Learn about the haphazard of current invoice data capture requirements in logistics today. Prominent industry solutions in logistics industry and their limitations? And, unlock the solution with the next level of automated invoice data capture capabilities…
Logistics industry has always been known for its razor-thin margins. Being able to deliver cost-efficient services is vital to stay in the market and outpace the competition. However, invoice data capture in logistics: It’s tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming.
Thanks to the rapid digitization of the modern world, there are now plenty of new opportunities for the logistics industry to increase efficiency and effectiveness. One such promising technology is Invoice Data Capture (IDC) via IDP (Intelligent Document Processing).
Invoice data capture is the process of managing a supplier invoice from the invoice receipt. It is done to interpret, extract, and validate invoices by a system or an operator. With invoice automation platforms, invoice matching now takes a fraction of the time.
Invoice data capture is the entry of invoice details into an accounting system. It is often the first step in invoice processing for accounts payable (AP) departments for logistics organizations. The process of invoice data capturing can be as simple as a paper ledger with records of outgoing payments, the vendors that received those payments, and payment dates.
However, there are a couple of standardized methods used for invoice data capture in logistics. These are:
Manual keying is the primary method for invoice data capture. This is the most basic and time-consuming method and leaves more room for human induced error. In initial stages, it is considered a cheaper option, however, as business data grows it can actually be more expensive in the long run.
Invoice OCR (Optical character recognition) is one of the most commonly used technologies for invoice data capture. This is because these tools are able to extract characters, numbers, letters and symbols from different invoice formats.
It is for the same reason invoice OCR has become an essential part of logistics data capture operations. Although, it does require the extracted raw data to be arranged by an employee because of its incapability of handling unstructured data. However, it still works far more efficiently and faster than manual keying.
This method involves hiring a third party firm for invoice data extraction, verification, and their overall management. It provides higher productivity within the logistics company considering the repetitive and redundant task of manual invoice processing is outsourced. However, it requires constant reconciliation with the associated third party used for outsourcing. Also, the amount of real-time control over the invoice data is compromised at many instances.
Each of these methods have their own limitations and can’t fulfill all the requirements of a modern day logistics organization. This also includes improving the cost margins by mitigating the inefficiencies and optimizing process workflows. To truly bridge that gap, organizations need to invest in platforms that provide the capability of automation.
Automated invoice data capture is a general term used to describe tools, softwares, and platforms that can automate the task of invoice capture. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) along with other AI technologies contribute to this niche of technology. A combination of these technologies with OCR creates a tool that is able to give the most accurate and speedy results. These intelligent data capture solutions do more than just data scanning and extraction. They are also able to sort & validate the invoices and export data into spreadsheets or downstream applications (CMS, CMR, ERP…) for further processing.
A far superior example of these types of solutions is IDP aka Intelligent Document Processing. These are enterprise level solutions for organizations that are heavily document intensive.
Logistics because of its continuous flow of operations is always on the verge of failing. Manual data processing and invoice processing often require time & effort on the part of many employees that they don’t often have. For instance employees such as logistics coordinators, logistics managers, accounts payable clerks etc. This results in errors, delays, and even data loss.
Automated invoice data capturing is fruitful for any logistics organization. It not only streamlines the entire workflow but also optimizes the entire operation whereas reducing turnaround and operational cost on the sides.
Here are two generic benefits of an automated invoice data capture platform you should know about:
Manually extracting and entering logistics data can take a lot more time and effort. However, invoice data capture software can allow employees to upload invoices in bulk and process them simultaneously. In addition to this, many of these platforms can also handle unstructured data and use machine learning for automatic reconciliation at many levels such as fonts, formats, structure, exceptions, etc.
An automated invoice data capture platform can massively speed up the process of data capture and make the task much easier for logistics organizations. It will also reduce the turnaround time for disbursing payments to relevant parties.
The core purpose of an automated platform is to reduce manual labor for redundant and repetitive tasks. These platforms can help reduce the need for manual labor and enable employees to spend their time on more high-value tasks. Post adopting an invoice data capture solution, they may only need to get involved in case of flagged data. Apart from this, it can also eliminate the need of hiring extra accounting staff.
Vis-a-vis traditional accounting methods, automated invoice data capture solutions have loads of benefits for the logistics industry. – they help the logistics industry save time, reduce errors, improve cash flow, and help manage business finances better. They are powerful solutions that can help organizations get more efficient in the years to come.
As mentioned before an IDP platform is far superior technology that can handle bulk invoice data capture requests with ease. Intelligent document processing (IDP) is a technology that can replicate (or come close to imitating) the way humans understand information — and further add to the benefits of invoice automation, drastically improving labor efficiency. This frees professionals to focus more on important tasks, such as responding to vendor inquiries or further improving processes.
Here are top 3 benefits of using an IDP:
AI based OCRs can transform any words and images from printed documents, PDFs, and other digital formats into machine-encoded text or data without manual intervention. Some more advanced systems (for example IDP platforms) can even read, validate, and convert handwriting. This virtually eliminates manual document processing because these systems use rules-based logic and can automatically sort or label the captured data.
When AP departments manually process invoices, more invoices automatically translates to greater need for labor. With IDP implemented, these systems can process hundreds of invoices in exponentially less time, with virtually no increased demand on workers. This allows companies to maintain productivity even during busy times for AP departments, without any disruptions or need for extra help.
IDPs are flexible in nature. They provide customizable capabilities in the platform making them an industry and use case agnostic solution. For instance, VisionERA (our flagship IDP platform) provides a custom DIY workflow. Therefore, be it any industry or use case, the user simply needs to create their own workflow and it doesn’t even require coding. Also, these systems can be integrated with any downstream application (CMR, CRM, ERP…) and works with legacy infrastructures too.
By all the ways IDP improves productivity, it can be a struggle for AP departments to completely end manual processing. Much of this is due to legacy IDP systems’ dependency on templates to correctly label or contextualize the data it extracts from an invoice. If every invoice is formatted exactly the same, it will be easy for the program to understand who the payee is and how much they’re requesting.
Editing current templates or creating more uniform templates out of raw invoices can require a lot of skilled labor and will be quite expensive to set up. On the other hand, changing organizational processes to ensure every incoming invoice is formatted exactly the same can eat up even more resources. Plus, there will always be exceptions that require hands-on processing.
An IDP such as VisionERA can tackle each of these problems without breaking the pocket and without compromising on the necessary throughputs.
VisionERA is a new generation of IDP platform. It is equipped with unprecedented machine learning capabilities to recognize and act 5x or maybe more faster on data in comparison to manual processing. VisionERA is powered by a deep learning technology and serves as a complete end-to-end solution. With a form-agnostic approach, the system can recognize any type of document and automatically contextualize data without the need to manually build a template, making it ideally suited for complex invoice management.
On top of it, its moldable qualities makes it stand out among its contemporaries. It lets you define the way you want to perform a document operation, and saves exceptional TAT producing greater windows of opportunity for your employees to delve into more intellectual tasks.
Note: Tired of your existing document processing practices? Well, we are offering VisionERA at $0 invoicing. The risk is all ours but the choice is yours. Like to understand the terms & conditions of the offer? Use the link here.
Want to try it out yourself? Use our Free trial to upload your enterprise documents.
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