Steve Sprague, vice president product strategy and marketing at InvoiceWare International, has seen and heard it all over the last 5 years. SAP implementations in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina that is. He even has his own blog where he writes about his experiences with the difficulties of Latin American e-invoicing. Thanks Steve, for sharing your knowledge with us. Below are the top 3 lessons that he has learned in the past few years. We’d advise you to take them into consideration for your own SAP projects.
Question 1: SAP configuration is always underestimated. Many of these countries, especially Brazil, have some of the most complex tax requirements in the world, if not the most complex. In about 50% of the engagements, we see that either the budget or the timeline is underestimated. What do you have to do to end up in the other half of this group?
Answer: Look for pre-configured SAP Rapid Deployment Templates. These not only simplify your configurations, but can buffer your SAP system against on-going changes caused by your upgrade cycles or the government changes.
Question 2: Local country selection processes when running a centralised or regional instance of SAP – often these decisions are made at the local level for solutions. However, unlike European eInvoicing, Latin America WILL AFFECT your SAP configuration and throw a wrench into your management and COE procedures. What to do to reduce this effect?
Answer: Look for solutions that can consolidate your interfaces and handle multiple countries with a single platform. It is painful enough to keep up with multiple governments let alone keeping up with 4 local vendors that are not concerned with your ERP upgrade or processes.
Question 3: Not evaluating support capability – the number of times I hear; I wish we could speak with someone in English, Portuguese and Spanish depending on who is calling equates to about 95% of the conversations I have. Often, with ERP systems located in US, Canadian or European data centres – there needs to be support in local languages for the local teams, and in English for the global teams. These support teams can act as a buffer, so that global teams don’t have to get involved with issues that can be solved locally. How to handle this?
Answer: Ensure your providers have support in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Also, ensure that the support includes phone – as you don’t want your warehouse waiting on a computer generated ticket when your truck is not able to leave.
- Do you need compliant e-invoicing in Mexico? Call OB10!
- E-invoicing in Brazil: NF-e, NFS-e and CT-e?!
- E-invoicing in Mexico: key changes as from 1 July 2012 [by InvoiceWare]
- Electronic Invoicing in Mexico is now mandatory, effective immediately