Customer stories

Distrelec Group

Distrelec Group fosters loyalty with responsive customer experiences. Electronics distributor automatically captures key data with OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP® Solutions, helping to reduce manual work and ensure timely deliveries


  • Accurately capture key data from business documents
  • Enable automated data integrations with SAP solutions
  • Reduce time, cost and risk associated with manual data entry


  • Captures data from digital and paper documents

  • Replaces manual SAP data-entry tasks with automated workflows

  • Cuts risk of human error, helping to avoid customer delivery delays


With more than 200,000 products, Distrelec Group depends on data to forecast demand, plan assortments in its warehouses and coordinate fast and efficient logistics. Like many leading distribution businesses, the company uses SAP solutions to support these processes from end to end.


Instead of having employees type information such as product quantities and dispatch dates into SAP, OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions uses optical character recognition to capture the information automatically.

Andrea Ferrino
Head of Applications, Distrelec Group

Andrea Ferrino, Head of Applications at Distrelec Group, says, “Offering responsive experiences is crucial to foster customer loyalty, especially in the age of e-commerce. Meeting these expectations starts with getting data from our vendors’ purchase order [PO] confirmations—for example, product quantities and dispatch dates—into SAP ERP. As well as supporting our planning and purchasing activities, this information allows us to display accurate delivery estimates to customers on our e-commerce sites.”

Centralized processes, repetitive tasks

Vendor PO confirmations are a vital data source for Distrelec Group’s planning process. As part of an ongoing business transformation initiative, the group moved processing of PO confirmations to a central team—but extracting the data manually presented challenges.

“It’s crucial to input data from PO confirmations into SAP ERP accurately, because errors can lead to warehouse stockouts and delivery delays,” explains Ferrino. “In the past, we relied on manual work to bring this information into SAP ERP. As well as increasing the risk of human error, this approach consumed a significant number of person-hours, driving up our operational costs.”

As part of its transformation strategy, Distrelec Group has also centralized customer order processing to a dedicated team. Here too, employees manually keyed data from emails, phone calls and faxes into the SAP system. Ferrino adds: “We knew that automating repetitive data-entry processes had huge potential to reduce costs and cut the risk of errors in multiple business areas.”

Deploying an automated platform

To build reliable, automated workflows to capture mission-critical data, Distrelec Group engaged its trusted partner Avelon to deploy OpenText™ Vendor Invoice Management (VIM) for SAP® Solutions. The solution enables Distrelec Group to optimize information processing for a wide range of document types, including quotations, delivery notes, PO confirmations and sales orders.

“We had already been using Vendor Invoice Management for invoice processing for a number of years, so we knew that the OpenText platform was robust and reliable,” recalls Ferrino. “When Avelon informed us that the solution also offers cost-effective support for many other types of documents, we quickly realized its potential.”

As we develop the OpenText solution, we’re confident we can free the business to focus on value-added planning and purchasing activities.

Andrea Ferrino
Head of Applications, Distrelec Group

Shaping efficient workflows

Working with expert consultants from Avelon, Distrelec Group mapped out its manual processes and converted them into digital workflows.

“In the past, customers would send orders to our sales team via email, and the team would rekey the information manually into the SAP system to create the order,” Ferrino explains. “Today, we automatically convert these emails into tickets in our SAP CRM solution, removing the need for rekeying. We then generate the sales order, and SAP emails a confirmation back to the customer as a PDF.”

Ferrino adds: “The sales team’s service-level agreement [SLA] for creating a new sales order is just 10 minutes. We’re now looking for ways to further accelerate the automated workflow, helping to ensure that the team can always meet their SLA.”

Preparing for the future

In parallel, Distrelec Group is working with Avelon to streamline the extraction of all-important data from PO confirmations. “Instead of having employees type information such as product quantities and dispatch dates into SAP, the solution uses optical character recognition [OCR] driven by a powerful machine-learning engine to capture the information automatically,” says Ferrino. “As we develop the OpenText solution, we’re confident we can free the business to focus on value-added planning and purchasing activities.”

Looking ahead, Distrelec Group plans to build on its investment in Vendor Invoice Management—empowering it to offer even more responsive customer services.

“One of our key goals is to offer customers the best choice of innovative technologies, delivered fast,” concludes Ferrino. “Thanks to our work with Avelon and OpenText, we’re building automated processes that will help us ensure a high-quality experience for every customer.”

Partner Information:

Headquartered in Utrecht in the Netherlands, Avelon helps enterprises leverage solutions such as Vendor Invoice Management to optimize SAP business processes and make them more user-friendly, accessible and transparent.

About Distrelec Group

Distrelec Group is a leading distributor of electronics, automation and measurement technologies, with e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores in 15 European countries. Through its distribution centers in the Netherlands and Switzerland and its international partnerships with global resellers, the company serves customers around the world.