Czech market. As part of the preventive measures against the coronavirus, this year’s prize announcement was moved into the online sphere and took place in the form of an interactive presentation. “Despite the fact that we are known for popularizing digitization and that the awarding process went smoothly, we couldn’t help feeling sad about moving it into the online sphere. We believe that next year we will be able to shake the winners’ hands and that they will be there with us to celebrate their triumph in person,” said Ladislav Chovítek from the editorial office of EDIZone.cz.
This year’s edition was dominated by the successes of big companies’ projects which had automated the communication with their business partners. Projects like that became extremely important across the board in 2020 due to the pandemic. “Automating the exchange of commercial documents cuts expenses, enables companies to process more orders and reduces the number of paper documents, which, among other things, allows employees to work from home. Companies that are using these systems had a huge advantage already during the first March lockdown,” explained Ladislav Chovítek.
The absolute winner of this year’s edition was the project of the company Henkel. Henkel cooperates with Lidl and supplies the supermarket chain with, for example, cosmetics, washing powders and other goods. Recently, both companies have switched their business communication to EDI form. They exchange their invoices and orders via structured digital messages, which speeds up the whole business process significantly to the advantage of both companies. “Here at Henkel, EDI allows us to process orders faster and to avoid order picking errors, which is a benefit for our customer service. At Lidl, thanks to EDI, they no longer have to manually rewrite invoices – each invoice is automatically uploaded and copied into the company system,” said Eva Malíková, EDI/ECR Project Manager at Henkel.
The project of Parfumerie Douglas, thanks to which the company had automated its purchasing process, also got to the finale. In the past, the company grappled with documents that were difficult to locate or with overpriced purchases. For this reason, they chose to implement the solution of the company Grit. The system manages the approval flow of orders, forwards orders to their suppliers and automatically processes received invoices. Thanks to this, Douglas has sped up its purchasing process and gained better control over the individual departments’ budgets.
The last finalist was Smart Comp. with its solution for automated processing and approval of received invoices using artificial intelligence. A system called Invoice Flow extracts information from each received invoice, sends the invoice for approval and then copies the information into the company system. “The Invoice Flow system saves our invoice clerk about one third of their working hours, which amounts to roughly 50 hours of work every month,” said Šárka Pavelková, Head Accountant at Smart Comp. Smart Comp. is an internet service provider under the brand Netbox as well as an internet television provider under the brand Kuki.
This year’s edition of EDIZone Awards proves that the coronavirus pandemic was not completely devoid of positive effects and that more and more companies are introducing digitization and working on making their business processes more efficient. In 2021, we are expecting an even more rapid development in this area and that the companies that have so far been waiting on the sidelines will also join in the transformation process.
The media partners of the competition announced by the professional portal EDIZone are the magazines Systémy logistiky a Zboží & Prodej published by Atoz Group.