Welcome to electronic invoicing for Unilever NA

Introduction

The electronic invoicing process has proven to be a journey for both suppliers and Unilever, and we’re getting more insight now on the questions that the suppliers are faced with. In this User Guide we bundled the most common questions and concerns, and we hope to provide you with the answers on how to deal with them.

The benefits of Tungsten Network are well proven.

 

  • Confirmed delivery of your invoices by eliminating the points where invoices can get lost and delayed. Your invoices will be delivered straight into Unilever’s SAP system cutting 2 weeks off of reaching AP. Emailed invoices must also go through the same process as paper to reach AP.
 

Unilever North America User Guide

Overview of service options and costs

Compare to:

  • Days to post reduced from 31 days to 12 days
  • Automated, straight-through invoice processing from 77% to 87%
  • Improved on-time payments
    • Enhances on-time payment to our vendors by more than 18%
  • Reduction of AP blocks due to incorrect and missing data

Unilever invoicing requirements

The standard Unilever invoicing requirements are applicable on both paper and electronic invoices. It’s the supplier’s responsibility that invoices fulfill these requirements. The Unilever invoicing requirements document has been provided on earlier occasions and can be obtained via your Unilever Procurement Manager.

Invoice Header level
Mandatory:
Invoice Number Must be unique as duplicates will be rejected.
Unilever Tungsten Account Number Begins with AAA and corresponds to the Unilever company name purchasing the goods and services found on the PO. This is NOT the plant or Unilever location. A list can be found here
Unilever “Bill To” Name and Address This must be taken from the Tungsten Database as a default and is managed by Unilever’s legal department. This is automatic for the web portal
Vendor “bill from” Name and Address This is provided by the supplier in the company profile on the web portal or provided in the data sent to Tungsten
PO Number This is the Purchase order number starting with 46 or DO. Only use the PO exactly as it is issued on the PO. Do not use release numbers or any other designator appended to the PO
Ship From Address Applicable for goods, the origination of the shipment including country
Delivery (Ship to) Address This is not the same as the bill to address, but the delivery address is the individual sourcing unit, MSO, distribution center or warehouse where the goods/services are physically delivered. This should include the Country and the Unilever registration number for shipments into Canada and Mexico
Original Invoice Number For credit notes only
Preferred:
Buyer Contact Name
Supplier Email Address
Delivery Note Number This is strongly preferred for PO invoices. This is used for automated invoice matching when working with scheduling agreements.
Line level
Mandatory:
Quantity The number of units billed
Unit Price The Unit Price must be quoted as a per ‘piece’ value
Description of the line item billed Can be goods or services aligned with the PO
Preferred:
Material number For PO invoices, this is the Unilever Material Code as quoted on the Purchase Order
PO Line Item Found on the PO, the line number on the PO corresponding to the item on the invoice being billed
Summary level
Preferred:
Bank Account Number Can be either held static on Tungsten or sent in the supplier data file.

The Tungsten legal requirements in combination with the Unilever buyer-specific file that you will have received from the Tungsten implementation manager should cover the requirements. In the following paragraphs some of the Unilever invoicing requirements will be explained in more detail:

Invoice number
Note that the check is exact, with no duplicates allowed. Revisions to submitted invoices are not allowed. A credit should be posted to offset the errant invoice so a new invoice number can be issued. In cases where that cannot be done, a revised invoice number can be submitted with a designation to indicate it is a revision (such as appending an “R” to the invoice number).
Purchase Order number
Note that the check is exact, no prefixes or additions are allowed for these numbers. E.g. PO4512345678 or 4512345678-V2 will not be accepted. In this case, it has to be 4512345678. Multiple versions of a Direct Order (DO) can exist – signified by a V#(DO98765 V2) – however, only the original root (DO98765) should be invoiced against.
Unilever material code (MRDR code)
With Tungsten, this is preferred information for direct spend (PI) materials.

Unilever specific invoicing exceptions

Trials, obsoletes

Invoices for trials and obsolete materials also require a Purchase Order number. Processes within Unilever have been re-designed and suppliers should be informed on the Purchase Order number to use. If no Purchase Order number is available, please ask your local Unilever contact to provide one.

Additional costs (pallets etc)

Additional cost like pallets, extra transport costs, demurrage etc should use the Purchase Order number that was used for the specific delivery.

Print tooling

Invoices for print tooling costs should contain the Framework order number, the Framework line number and the internal code. This information is provided by your Procurement contact.

Unilever specific invoicing exceptions

Rejection by Tungsten Network

Invoices submitted to Tungsten always have an emailed notification designating the invoice as accepted or rejected. It is STRONGLY recommended that this is a group email address whereby both a technical contact as well as a billing/AR person is included.

Email notifications occur at two stages by Tungsten Network:

  1. The data file sent to Tungsten containing the Network invoices fails
    1. For integrated solution suppliers only, this means the data in the file does not match the specification agreed to
    2. This results in all invoices within the file to be rejected.
    3. A notification of the rejected data file is sent to the designated email address with the filename that failed. The supplier needs to solve the issue with the Tungsten Network support desk (raise a ticket) and resume sending invoices after the issue is resolved.
  2. Applying the invoicing requirements of Unilever to the individual invoice
    1. Applies to both web form and integrated solution suppliers
    2. Checks for tax compliance if necessary
    3. Checks that the invoice data meets the requirements
    4. A notification of acceptance or rejection of the invoice and the reason for rejection is sent to the designated email address

It is important that transaction reports (approval and failure) sent by Tungsten Network are continuously monitored thus ensuring that documents are quickly resubmitted which will prevent delayed payments.

Rejection by IBM

Not all rejections are performed by Tungsten Network. If Tungsten Network submits the invoice to Unilever (IBM) systems, then the invoice can still be rejected by IBM.

If an invoice has been rejected for valid reasons (e.g. addressed to wrong Unilever entity, wrong VAT amount etc.), then the supplier needs to resolve the cause and submit the invoice with a different invoice number (Tungsten Network will reject an invoice with a number that has already been used). A credit note needs to be sent to cancel the incorrect invoice.

Missing Invoices

For identifying and resolving missing invoices, the first step is to log onto the Tungsten portal and run a report for invoices accepted by Tunsten Network. If the invoice is shown in the report, it has been confirmed that it was also delivered to Unilever/IBM. If it is not shown, please contact your IT department and billing to determine why the invoice was not accepted by Tungsten (rejection notifications show a technical mismatch between the systems, whereby the lack of notifications mean the invoice data never reached the data file sent to Tungsten).

If the invoice is missing in AP, you should expect a notification from IBM explaining why the invoice was rejected. Most rejections in this case are related to billing the incorrect company for the PO being invoiced, or that the company information is incorrect and invalid for VAT (in the cases of invoicing Unilever Canada and Unilever UASCC AG). These invoices must be corrected and resubmitted by the supplier.

Support structure

Tungsten and IBM support

After a successful go-live your implementation manager is normally not available anymore and will be working on other accounts instead. Therefore, all issues and questions with Tungsten need to be raised by tickets to the dedicated support desk. This starts the support procedure. Tungsten needs to respond within 48 hours, but depending on the issue, resolution might take longer. If Tungsten reacts on a support issue, but does not get a reply within 5 days, they will close the ticket.

It is critical for all suppliers to assign an account administrator to the Tungsten portal. It is here whereby suppliers can run reporting including the status of invoices, create support tickets, and add new users to the portal. Notifications can also be changed here.

For inquiries about the payment of invoices, or why an invoice has not been approved for payment, all communications should be directed to:

Phone number 1-866-712-43821
Email-address (UASCC Invoices) [email protected]
Email-address (Non-UASCC Invoices) [email protected]

General questions can be directed to Unilever by sending an email to [email protected]

How to guides

Tungsten has on their portal numerous ‘How to’ guides, explaining most actions that are performed with the Portal. These guides have been written to support suppliers on the network, so please consult them first in case of questions.

List of Unilever North American Family of Companies

AAA241069178 Conopco, Inc
AAA408568889 Unilever United States, Inc
AAA617021738 Chesebrough Ponds Manufacturing Company
AAA003478575 Unilever Trumbull Research Services, Inc.
AAA851956755 Unilever Canada, Inc
AAA204170773 Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.
AAA938523990 B&J Franchising, Inc
AAA674047626 Unilever ASCC AG
AAA121181432 Unilever Illinois Manufacturing Company
AAA372196758 Unilever Manufacturing (US) Inc
AAA382515401 Alberto Culver

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