June 24, 2022

Reducing Invoice Turnaround Time for Manufacturing Businesses

Invoice data capture is a repetitive process dealt by Accounts Payable (AP) in manufacturing which consumes ample time. To mitigate this issue, automation solutions can be chosen to reduce time and cost in processing invoices from various sources. The blog focuses on the traditional practices & their limitations along with automation using an IDP platform.

Manufacturing as an industry has been catering to multiple other industries ever since its inception such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial machinery, plastics, etc. The rising demand of products in each of these sectors has always demanded a higher throughput from manufacturing to keep their operations smooth.

This in turn has put an immense strain on the accounting professionals in the manufacturing sector that is often overburdened with numerous invoices, varying in sizes and formats. The accounts payable department in the manufacturing sector is often seen reeling under an enormous burden of countless invoices that need manual sorting and verification at every step and come from different sources such as vendors, suppliers, equipment dealers, etc. 

This blog hence talks about the incapability of Accounts Payable (AP) departments in processing numerous invoices on time and capturing important pieces of information sans the manual errors. It also talks about the critical role that an automated invoice processing platform can play in reducing the burden of AP professionals in the manufacturing industry. 


But, before we dig deeper into the topic, let's have a look at how this entire process  of invoice processing looks like when done manually. 

How are Invoices Processed Manually in the Manufacturing Sector?


We all know that invoice processing is one task that comes with multiple layers of reviews and authorization before its final payment. This leaves the suppliers, dealers, vendors etc  to wait out for their due payment. While some manufacturing companies do realize that speeding up the process of invoice processing will not only aid the production team with timely inventory fill ups but will aid the AP team to provide timely payments to the suppliers and keep relationships healthy, they often shy away from choosing automated invoice processing ways.  


Hence, a typical invoice processing procedure looks something like this in the manufacturing sector- 

  • Invoice assessment
  • 3 way Invoice matching
  • Discrepancy checking
  • Error fixing
  • Approvals
  • Authorization
  • Closing the transactions


 Manual invoice processing has loads of issues and errors. To mitigate such issues, the best resolve is to adopt an automation solution for manufacturing invoice data capture such as IDP. ‍

What is the Current Scenario in the Manufacturing Sector?

It is not that manufacturing has not realized the advantages of automation. Yet, the need for automation for AP departments in manufacturing is still in its infancy. Players are recognizing the potential of AP automation but are still practicing old traditional ways of invoice processing. This is because they are seeking new ways of automating the operation without bringing in major changes to the overall processes.

To further understand, below we have mentioned different ways of invoice processing in manufacturing:


Need of Automation for Invoice Data Capture in Manufacturing

As per UN Stats, the global GDP of the manufacturing industry between 2019-2020 was around 16.6%. The expected CAGR of growth is expected to be 6.3% between 2020-2025. Also in a report by Billentis, a total 550 billion invoices were produced across the world and this figure is expected to quadruple in the coming years.

With so much stake in the global economy, and the sheer volume of invoices being produced it is healthy to assume the traditional methods on invoice processing won’t work. On the contrary, every industry including manufacturing requires some automation solution such as an IDP (intelligent document processing) to stay ahead in the growing market.


AI Powered Invoice Data Capture- ‍The Best Thing to Happen to the AP Team Since the Calculator


The best way to accommodate AI to automate invoice data capture is by using an IDP platform. An IDP platform works as an effective document processing solution that not only extracts relevant data but also verifies it at the same time. It allows a pile of unstructured documents or invoices (in this case) to be processed on a fly with incredible accuracy numbers.

Yet, the real question is how does it really work? Just follow through the example below:

Suppose, we have a task of processing 10,000 invoices to check their legitimacy. To evaluate that we pick an easier route of matching the client’s name and the contact details from our existing database. The IDP would require the batch file for the invoices and our existing database to create a matching operation. Once the data is fed, the IDP platform would automatically verify the invoices, raising a flag for the invoices that didn’t match. In fact, it can also extract custom data from these invoices. For instance, if the client’s name and the quantity of the shipment along with its prices is required, the IDP would explicitly extract that information and export it in your preferred formats.

Benefits of Automation for Invoice Data Capture

The inclusion of automation for invoice data capture hosts a variety of benefits. To make them more clearer, we have mentioned a list below:

  • Increase in the overall transparency of invoice processing.
  • Elimination of errors.
  • Zero manual intervention for document processing.
  • Rapid increase in the factor of efficiency.
  • Capability to go digital completely.
  • Ease of data storage and compatibility with existing infrastructure.
  • Smoother data exchange with multiple applications such as CRM, CMS, emails, messages, etc.
  • Exponential reduction in the time of processing documents.
  • Increase in the bottom-line revenue of the company.

Automate Invoice Data Capture in Manufacturing

VisionERA is the latest IDP platform amongst its contemporaries. It offers compelling accuracy and automation numbers for both data extraction and verification with unstructured data.

Adding to it, it is backed by multiple advanced proprietary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Computer Vision. The culmination of these technologies allows the platform to learn ,evolve and get better with time.

Additionally, VisionERA allows custom DIY documentation and workflow and comes with great features like autocorrection, automatic gridlining, industry beating table detection system, and much more. With its smart insights board, it can accumulate useful KPIs from the documentation process. Also, it is compatible with multiple downstream applications such as CMS, CRM, SAP, messages, email, etc, and offers plug-n-play which makes it much easier to deploy on any infrastructure. Overall, it is an industry and use case agnostic platform that can be chosen as a one-stop solution for document processing including typical use cases such as invoice processing that deals with millions of different documents on a daily basis.

Here’s How We Work!


Get a full solution for total AP automation with us and put an end to disconnected transactions and get a holistic view of all your transactions. 


When you’ve got greater visibility, it’s easier to track and control when you make payments—or even capture early payment discounts—freeing you to more effectively utilize your cash on hand. 


Capture e-invoices or use OCR technology to turn paper invoices into electronic files, so you can trim staff time spent processing and reduce the risk of errors or double-payment. 


Our  3-Way Match automates the time-intensive and error-prone process of matching invoices, and POs. Everything your manufacturing company   pays for is automatically verified against everything you receive and mismatched figures, errors and exceptions are flagged before payments go out the door. This opens the door for Human in the Loop verification.

Final Words

Invoice data capture is a collateral task important for a smoothly operating AP department. By automating invoice processing within manufacturing, an overall increase in efficiency and productivity can be instantly witnessed. Using IDP will account for a solution that will free the employees from subpar and repetitive tasks of invoice data capture and its verification and empower them to focus more on core operations, making them add more value to the company.

Note: Want to bring in AI automation for document processing in your manufacturing firm? Well, things can’t get better than this. Currently, we are providing VisionERA to our customers at $0. To learn about the complete offer, click here.

To witness AI automation of VisionERA by yourself? Simply use our free trial by clicking here.

To have a guided demonstration with our automation experts, schedule a demo with our consultants.

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