Do It Yourself: Implementing Multiple Projects Efficiently with One Platform

Of hours for employees


Customer Support

Customer: innogy

Industry: Energy

Application: Accounts Payable, Certificates, Waybills, Administration Offenses, Documentation, Connectivity

Partners: Konica Minolta

innogy SE is a leading German energy company, with revenue of around €43 billion (2017), more than 42,000 employees and activities in 16 countries across Europe. With its three business segments Renewables, Grid & Infrastructure and Retail, innogy addresses the requirements of a modern, decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy world.

A leading energy company in Europe, innogy, had many document processes that required intelligent technology:

  • Relocating 80,000 outgoing invoices from a paper to a digital archive
  • Managing waybills and material test certificates directly in SAP to prevent loss or wear of the printed documents
  • Automating the handling of administrative offenses (tickets) in fleet management, taking care of several hundred company cars, and reducing it to two to three minutes per procedure

Energy supplier innogy, implemented Ephesoft Transact to handle their large volume of document processes, along with many other processes throughout their organization.

In search of a document capture solution was capable of handling printed as well as digital information, innogy came across Ephesoft. Modern technology and the license model made it easy to prove to them: innogy gains efficiency by using Ephesoft’s reliable and intelligent Transact technology for multiple projects. Additionally, innogy had an advantage that resources and expertise already existed within the IT department. They gathered ideas and suggestions from operational departments to determine their requirements. After their due diligence internally, innogy is implementing optimization projects single-handedly and is already looking to the future to plan their next steps.

The Challenge

innogy SE is a leading German energy company, with revenue of around €43 billion (2017), more than 42,000 employees and activities in 16 countries across Europe. With its three business segments Renewables, Grid & Infrastructure and Retail, innogy addresses the requirements of a modern, decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy world.

IT innovations within the energy enterprise are often driven out of line of business departments, who seek support from IT for the implementation process. Systems are then selected together or through the IT department. Some of their departments were looking for quick relief from manual processes to successfully manage the workload with less resources. innogy found that automating smart document capture and processing on various levels could drive efficiency. Further, automating business processes allows employees to focus less time on organizational and routine tasks, and more time on high-value work. In particular, innogy identified that the accounting, logistics and fleet management departments would require a new solution for the processing of their immense amounts of documents.

Another challenge was the energy supplier’s innovative business strategy required new processes. Together with over 100 partners, innogy has one of the largest charging networks for electric vehicles, with over 7,000 charging spots worldwide. These charging spots generate, from commissioning to maintenance, an immense amount of paper, which can hardly be processed manually. The company saw an opportunity with Ephesoft to use a reliable software solution and solve their document challenges.

The Strategy

innogy’s IT department consists of experts who are capable of implementing most of the process digitization themselves. The missing piece was a platform solution with an appealing license model, which would be suitable for flexible use in different scenarios and allows an in-house implementation. innogy found all of these features in Ephesoft. The announcement of 2 major releases with new functionality per year convinced the energy group to move forward.

With the core competence of Ephesoft Transact and its Smart Capture® approach, innogy has already been able to implement numerous different projects themselves. To do this, the team initially installed the solution on a test server on a local database, which worked smoothly and quickly. When moving over to the production server, innogy’s IT department worked closely with Ephesoft, since innogy was the first company to use an Oracle database. This was a technical challenge that the experts could solve easily together as a team with the necessary expertise. After a successful migration, the IT team of innogy developed the necessary knowledge to solve independently based on the provided YouTube tutorials from Ephesoft.

Subsequently, the IT specialists used their recently learned expertise to give a short 2-3 hour briefing and training to the other line of business departments. Due to the intuitive, web-based interface, there was not extensive training needed and solutions were quickly adopted and put into productive operation in all areas identified. The connection to their Konica Minolta hardware is still running and will be released with collaboration between Ephesoft and innogy.

Ephesoft offers us a stable platform and a cost-efficient license model, which allows us to implement various projects on our own.

— Alexander Stephan, Project Manager at innogy SE

The Solution

Meanwhile, innogy was able to realize four immediate projects with the help of Ephesoft Transact with two more being prepared for implementation.

Filing of outgoing invoices

The paper archive was proposed to be digitized with the upcoming move from Brühl, Germany to Cologne, Germany. Manually, this task would have been impossible, but Ephesoft Transact was able to read out the barcodes on the documents and store outgoing invoices accurately in their file system. The software was configured to use barcodes to derive folder number and file name.

Management of material test certificates

Logistics works daily with materials that require a test certificate. In the past, these were attached to the pallet in watertight foils. This beared the risk of loss or contamination. Thanks to Ephesoft Transact, the incoming material is now directly recorded in SAP DVS via a self-designed interface and the material is tracked together with its digital certificates on its way through the company.

A big plus of Ephesoft is the annual release of two program versions. That convinced us.

— Alexander Stephan, Project Manager at innogy SE

Organization of waybills

To reduce the amount of paper, waybills are scanned on multifunctional devices. Transact detects the essential metadata and sends it, via a self-programmed interface, to Ceyoniq, the internal document management system. This way, all the required information can be found easily, at any time.

Processing of administrative offenses

Each driving offense first requires the determination of the company car and the driver at the given moment. Another employee then creates a letter to the issuing authority to inform them about the driver. This manual process usually takes 10-15 minutes. Ephesoft Transact reduces the effort by 80 percent and takes over car-, driver- and authority determination, automatically creates the letter to the appropriate authorities and keeps the records for all steps.

Documentation of (power) charging station

The manual filing of only five documents a day per charging station to the SAP folders management takes several minutes. With more than 7,000 charging stations worldwide, manually this task is unresolvable. Using Ephesoft Transact, the platform detects the different protocols with the scan and automatically defines the storage location in the SAP, expediting the entire system-controlled process in less than one minute.

Connectivity of all multifunctional devices

innogy is currently working on connecting all multifunctional devices to the system in order to receive even greater benefits from Ephesoft’s solution. The goal is to generate searchable PDFs from every scan and thus, support employees in different types of processes. Due to the appealing license model, this is now possible without any additional costs.