The Braunschweig State Theatre is home to musical theatre, drama, dance, and youth. State theatre and state orchestra who perform on average 35 premieres and ten symphony concerts across three traditional and one open air stage. The paint shop, woodworking, mask, dramatics, dance, and many other departments all work hand in hand—each responsible for their own budget. Previously, the theatre departments had all been approving their invoices in paper form, printing out the ones that arrived by e-mail and recording them in a suspense account before sending the via the in-house mail system for the budget manager to sign off on them and send them back. They were then countersigned and reposted by in accounting by the administrative management and head of invoicing. A long and cumbersome path that led to many invoices getting lost or taking so long to be processed that they incurred fines. The Braunschweig State Theatre wanted to change all this by introducing the digital office. A document management system to virtually entirely automate invoice processing, streamline processes, and accelerate payment. Various providers and suppliers were compared against the requirements and processes and details of their applications requested.

We are thoroughly satisfied with the ELO system Bechtle implemented. Invoices now finally can be quickly processed from receipt to approval to payment. Even if someone is away or off sick, we still have all rental and guest appearance invoices and soon all contracts at a glance. We always know now, where to pick up the process. With ELO, there are also endless options for digitalising our processing, and it’s clear to us that Bechtle and ELO can do a lot more for us in the future.

Stefan Mehrens, Administrative Director, Braunschweig State Theatre


At the end of the tendering process, the theatre decided to implement digitalisation with Bechtle and ELO Digital Office. Bechtle made use of the existing server infrastructure on-site, adding to the legacy scanners. The current process of incoming invoice processing was formed from an ELO customised target processing for digital invoice processing that Bechtle built into the ELO system basic installation with corresponding data base. Bechtle also set up a dedicated e-mail address from which the ELO Professional Suite forwards all incoming invoices to the ELO DocXtractor module—whether they arrive by e-mail or by post and are scanned in. Its intelligent capture processing analyses and classifies and verifies documents. ELO also extracts invoice data and compares it with information the theatre has enters into their base4IT accounting program, for which Bechtle implemented their own interface between ELO and base4IT. This allows all booked documents to be accessed for budgeting and reporting by heads of department. ELO scans and sorts invoices—with the accounting department’s support—according to cost centre, account, tax number, and text before digitally sending them straight to those in charge of the budget for approval.

Bechtle made sure to give every department a dedicated ELO, meaning that they all receive invoices in the form they need—sometimes invoices go straight to management, sometimes to assistants, and sometimes to another department. And ELO is flexible enough that it can all be changed as needed. Should accounting have a change of director, all it takes is just a few clicks to assign the new budget manager and set up ELO to suit their needs. The departments decide themselves how invoices should be processed when they arrive, ensuring smooth processing. The accounting therefore take into account the various characteristics of the theatre, the figures are more transparent and therefore more reliable in the eyes of the artists, tradespeople, etc. Bechtle didn’t just help implement the digital invoice process and introduce new processes, but also provided training. Bechtle also already implemented smaller optimisation requests such as displaying credit cards next to POS receipts in ELO. And there are more digitalisation projects under way with Bechtle and ELO. All of the Braunschweig State Theatre’s orders will soon be carried out via ELO to facilitate later invoice allocation. Contract management will also be digitalised. Contracts for renting out the theatre’s premises and for guest artists will be recorded and processed in ELO. This simplifies later cost analysis and quality management, especially for guest performances.

Business benefits.

Those in charge at the theatre can now see who has approved which invoice when with just a single click in ELO, and approve them with just one more click. This creates enormous amounts of trust in how those managing the budget see the figures. With Bechtle and ELO, the approval process has been shortened from days and sometimes weeks to just a few minutes. Even in seasonal holidays, employees can access their budgets and invoices at any time. The clear structure, user-friendliness, and high-level flexibility make budgeting simple. Other processes digitalised via ELO also make the life of the theatre far easier, such as processing credit card billings and receipts and contract management.