In most of today’s businesses, many work processes are still document-based, and portal solutions for the purely electronic processing of information are currently primarily used in the public sector. This is particularly true in the case of invoices and credit notes, which are predominantly still in paper form or, in rare cases, are sent to customers as PDFs as e-mail attachments. The processes used for invoice or credit note processing, on the other hand, are usually completely digitalized. This means that any relevant information, such as the invoice total, has to be transferred from paper or PDF documents to an electronic format that can be processed digitally. In the worst case, this process involves an employee manually entering the information into the digital system and then scanning the documents and importing them into the appropriate systems. These laborious activities take up a lot of time and personnel. Moreover, these types of processes are prone to errors, which means that when information is transferred manually, for example, typos may occur that cause disruptions to the process.
Baosteel Tailored Blanks reports that the intelligent solution offered by T-Systems has saved the company a lot of time and money. The company uses a platform that enables invoices and credit notes to be processed in a highly automated and error-free manner. With only a few manual steps required, the documents along with other important information are sent to the responsible accounting clerks, who can then release the transaction for posting with just a few clicks of the mouse. Automation accelerates the entire process, freeing up employees for other activities. Mr. Kücük highlights this in his summary with the following words: “The solution runs very reliably. We haven’t had any downtime on the part of Kofax so far.”
The Kofax software retrieves all data relevant to our invoicing process, reconciles it with SAP, and transfers it to other systems. This saves us time at many points in the process and consequently, of course, also cuts costs.
Süleyman Kücük, IT Team Leader, Baosteel Tailored Blanks
Baosteel Tailored Blanks receives large volumes of invoices and credit notes on a daily basis. Only 20 percent of these are sent to the company as PDF files via e-mail, and all the rest are sent in traditional paper form. The challenge lies in processing precisely these documents with little manual effort. This involves digitalizing all files, capturing their content, and archiving the original documents. All content must also be transferred to an SAP workflow.
While improving their invoice receipt processes, the idea of an automated solution based on OCR and similar technologies arose. According to Süleyman Kücük, the previous process was fraught with errors, which meant that a great deal of manual intervention was required by employees in the technical and accounting departments. Because this was not able to achieve the desired results, the company opted for a T-Systems solution based on the Total Agility (KTA) platform from the manufacturer Kofax, a product designed for the digitalization and automation of document-based processes. This involves scanning any paper documents and submitting them to Kofax Total Agility, which then automatically recognizes which type of document it is (invoice or credit note) and processes it in a workflow specifically designed for that type. This is supported strongly by the following statement from Mr. Kücük: “The data recognition is outstanding. We very rarely need to do any follow-up corrections.”
The content relevant to the invoice process (metadata) is then extracted and a query is raised in the SAP database based on the purchase order number in order to determine which transaction the invoice or credit note belongs to. The digitized documents and metadata are then transferred to the Image Master archiving system, which forwards them to SAP. Document type recognition and metadata extraction is supported by artificial intelligence (AI), meaning that it doesn’t rely on a rigid set of rules. Kofax Total Agility has “learned”, so to speak, to distinguish between the document types and to find the relevant data in the documents.