Brazil Nota Fiscal – Key Support Costs that Go Undetected

Scott Lewin
July 12, 2013

The biggest challenge with Nota Fiscal in Brazil is not the selection of a solution for compliance, it is the ongoing support costs.

If you are looking to implement Nota Fiscal in Brazil, ensure you cover the following topics so you don’t create an out of control support process.

  • Breadth of Functionality – your solution needs to be able to handle all of the following.
    • Nota Fiscal for Goods
    • Nota Fiscal for Services (City Level Integration)
    • CTe – Transportation Invoices
    • Nota Fiscal Entrada
    • SPED reporting within SAP ERP
  • Architecture – how many integrations and solutions are you really supporting?
    • You want to have an architecture that doesn’t have a lot of break points
    • Many solutions require SAP PI or a middleware – for an end to end process that can affect your ability to ship product, this is just another potential failure point
    • A solution should manage the SAP configuration issues in a “buffered” approach so that your customizations and customer requirements are not forcing constant changes on your core SAP. I have seen companies that end up with hundreds of hard coded fixes to SAP configuration problems – these lead to nightmares during upgrades regression testing
    • How many integration points are you supporting, how many different solutions are required?
    • Are you only upgrading the core/centralized ERP system every 3 months, 4 months or 6 months — these Center Of Excellence limitations place your Latin America operations at risk for non-compliance as you wait for your needed changes to reach the top of the priority list
  • A Single Monitor – can you look in one monitor to see all issues?
    • You should have one single monitor for all issues including details. It is not good enough to have to look in the ERP system, to look in the NFe stand alone box, to look in the middleware, and then to monitor the printing network for an error that can keep a truck from leaving the warehouse.
    • You solution should have one simple monitor that is part of the SAP system, and this is not standard functionality
  • Support – what are you really paying for?
    • If you pay 18-25% maintenance on a software solution and all you get are patches and updates, you are wasting your money. The process changes too often for a traditional software support model.
    • If your solution doesn’t support the SAP configuration issues with Brazil Nota Fiscal, the middleware processes including the printer management, and the government connections, then you have a lot of internal costs that are wasted
    • You should be able to pick up a phone, call a local Brazil number in Portuguese or a global number in English; speak to someone immediately about your problem regardless of where it is in the process; and have your problem solved as part of your support fees.
    • Too often support stops at a “Service Transfer Point” and you are left holding the money bags for internal resources, outsourced consultants, and T&M projects from the providers that only offer a small portion of the solution
  • Change Management – who is really maintaining the end to end process?
    • In 80% of implementations, the internal SAP COE and Support team is stuck holding the bill for end to end support. This means a good portion of your resources are struggling to fight fires rather than improve processes and create more efficiency.
    • If your solution maintenance doesn’t cover your specific SAP configuration issues, your customer specific requests, all the middleware components from integration, conversion, signing, archiving, printing, contingency, and all the government connections and legislative changes, then your team is responsible for supporting these changes.

As we approach the end of summer, now is the time to understand the true cost of ownership of SAP in Brazil. There is a better way…a much better way.

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Scott Lewin

Gain timely insight and important up to the minute information about the current legislative changes in Latin America, including Brazil Nota Fiscal, Mexico CFDI, Argentina AFIP and Chile DTE. Learn how these changes affect your operations, your finances and also your Information Technology teams.
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