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Werner Reitz relies on Unifiedpost Group for digitalising invoicing and ordering processes

Werner Reitz GmbH has been one of the market experts for personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as workwear and protective clothing for over 60 years. The family business was founded in 1948 by Werner Reitz and is now owned and managed in the third generation. From the company headquarters in Gelnhausen, 40 employees ensure smooth operations and optimum customer care.

While Werner Reitz GmbH's products are always state of the art and meet the highest standards, the professional digitalisation of invoicing and ordering processes was handled rather provisionally until the beginning of 2016. Since March 2016, Werner Reitz has gradually digitalised invoices and order documents with Unifiedpost Group’s solution.

Moving away from manual processes

In the past, a single programmer was responsible for all electronic payment and ordering processes at Werner Reitz. However, this process was not standardised, which inevitably led to errors. Compared to today's IT infrastructure, the technical platform was also not state of the art in terms of performance and reliability. Overall, the company needed a standardised solution, which eliminated dependency and high error rates.

The company set itself the goal of standardising and digitalising its financial and ordering processes with the help of an external provider. Werner Reitz knew that digitalising its payment and ordering processes, would solve many of its problems. The business also knew that by switching to a new system, it could save considerable costs.

For these reasons, the company began looking for a suitable electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) solution to optimise its payment and ordering processes.

Outsourcing: a professional solution from a single source

In order to meet the technical electronic exchange requirements, Werner Reitz firstly switched from its previous ERP system to a new solution. The business then searched for a suitable e-invoicing provider.

The search for a suitable provider took barely two months. Jonathan Reitz, responsible for project and quality management at Werner Reitz GmbH, was involved in the process from the very beginning.

"The topic had a high priority for us: we wanted to go live with a new solution as quickly as possible. We contacted a total of five providers. In our view, Unifiedpost Group presented the most suitable concept in terms of technical implementation, costs and deadline realisation and was therefore the most convincing."

However, the time factor was not the only important criteria when choosing a provider: the new system also had to come from a single source, be able to cover all formats for invoice and order documents and be absolutely reliable. Comprehensive support and monitoring by the technical support team was also important. Last but not least, short-term archiving was part of the requirement profile.

Unifiedpost Group was able to fulfil all the requirements and was therefore awarded the contract.

It took just under five weeks from the contract award to the go-live of the system. The entire value chain of order and payment processes, which had previously been programmed in-house, was outsourced to Unifiedpost Group as part of the changeover. A particular challenge - in addition to the ambitious implementation period - was the consideration of individual customer requirements, especially with regard to invoice documents.

The realisation phase of such projects can take up to six months. However, Unifiedpost Group was able to conduct the changeover in just a few weeks and thus meet the deadline set by the company. Since March, all Werner Reitz customers have now connected.

Successful collaboration

The collaboration with Unifiedpost Group is already paying off for Werner Reitz.

"By outsourcing the processes, the company has been able to save costs," Jonathan Reitz explains: "As a provider, Unifiedpost Group takes on the tasks for which we would have to employ an entire department here. Thanks to the flexible and compliant technology, we know that our financial processes are in safe hands, and we can concentrate fully on other tasks. What we also really appreciate is that the system changeover has meant almost no additional work for our customers. As Unifiedpost Group can process and translate any invoice and order format, it doesn't matter which system our customers want to use."

The number of errors within the processes has drastically reduced, as only exceptional cases require manual intervention. In total, more than 15,000 orders have been digitally processed since the transition.

Goal: A steady expansion of digitalisation

Werner Reitz GmbH has ambitious plans to reduce and eventually eliminate paper documents. The business also has great aims to optimise ordering and payment processes, reduce costs and in the long term achieve complete digitalisation of the entire company. In order to realise these plans, the strategic collaboration with Unifiedpost Group will increase.

Now the customer side has been connected, the supplier side is on the horizon.

"There have been no complaints so far. The collaboration is running smoothly and everything has been implemented as agreed. Unifiedpost Group reacts quickly to changes and adapts the system settings to our requirements. We are confident that we have found a reliable partner in Unifiedpost Group who fully meets our expectations and with whom we can achieve our ambitious digitalisation goals."

The case study was originally in German, created by crossinx, the former name of Unifiedpost Germany - the German entity of Unifiedpost Group.