The road to an integrated e-invoicing strategy







E-Invoice ReceivingE-Invoice Sending


Discover how Mercedes-Benz has managed to establish and roll out an integrated e-invoicing strategy by introducing Basware.

Mercedes-Benz Group AG (formerly Daimler AG) is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its Mercedes-Benz Cars, Vans, Trucks & Buses and Mercedes-Benz Mobility business segments, the vehicle manufacturer is among the biggest suppliers of premium and luxury passenger cars and one of the world’s biggest producers of commercial vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz Mobility offers financing, leasing, fleet management, investments, insurance brokerage and innovative mobility services. The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in 1886. For Mercedes-Benz Group AG – as the pioneer of automobile construction – making the future of mobility safe and sustainable is both a motivation and an obligation. Accordingly, the company focuses on innovative and green technologies as well as safe, high-quality vehicles that fascinate and enthuse its customers.

Consistently, Mercedes-Benz invests in the continuous development of efficient drive systems. These range from advanced internal combustion engines and hybrid vehicles to purely electric drivetrains – powered by either batteries or fuel cells. The ultimate goal is to facilitate long-term, emissions-free local mobility. In addition, the company is relentlessly pressing ahead with intelligent networking of its vehicles, autonomous driving and new mobility concepts, because Mercedes-Benz considers it a requirement and an obligation to meet its responsibility to society and the environment.

Mercedes-Benz sells its vehicles and services in virtually every country of the world and has production centers in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa.

Key takeaways


Mercedes-Benz suppliers using Basware Network

Up to 500%

Transactions per year: these suppliers can use Basware PDF e-Invoicing


data transfer via the Basware network

How Mercedes-Benz and Basware work together

Developing and successfully implementing an integrated e-invoicing strategy requires first of all a globally active organization within accounting and management support as well as clear responsibilities. Here, Mercedes-Benz Group AG can call on its shared service centers, which take a service-oriented approach to meeting the needs of both internal and external customers.  

Within the framework of the e-invoicing strategy, the company utilizes different invoicing channels to ensure the greatest possible take-up of e-invoicing. The key channels are:

  • Self-billing/ERS procedure (Evaluated Receipt Settlement) for production materials with high invoice volumes
  • Structured procedures e.g. EDI (VDA 4938)
  • Flexible e-invoicing formats via Basware for suppliers with medium and smaller transaction volumes, to provide simple and efficient connectivity from a supplier perspective
  • Intercompany e-invoicing via Basware using a standardized technical platform with the widest range of options for receiving and sending structured and unstructured billing data within the Mercedes-Benz Group

The collaboration started with electronic exchange of invoices for individual factories. The implementation proceeded step by step, enabling both a global rollout and technical upgrades.

The current status, taking Germany as an example, can be summarized as follows:

  • Several thousand Mercedes-Benz suppliers use Basware Services to submit their invoices.
  • Suppliers with an invoice volume over 500 transactions per year use Basware’s PREMIUM solution to send structured billing data.
  • For suppliers with smaller invoice volumes, up to max. 500 transactions per year, Mercedes-Benz offers Basware’s PDF e-Invoicing solution. This provides a straightforward way for suppliers to send machine-readable PDF invoices by mail, or the invoice can be submitted using the Basware Portal (Invoice KeyIn).
  • The roaming procedure with VER-certified partners is another option enabling use of central service partners.
  • The data is made available to the Mercedes-Benz companies 24/7 in the agreed format via the Basware Network.

This wide variety of methods for sending and receiving invoices has contributed to garnering buy-in for e-invoicing among Mercedes-Benz suppliers. The collaboration was taken to a deeper level within the context of a group-wide project aimed at optimizing financial statements. Sending hard copies of intragroup invoice documents via several countries and continents often caused delays in document capture and discrepancies in the statements. To resolve this issue in a sustainable manner, Mercedes-Benz worked with Basware on a sub-project (Any-to-Any) to develop and implement a joint solution to facilitate 100% electronic intercompany exchange of documents. The goals for this project included accelerating and streamlining processes, eliminating significant paper usage, and incidentally reducing costs.


Digitalization at Inter Company Level

Having Basware as a service provider has made it possible for all companies associated with Mercedes-Benz worldwide to send and receive vouchers through a variety of channels. The electronic exchange of invoices doesn't only involve the parent company but also extends among the individual companies. This exchange takes place via a central Basware e-invoicing portal.  

This is an important lever for increased automation in financial accounting.

Suppliers for affiliate companies are also linked to Basware. The clear goal, to the extent that is technically and legally feasible, is for all Mercedes-Benz companies globally to receive only electronic invoices.

E-Invoicing Portal for Customers and Suppliers

The e-invoicing portal is the key element for the exchange of invoices via Basware, offering maximum transparency and traceability.

Using the Basware portal was intentionally designed to be user-friendly. The portal provides a range of solutions to maximize the advantages of transitioning to e-invoicing for suppliers.

Success factors

A long-term, strategic roadmap and clear definitions of goals are essential to the success of an e-invoicing project of this order of magnitude. For Mercedes-Benz, as a major global group with a large number of companies and shared service centers, it was important to prioritize and then adapt the process step by step.  

The pertinent activities and roll-out plans for the shared service centers were identified and meticulously planned in close collaboration with the Basware team. It was absolutely essential that both parties had the required resources available for the planned activities and maintained regular reporting to management. Utilizing Basware Services to manage central coordination and governance for individual projects, which includes defining communication channels, has demonstrated its value for Mercedes-Benz. Global competences, project structures, and implementation steps were standardized - enabling Mercedes-Benz to implement a successful integrated e-invoicing strategy.