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SAP Customer Kellogg Meets Brazilian Nota Fiscal Eletronica (NF-e) Compliance Mandates

I have written several articles about Brazil’s new and changing regulatory compliance laws for electronic invoicing over the past few months.  Brazil’s requirements are some of the most complex in the world and SAP customer’s have been contemplating how to support them and meet the compliance deadlines.

Recently the Kellogg Company, which is the world’s leading producer of cereal, had to meet a tight timeline for compliance with the Ministry of Finance (SEFAZ) in Brazil.  They needed to find a managed B2B/e-Invoicing solution quickly for sending and receiving the XML formats required by the new regulations, and they wanted to implement the solution with as little impact as possible on their existing SAP/IT infrastructure.  The new SEFAZ regulations require companies to prepare outgoing invoices in an XML format and have them authorized in real time before shipments can be delivered.

The Kellogg Company has a consolidated global SAP landscape but with only six weeks until the new mandates went into effect, they didn’t have time for a lot of SAP customization and configuration.  They asked a global EDI/B2B and e-Invoicing managed services company co-owned by SAP, to provide the managed e-Invoicing and bill of lading service.  This global e-Invoicing service provider was fully integrated with SAP and provided a cloud computing platform that utilizes SAP’s NetWeaver and offers real-time integration with SEFAZ.

“Our experience was extremely positive,” said Eduardo Zendejas, EDI IT analyst for Kellogg.  “The solution was deployed with minor impact to our current operations and SAP ERP.”

In the managed services that Kellogg implemented, each nota fiscal e-Invoice (NF-e) is converted to the government-required XML format, validated, and transmitted to SEFAZ for comparison to their master data.  If the address information doesn’t match, the NF-e is not approved and the master data must be corrected manually before the invoice can be reissued. Kellogg hadn’t cleansed their master data for customers in several months, but the managed service included an automated solution that was able to clean their master data quickly so that it would be ready when the new mandates went into effect.

Kellogg realized an immediate ROI from using the managed service because it eliminated expensive internal application augmentations and fully complied with the Nota Fiscal Eletronica initiatives.  Another important benefit for Kellogg was that the service is managed with a local office staffed by people who speak the local language.

The implementation project was completed within six weeks and did not cause any significant business disruptions.

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