UnivarElectronic Invoicing Guide

Introduction

The Univar eInvoicing Portal, hosted by P2P automation leader Direct Commerce (DCI), enables your business to submit invoices electronically, review historical invoice data, and view payment status online over a secured internet connection.  This program benefits you as a Univar supplier in many ways including:

  • Improved cash flow planning as a result of prompt and verifiable invoice delivery, reduced errors, and faster attention to delays caused by exceptions
  • Reduced costs due to the elimination of paper and mail-processing expenses
  • Fewer rejected invoices as potential re-keying validation errors are eliminated
  • Access to your invoice, and payment information online 24/7 via secured website
  • Improved cash forecasting due to greater, real time visibility of your invoice status

Your company will be able to submit invoices efficiently, reduce potential errors, and initiate communication with Univar about invoices and payments via the Portal’s Dialog feature. Additionally, your company may also contact Univar by sending an email to APcustomerservice@univarusa.com.

Summary of Options

Your company can participate in this simple and easy-to-use process at no cost to your business in one of three ways – Web Portal, EDI or Elemica.  In addition to these no-cost options, Direct Commerce offers custom file upload automation process with a possible one-time implementation fee.

1)  Web Portal  – no charge

Online access via the Univar eInvoicing Web Portal is the preferred option for those suppliers that submit less than 50 invoices per month to Univar.

Suppliers that select this option simply have to enroll with Direct Commerce.  Once enrolled, you will receive a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with a Quick Start Guide. 

Go-Live for this option begins as soon as your account is activated by Direct Commerce.  To enroll, please send an enrollment request for “Web Portal Access” to APeinvoice@univarusa.com and indicate “Univar eInvoicing Enrollment Request for [your company name]” in the Subject line.

2)  EDI File Upload via FTP – no charge

EDI via FTP is an option available to suppliers.

Testing phase for this option begins Dec. 8, 2014 and all suppliers that pass testing will Go-Live on Jan. 19, 2015. Direct Commerce will coordinate the test process with your company directly.

To register for EDI File Upload, please send an enrollment request for “EDI File Upload” to APeinvoice@univarusa.com to begin the process and indicate “Univar eInvoicing Enrollment Request for [your company name]” in the Subject line.

3)  Elemica File Upload – no charge

On behalf of Univar, Direct Commerce has an established account with Elemica where it can securely retrieve your company invoice data feed files.

Testing phase for this option begins Dec. 8, 2014 and all suppliers that pass testing will Go-Live on Jan. 19, 2015. To register for Elemica File Upload, please send an enrollment request for “Elemica File Upload” to APeinvoice@univarusa.com to begin the process and indicate “Univar eInvoicing Enrollment Request for [your company name]” in the Subject line.

4)  Custom File Upload – note there is a possible one-time implementation fee for this service

Direct Commerce provides other configurable data exchange methodologies such as XML or CSV via a host of other protocols including HTTPS, SFTP, or SMTP.

These services are available as a custom file upload process and as such there may be a one-time implementation fee to configure, test and activate a supplier account using this process.

To register for Custom File Upload, please send an enrollment request for “Custom File Upload” to APeinvoice@univarusa.com to begin the process and indicate “Univar eInvoicing Enrollment Request for [your company name]” in the Subject line. 

 

Univar Policies

Via its secured eInvoicing Web Portal or DCI EDI exchange, Univar is providing its suppliers with easy-to-implement, no-cost methods to activate a secured electronic invoicing account.

As such, it is Univar’s expectation that its suppliers will take prompt advantage of its eInvoicing solution as it reduces costs, increases productivity and provides faster processing for both Univar and its suppliers.

Effective Dec. 2, 2014, Univar expects its suppliers to enroll in one of the electronic invoice options provided described in this eInvoicing Specification. For those suppliers that have not enrolled by the Dec. 2, 2014 deadline, Univar will begin charging suppliers $2 per paper invoice effective Dec. 3, 2014.

Effective Jan. 19, 2015, Univar expects all enrolled suppliers to submit invoices electronically via one of the methodologies described in this eInvoicing Specification. Please note, Univar will begin charging suppliers who have not enrolled in one of the electronic invoice options by the Dec. 2, 2014 deadline an additional $2 per invoice processing fee for each paper invoice submitted to Univar beginning on Dec. 3, 2014.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Univar at APcustomerservice@univarusa.com.

On behalf of Univar, we look forward to your participation in this important electronic invoicing program!

Implementation Timeline

Enrollment: Nov. 7, 2014 to Dec. 2, 2014

To activate your Univar’s electronic invoicing account, you must send an enrollment request to APeinvoice@univarusa.com with the following information.

In the subject line of your email, please include “Univar eInvoicing Enrollment Request for [your company name]”:

1)     Your Company’s Supplier ID from Univar. If you need assistance obtaining this, please contact Univar at APcustomerservice@univarusa.com.

2)     First name, last name, email and phone number of the person that will be your Univar eInvoicing System Administrator

3)     The method you wish to use for submission:

  1. Web Portal
  2. EDI
  3. Elemica
  4. Custom File Upload (note there is a possible one-time implementation fee for this service)

 

If you request the Web Portal, your account will be activated within 10 business days.

The person listed in your enrollment email will be activated as the System Administrator and will receive a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with a username, temporary password, login URL, and Quick Start Guide.  Your company can submit invoices immediately after you log into the Web Portal. To obtain assistance with navigating the Portal, please contact support@directcommerce.com.

For EDI, Elemica or Custom File Upload methods, testing and Go-Live are specified in the following section.

EDI Testing: Dec. 8, 2014 to Jan. 14, 2015

If you request EDI or Elemica file upload options, your company will need to complete self-test phase as described in the EDI or Elemica sections of this Guide. Direct Commerce will communicate with your System Administrator a week or more prior to Go-Live to ensure all testing is complete and then will activate your account on Jan. 19, 2015.

Go-Live Dates: no later than Jan. 19, 2015

1)     Web Portal – within 10 business days

If your company selects Web Portal, your account will be activated within 10 business days.  The person listed in your enrollment email will be considered the System Administrator and can add additional users.  This person will receive a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with a username, temporary password, login URL, and Quick Start Guide.

You can submit invoices, view payment status, and search invoice history using the secured Univar eInvoicing Portal once your account is activated.

2)     EDI File Upload – Jan. 19, 2015

Successful completion of the EDI file upload process must be done prior to Jan. 14, 2015.  Direct Commerce will contact your company after testing is complete to confirm your Go-Live Date of Jan. 19, 2015.

3)     Elemica – Jan. 19, 2015

Successful completion of the Elemica process must be done prior to Jan. 14, 2015.  Direct Commerce will contact your company after testing is complete to confirm your Go-Live Date of Jan. 19, 2015.

4)     Custom File Upload – to be scheduled

Suppliers that select custom file upload will be charged a one-time implementation fee.  Upon payment of this fee, a Direct Commerce project manager will contact your System Administrator and determine a Go-Live timetable that accommodates your business.

 

Web Portal Access

Online access via the eInvoicing Web Portal is the preferred option for suppliers to submit invoices electronically to Univar.

Suppliers that select this option simply have to send an enrollment request to APeinvoice@univarusa.com by the deadline. Univar will approve your enrollment within 10 business days and you will receive a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with a Quick Start Guide.

Go Live for this option begins as soon as your account is activated by Univar.  You can submit invoices, view payment status, and search invoice history using the secured Univar eInvoicing Portal.

Access to view and create invoice transactions will work using all supported web browsers including Internet Explorer (version 10 or later), Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.

 

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

This specification describes how Direct Commerce provides programmatic access to the Univar eInvoicing Portal via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Note: In addition to submitting invoices via EDI, your company may wish to also use the Univar Web Portal for self-service features such as payment status look-up, historical invoice data searches, online dialog with Univar, and document history information.

Figure 1: The diagram below describes the general flow of data between your company, Direct Commerce and your customer, Univar.

 Direct Commerce Network

EDI File Upload Process

To begin the EDI file upload process, you will need to send an enrollment request to APeinvoice@univarusa.com as noted earlier in this document. This enrollment request triggers a File Upload project with Direct Commerce (DCI). DCI assigns a technical project manager to your account and will contact your company’s System Administrator by email. DCI will set up a test account in the Univar eInvoicing test environment, a.k.a. the QA environment, which mirrors the Univar eInvoicing Portal.

The System Administrator will get a Welcome Email from Direct Commerce with login credentials for the QA environment; This person will need to login into the QA environment to verify all test results.

The DCI EDI file upload process involves conducting 2 round-trip tests with invoice data files using the agreed upon transfer protocol.  A round-trip test refers to uploading one invoice data file and verifying the success of the upload by viewing the upload report and confirming the correctness of the uploaded data from any browser.

Of the 2 tests, we request that the first invoice data file contain only valid invoices and the second invoice data file contain a mix of valid and invalid invoices. Invalid invoices should fail the validation rules for Univar. For example, an invoice with missing an invoice number or a duplicate invoice number will always fail validation since unique invoice numbers are required by Univar to pay an invoice.

Once all testing is verified as correct by you and Univar, Direct Commerce will activate your account on the Univar eInvoicing Portal.  Your System Administrator should verify the first invoices are successfully submitted to Univar. The Administrator can also set up additional system users within your company, update the primary contact information, and look up invoice status and payment details.

Steps for Completion

This process typically takes one to two weeks, although depending on the availability of your company’s IT resources, the testing iterations (which includes the data mapping process) may require more or less time.

Updated Univar chart

Merchandise Invoices

Merchandise Invoices must pass validation according to the business rules for Univar in order to be submitted to them. These rules include required fields, acceptable values for certain fields, and other document checks that make sure that invoice transactions are acceptable to Univar. Merchandise invoices must also follow the EDI file format supported for Univar eInvoicing transmission described below.

Merchandise Invoice Validation Rules

Merchandise EDI 810 File Format

Expense Invoices

Expense Invoices must pass validation according to the business rules for Univar in order to be submitted to them. These rules include required fields, acceptable values for certain fields, and other document checks that make sure that invoice transactions are acceptable to Univar. Expense invoices must also follow the EDI file format supported for Univar eInvoicing transmission described below.

Transportation Invoices Validation Rules

Transportation Invoice EDI 810 File Format

 

Transfer Protocol

Direct Commerce (DCI) supports the FTP transmission protocol for transmission of data.  DCI will provide you with an FTP inbox of your own on our FTP server if you need one, if however you have your own FTP you prefer let DCI know and they can accommodate your server.

Direct Commerce polls the FTP server once per hour.

DCI does not have a required file naming convention you must follow however we recommend making the file name unique, for example: batch_<date>.<extension>.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not upload 2 files with the same name as the second file with the same name as the first will override the data in the first file.

Invoices submitted into Univar’s financial system will be approved according to their internal invoice approval process. You may be able to view the remittance details as Univar approves and pays those invoices.

 

Elemica

On behalf of Univar, Direct Commerce has set up a feed to retrieve invoice data feed files from Elemica.  Testing phase for this option begins December 8, 2014 and all suppliers that pass testing will Go-Live on Jan.19, 2015.

 

Custom File Upload

Suppliers who would like to utilize different formats and protocols may select a ‘custom file uploader’ package from Direct Commerce.  Please send an email to APeinvoice@univarusa.com if you would like to consider this option. Please note, this option may include a one-time charge for customization.

 

Technical Support

After your setup is complete and when your company is actively sending and receiving batch files and other transmissions to and from Direct Commerce you may occasionally need technical assistance. For example, a transmission may fail or a batch file may be corrupt; for these types of technical issue please contact the Direct Commerce Supplier Rollout group directly at:

vendorrollout@directcommerce.com

Appendix

User Role Definitions

System Administrator: You must have at least one System Administrator.  This person can add additional users to the Web Portal and reset passwords.  The System Administrator can have additional roles, for example Processor.

Processor: A Processor can submit invoices to Univar using the Web Portal.  Processors can also search for information, send dialog messages to Univar and look at invoice history and payment information.