Customer stories

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International construction and engineering firm streamlines accounts payable invoice processing with OpenText

alfanar logo

About alfanar

alfanar is a construction and engineering company that specializes in building sustainable power generation and transmission facilities, water treatment plants and manufacturing facilities.

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  • Regions served:
  • Based in:
    Saudi Arabia
  • Founded in:



  • Manually processed more than 6 million inbound documents each year, risking delays.
  • Needed to prepare for the introduction of mandatory electronic invoicing in Saudi Arabia.


  • Held a workshop to understand the finance team’s requirements.
  • Integrated with the existing VIM portal to automate procure-to-pay processes.
  • Configured the solution for hundreds of users.


  • Enhanced AP efficiency with standardized processes
  • Eliminated payment delays and improved reporting
  • Increased workforce diversity with remote working


  • Manually processed 6 million inbound paper documents each year, risking payment delays
  • Paper invoices were at risk of being lost or sent to the wrong department
  • Vendors lacked visibility into invoice status
  • Finance teams struggled to identify liabilities quickly and accurately

Headquartered in Saudi Arabia, alfanar is one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. In addition to building civil infrastructure, alfanar helps clients across the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and Asia create sustainable power generation and transmission facilities, water treatment plants and manufacturing facilities.

alfanar works with thousands of vendors, contractors and suppliers around the world, and any accounts payable (AP) processing failures could disrupt construction work, impact project budgets or damage vendor relationships. As a result, one of the company’s key goals was to manage large volumes of vendor invoices effectively.

Mohamed Johmani, accounts payable manager at alfanar, explained the challenge, “In a typical year, we could receive approximately six million paper documents—including invoices—from our vendors and suppliers. Managing invoices manually in this way was extremely inefficient and error prone. For example, AP teams in each business unit would spend many hours checking inbound invoices, re-keying the data into SAP ERP and tracking down supporting documents. What’s more, with no consistent invoice validation process, the risk of errors going unnoticed was quite high, which could potentially lead to downstream compliance issues.”

In Saudi Arabia, electronic invoicing became mandatory in December 2021, and alfanar aimed to optimize its AP activities to get ahead of the changes planned by the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA).

Mazen Zawal, IT program manager at alfanar, explained, “We started our procure-to-pay [P2P] digitalization journey early in 2019. As part of this, we looked for a reputable and reliable partner to help us build the best possible digital AP process, with full compatibility with our vendor portal solution and SAP ERP system. Enhancing the flexibility of alfanar’s existing vendor invoice management [VIM] portal was very important to us because it connects with many other business-critical applications in our technology landscape.”

Woman working at a laptop in lab

We started our procure-to-pay digitalization journey early in 2019. As part of this, we looked for a reputable and reliable partner to help us build the best possible digital AP process.

Mazen Zawal
IT Program Manager, alfanar


After considering a range of leading solutions, alfanar selected OpenText™ Vendor Invoice Management for SAP® Solutions and OpenText™ Core Capture for SAP® Solutions to fully digitalize and automate invoice processing.

Products deployed

Services provided

Assessing the situation with a cross-function workshop

“To get our finance digitalization journey off to a flying start, our finance management team launched a new VIM project,” commented Wael Shaaban, finance systems and QA manager at alfanar. “In the first stage of the initiative, we aimed to align, improve and maximize the effectiveness of receiving, approving and posting vendor invoices, and we set a go-live date for the second quarter of 2020.”

In the initial stage of the implementation, alfanar held a workshop to understand the finance team’s requirements. Representatives of all related departments and divisions in alfanar attended the workshop, exchanged ideas and reviewed all the details—taking into account the different needs of each business unit, including the mechanisms followed by purchasing teams when dealing with the company's vendors.

Embracing procure-to-pay (P2P) automation

To streamline its P2P processes, alfanar worked with OpenText Professional Services to integrate its existing VIM portal with Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions—enabling vendors to submit invoices electronically. Integrated with SAP ERP, OpenText solutions prompt the vendors to complete a few key fields before they can submit their invoice, which helps to ensure consistency and reduce manual processing effort.

Given the scale of alfanar’s AP operations, the company was keen to work with a global leader in vendor invoice management that could meet its specific industry needs. OpenText delivered a solution that met all the organization’s core criteria, while also offering excellent scalability and full integration with SAP ERP, as well as with other custom-made solutions alfanar developed as part of its P2P digitalization journey.

Configuring user access

Working with Professional Services during the first stage of the implementation, alfanar configured Core Capture for SAP Solutions and Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions for 700 users across its business units. With the new solutions, all invoices submitted via the alfanar vendor portal are automatically sent to AP teams for downstream processing.

alfanar collaborated closely with Professional Services throughout the implementation process. OpenText designed simple, efficient processes to meet the organization’s business needs and helped ensure that the solution went live on time.


By integrating its vendor portal with OpenText solutions, alfanar has simplified the invoice submission process for vendors and equipped its AP teams with a powerful management tool and full tracking visibility.

Enhanced AP efficiency with standardized processes

Through the VIM digitalization project, alfanar has achieved complete integration with its existing systems, and deployed a fully automated and secure platform that enables faster, easier and paperless processing of vendor invoices.

Moving to digital invoice management has significantly improved the efficiency of AP processes. Instead of receiving invoices through hundreds of different channels, alfanar now receives them from just three—its online portal, a single email inbox or directly through SAP ERP.

By rationalizing and simplifying its AP processes, alfanar has practically eliminated the risk of invoices going to the wrong department or being lost. And with unified processes for all AP employees, the organization has also significantly reduced the risk of errors going unnoticed, helping to improve governance and support Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) compliance.

By digitally matching invoices with purchase orders (POs), the company has also increased the effectiveness of service receipt activities, including purchases made without POs. The invoice submission portal and detailed activity log also provide alfanar with a wealth of data it can use to enhance management reports. The initiative has laid the foundations for automated payment processing according to the terms of each vendor and supplier contract—helping to simplify payments and enhance supplier relationships.

Eliminated payment delays and improved reporting

With integrated analytics capabilities, Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions empowers AP and finance teams to monitor the performance of all AP processes.

For example, the previous manual way of working meant employees spent hours creating reports to track AP performance. Now, alfanar gets insights from the OpenText solution in real time, giving its teams an up-to-date understanding of liabilities—something that was not possible with paper invoice management.

Crucially, faster and more reliable invoice management processes are helping alfanar ensure that vendors and suppliers are always paid on time.

By keeping AP processes running like clockwork with its OpenText solutions, alfanar is improving its relationships with vendors and suppliers—building strong and healthy partnerships that it can leverage for future projects.

Increasing workforce diversity with remote working

Adopting digital vendor invoice management has enabled alfanar to offer remote and hybrid working to its AP and finance teams. Today, the organization can give employees secure online access to information stored in the OpenText solutions via their company-issued laptops or mobile devices, allowing them to work from any location.

By increasing accessibility in this way, alfanar has been able to welcome more people with disabilities who need to be able to work from home into its workforce—strengthening diversity and inclusion. At the same time, the organization can now recruit people located outside of Saudi Arabia much more easily.