Customer stories

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Wavin automates sales order capture with OpenText. OpenText™ Vendor Invoice Management for SAP® Solutions increases speed and accuracy, reducing costs

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  • High-cost involved with time spent in manually entering order data
  • High risk of incorrect data entry with the manual task


  • Saved time on order entry, freeing up time for customer-facing tasks

  • Reduced manual processing time and overall costs

  • Enabled order handling from multiple channels with pre-conversion to PDF


Many of Wavin’s clients do not have electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities, and therefore submit their orders by email, fax, or on paper. This creates a time-consuming task for sales teams, who must manually enter these orders into Wavin’s SAP system.

Pipeline Testing

Over the coming months, we will expand our usage of OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions to another 15 or so countries, accelerating the return on our investment and further improving the service we provide our customers.

Stefan Felschen
Project Manager, Wavin

Project Manager at Wavin, Stefan Felschen, explained, “It’s not only the time it takes to manually enter order data, which detracts from other, high-value tasks, but the concern is also the risk of incorrect data entry. This, in turn, leads to higher costs.”

Wavin researched solutions to accelerate and automate the sales order entry process while reducing associated costs. Ideally, a new solution would be capable of capturing the unstructured data from a paper, email, or fax order and convert it to structured data for automatic entry to SAP.

Making a strategic selection

When considering potential solutions, Wavin involved its system architects, IT, and the business, i.e., the sales teams, to ensure requirements were met and would fit with the wider, strategic SAP platform in use across the business. “We looked at a number of solutions, including from our existing EDI provider, that were unable to provide the functionality we were seeking. From our research, the best fit for our needs was OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions,” explained Felschen. Wavin has been using SAP since the 1990s and over the past 10 years has been working to standardize every country onto a single template. The new OpenText Vendor Invoice Management (VIM) solution complements this strategy, supporting a true enterprise-wide deployment in the future, not only for sales orders, but potentially any other unstructured document type.

Proof of concept success leads to accelerated deployment

Working closely with the sales team, a proof of concept (POC) was undertaken to ensure the OpenText solution would truly meet the needs and expectations of the business. Following sufficient testing to ensure the solution was indeed able to recognize and capture all sales order information from a variety of inbound formats, a pilot implementation commenced in three countries: Netherlands, France, and the Czech Republic.

“We made the conscious decision to start small, build knowledge, and then accelerate deployment later on. We engaged OpenText Professional Services to design and implement VIM, and they supported us throughout our learning phase to going live,” said Felschen.

Incoming order documents are first converted to PDF. VIM is then used to recognize and extract the required order data, which can consist of hundreds of order lines involving thousands of product units. The extracted data is then automatically injected into SAP, triggering the order process.

Men holding metal pipe

We engaged OpenText Professional Services to design and implement Vendor Invoice Management, and they supported us throughout our learning phase to going live.

Stefan Felschen
Project Manager, Wavin

Flexibility to handle unique processes

To support high user adoption, Wavin wanted to use existing process templates from across the organization to ensure familiarity for its users. Some additional development was undertaken to achieve this, including the handling of ‘ship-to’ addresses.

“One of the complexities that we faced is that a number of our clients have multiple locations, for example merchant warehouses. When they provide an order, they are centrally generated and look the same for every location. OpenText helped us configure and teach the machine-learning algorithms of Business Center to locate and extract the ‘ship-to’ details from customer orders,” Felschen explained. “In reality, it’s often difficult for the human eye to locate this information from a paper, fax, or email order, as all orders from that merchant have the same layout, logo, order header information, etc. However, OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions, with its learning capabilities, is providing high success rates of data extraction, saving us further time.”

Once extracted, the ‘ship-to’ information can be used to quickly perform a check in SAP to determine if the location already exists. If the location doesn’t exist, a simple pop-up can be triggered to allow this to complete this action. By capturing the correct information early in the order process, Wavin can better serve its customers, provide accurate billing, and ensure deliveries are made to the correct location.

Positive reaction from users and the wider business

In the three pilot countries, the response from those involved in the design phase and go-live has been highly positive. “Our users say that OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions is really helping them in their day-to-day work. It is now easier to get orders into the system. This saves time, perhaps only a few minutes for some orders, but it all adds up when dealing with hundreds of orders,” said Felschen.

Understanding and knowledge of the solution is growing too, as planned. By focusing initially on a small number of customers that place orders regularly, the solution is able to learn quickly. This means the sales team spends less time checking orders. The goal is to ultimately have a zero-touch sales order process as deployment accelerates. Internal reporting is also being enhanced by OpenText, which is providing Wavin with additional EDI data to feed to its management dashboards.

“With the successes achieved to date, and the business fully on board, we are now ramping up usage in the three pilot countries. So far, around five percent of orders are being processed in the pilot countries through OpenText, with the potential for growth, but the benefits of time savings and improved accuracy are already very evident,” Felschen explained. “Over the coming months, we will expand our usage of OpenText Vendor Invoice Management to another 15 or so countries, accelerating the return on our investment and further improving the service we provide our customers.”

About Wavin

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Originally founded in 1955, and now part of Mexichem, Wavin is a leading supplier of plastic pipe systems and solutions. Wavin products are used in both below and above ground applications in areas such as water management, heating and cooling, water and gas distribution, waste water drainage, and cable ducting. The firm employs around 5,000, and has presence in more than 25 countries. Headquartered in Zwolle in the Netherlands, Wavin has more than 30 manufacturing sites, mainly in Europe. Outside Europe, it operates through a global network of agents, licensees, and distributors.