Brazil has put in place a different and far more involved electronic bill of lading requirement than other countries. The implementation of NF-e requires real-time reporting to the Ministry of Finance (SEFAZ), which then issues an electronic authorization (along with a bar code) that must be included on the printed paper Bill of Lading which accompanies the product delivery. This is in contrast to the requirements of most countries that only require reporting at the end of certain date ranges like months or quarters. Let’s discuss this point in more detail.
Under these new requirements a company receives an order from a customer and must prepare a bill of lading in the SEFAZ designated XML format, submit to SEFAZ and receive an electronic authorization which must be added to the bill of lading and then printed before the product is shipped and sent with the product delivery. The term “before shipped” is important. There must be a real time electronic exchange of data that goes to SEFAZ, and an electronic authorization returned before it leaves the warehouse.
If the delivery truck is stopped by the police, the bill of lading can be scanned with a police bar code scanner which queries SAFAZ electronic authorization database and identifies the products associated with it. This must match or you are in big trouble.
Think about the IT infrastructure that must be in place to support these real-time interactions between ERPs and SEFAZ! These processes are new, different and unique and are not supported in traditional ERPs. Most companies will be searching for a managed B2B service that can perform these functions (send and receive the appropriate XML and follow the designated rules and processes defined by SEFAZ) and integrate with their existing IT infrastructures.
SAP/Crossgate (Crossgate is co-owned by SAP) have this service available.