When we talk to companies about implementing Brazil Nota Fiscal inside of their SAP process and systems, the most overlooked party that should be involved in the discussions is the logistics/shipping managers. It is important to remember that the Brazil eInvoicing process affects more than just IT or finance; the process affects logistics in two ways:
Outbound Shipping -- It is important to remember that you CAN NOT release your truck from the loading dock until you have a valid DANFe printed out and placed on the truck. This makes the process mission critical and should not be taken lightly when evaluated. We see many companies just looking for the cheapest signing solutions; however, this process in Brazil is so much more than signing. Overlooking the concepts of contingency, monitoring, and printing management could be costly. And I mean, extremely costly. What is the cost of a lost customer, let alone, the financial penalties to release a truck that has been impounded.
Inbound Receiving -- most supply chain experts look at the cost of the operating components in their value chain. Inbound receiving can be upwards of 10% of the operating costs of a warehouse, so many companies are seeking to reduce costs where ever they can. Squeezing efficiency out of each moving part in the process equates to better margins and competitive positioning. We are seeing leading companies reduce their inbound receiving costs by upwards of 70% through the use of Inbound Nota Fiscal processes. The Brazil process has some unique benefits:
Your supplier must validate their invoice prior to the truck leaving their warehouse
This means that what is on the invoice is also going to be on the truck
Additionally, the supplier must make their approved NFe available to you if you request it.
This supplier invoice can arrive before the truck. All you have to do is request the invoice be emailed at the time of shipping.
By having the validated XML before hand, you can then pre-process many of the approval steps (i.e. match it to a PO or receive workflow approval on an FI invoice)
When the goods arrive, the warehouse can inspect the goods and with one scan of the barcode on the DANFe, have all of the information on the corresponding print out uploaded to the ERP system
This eliminates -- time, manual data entry, manual comparison of goods to orders and ensures your warehouse is running efficiently.
You can also pre-validate freight payables with the combination of the CTe (transportation invoice that is mandated by the gov't).
I encourage you to take the time to look beyond compliance, the return on investment from Nota Fiscal can be huge if you go beyond the mandates and review how the process can be utilized to your benefit.