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Contracts 2021: Time of Digital Assistants

Electronic Document Management System
for Customs Declarations in P&G Company

800

working hours per year saved

12

customs

6

legal entities

The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is an American multinational company, one of the leaders on the global consumer goods market. The Russian unit of P&G has 6 legal entities in 4 regions including 3 factories.

In 2013, the company faced an increase in the number of the customs documents. The company worked at 12 customs, had contracts with 13 customs representatives who worked in three systems. Employees processed over 2000 customs declarations per month.

2000 customs
declarations per month

3 systems

By this time, the company completed the first stage of the implementation of Directum system. It resulted in the automation of the contract approval process. The goal of the second stage was to switch to an electronic legally valid document exchange of customs declarations.

Project tasks

  1. Implement electronic customs declarations as legally valid documents without having to duplicate them on paper.
  2. Integrate them into a single system for all importing and exporting legal entities of the company.
  3. Create a single information space for technological systems involved in the customs documents exchange.
  4. Automate the processing of documents and exclude additional manual operations (printing, manual input of declaration data, etc.).
  5. Make it easier to prepare and submit customs declarations to tax authorities for desk audits.
  6. Create a single electronic archive of legally valid electronic documents.
  7. Create a single customs declaration database, which allows generating and exporting various reports.

Solutions

During the project, the following features were implemented:

1. Receive and upload customs declarations in XML with signatures from the customs operators systems.

To solve this problem, we developed a special automatic capture service. The service combines the XML document flows from three customs declaration systems. The system automatically verifies integrity of the XML containers, signatures, the validity of certificates used to sign the documents, and other parameters.

The tool uploads XML files into the customs declaration databook that automatically creates and fills document cards. The XML file and its PDF forms can be attached to this document card.

2. Process customs declarations.

In DIRECTUM system, the project team linked the pre-configured databooks with specially created ones:

  • The Goods Declarations databook contains all information from customs declarations that P&G employees may need. Employees can filter the data and export it to Excel files.
  • The Customs databook contains information about customs stations, their codes, and vendor numbers from the internal systems (counterparty's SAP number).
  • The Countries databook contains information about goods manufacturer states.
  • The Currency databook is used to select the currency of a contract under which the goods are imported or exported.

3. Automate the preparation and submission of customs declarations to tax authorities.

When the project was implemented, the tax service did not accept customs declarations submitted in XML. That is why it was decided to create an additional feature, which allows employees to automatically export PDF documents according to a predefined list.

We developed a special script that allows employees to move customs declarations in bulk to a specific folder on the computer. If a document from the list is missing, the user receives a notification.

4. Store customs declarations in a single place.

By creating a customs declaration databook, the company managed to put together an electronic archive. Each document card contains XML and PDF versions of customs declarations, which means that this databook became a single storage and systematization place for this kind of documents.

5. Transfer information to the P&G systems.

To transfer information to the P&G systems, some additional tables were created in the SQL database. The tables contain values necessary for customs declaration accounting transactions, and ensure safe and effective connection between the company's developments and DIRECTUM database.

Results

Employees save about 8000 hours of work time per year

Customs declarations are processed in electronic format on each stage: from creating to archiving

A single system combined 12 customs and 6 legal entities

The number of technical mistakes in the processing of customs declarations decreased to zero

The company stores customs declarations in a single electronic archive

Solution used

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