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Optical Character Recognition: Invoice Processing Automation

Overview Of The Company

The Accounts Payable Department of a prominent manufacturing company handles the crucial task of locating and uploading incoming invoices into their SAP system. Currently, this process is highly manual, consuming a significant portion of the AP team’s time, especially during peak periods when it can account for up to 75% of their day.
Efficient invoice processing plays a vital role in the company’s operations, directly impacting revenue and customer satisfaction. With the responsibility of accurately and efficiently processing over 200 invoices daily, the AP team faced challenges in managing the fluctuating volume, particularly during months when vendors place numerous orders requiring swift completion.
To address these challenges and achieve optimal results, the company implemented Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, enabling invoice processing automation data extraction and entry into SAP. While initially identified as a prime candidate for automate invoice processing, the successful implementation of this invoice processing automation became one of the most significant accomplishments of the company’s RPA program.

Challenges

The company’s Accounts Payable Department encountered challenges with the highly manual and time-consuming invoice processing system, especially during peak periods when handling numerous invoices. Managing the fluctuating volume and ensuring swift completion of orders posed difficulties for the AP team, impacting productivity and customer satisfaction.

Solutions

  • Bot-Enabled Functions: The invoice processing automation solution employed a combination of intelligent bots to facilitate seamless and efficient invoice processing.
  • Bot Checks if Email is Read: To avoid duplicate processing, two bots operate simultaneously, with the first bot verifying whether the other bot is currently processing an email with an attached invoice.
  • Bot Clears Workspace: This bot efficiently removes junk emails and irrelevant items from the invoice email inbox, maintaining a clutter-free workspace.
  • Bot Sorts Emails: The bot categorizes incoming emails based on the presence of PDF or other applicable file formats that can be converted to PDF.
  • Bot Downloads Non-PDFs: Applicable files such as XLS, TIF, and DOCX are downloaded by the bot and converted to PDF format for further processing.
  • Bot Attaches Relevant Info: The bot logs its actions while attaching essential details such as vendor name, email body message, sender information, and subject to the appropriate PDF file.

Results

Optical Character Recognition: Invoice Processing Automation
The implementation of OCR invoice processing automation revolutionized the invoice processing workflow for the manufacturing company’s Accounts Payable Department. The company significantly improved efficiency, accuracy, and overall productivity by leveraging intelligent bots and OCR technology. The seamless integration of automated solutions streamlined invoice management and provided a robust foundation for future scalability and enhanced customer satisfaction.
  • Processing over 6,000 invoices per month
  • Saving over 180 hours per month, allowing the AP team to focus on other critical tasks and enhancing customer satisfaction.