The interchange of business information and documents in paper form between a retail chain and its suppliers entails high costs of processing large amounts of business information and errors arising from, for instance, the ’human factor’ of document handling. In light of the above, implementing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) technology was a logical response to the challenge of improving Carrefour’s business communication with suppliers.
EDI is a fast, reliable and – first and foremost – a safe way of exchanging information between business partners. In 2005, Carrefour Poland and Comarch began to work together on a pilot project concerning mass EDI communication.
The official implementation project began in 2007. At the beginning, Carrefour sent electronic orders to its suppliers. Another stage of the EDI project involved the implementation of electronic invoices and invoice adjustments. Because of introducing these types of electronic documents and since suppliers used additional tools to safely store e-invoices, both Carrefour and its partners were able to abandon exchanging paper documents and considerably cut all related costs.
Comarch has also been providing data conversion to the formats used by suppliers and from their formats to Carrefour’s used ones along with legal and business data validation. In addition, Comarch has been providing partners training, dedicated project management and Comarch EDI HelpDesk for all of Carrefour’s suppliers.
The Archive module of Comarch B2B Network meets the requirements of the EU’s e-invoicing Directive (concerning the issuing, sending and storing of electronic invoices).
While electronic invoices were being implemented, the company began sending delivery confirmation documents (RECADV) through the Comarch platform.
Dedicated solutions were also developed for Carrefour Poland, the purpose of which was to streamline communication and data processing:
- Data validation – to monitor the accuracy of sent documents, to check the values, currencies, dates etc
- Capturing duplicate documents– to avoid sending the same invoices twice; a service that involves automatically reporting any errors in sent documents.
Carrefour also uses Comarch Tracking, which presents up-to-date information on the status of documents – whether they have been properly processed by the platform, if they have been delivered and read by the partners.
In addition to implementing the EDI project, Comarch took part in Carrefour Poland’s acquisition of Ahold (July 2007). Comarch had the pleasure of working with Carrefour Poland to combine and reorganize the structure of the previously managed EDI projects in both chains.
Recently, the company decided to extend its presence nationwide and started to cooperate with petrol chains to launch new Carrefour stores at their stations. Comarch EDI has also been used in the data exchange processes in this new concept.