We all know that late invoice payments are no less than a pandemic. In the UK alone, the punctual invoice payment has dropped to 41.5% in 2021. Also, the situation is worse in multiple other countries like the US, France, India, South Africa, etc. as mentioned by broadmin.
Out of all the problems that give rise to late invoice payments, invoicing incorrectly & exceeding prompted time are a major reason. This coupled with Covid-19 have now emerged as a big reason for the growth of the e-invoicing market. As per some estimates, the e-invoicing market is expected to rise above $24.7 billion by the year 2027.
What is an Intelligent Document Processing Platform?
An intelligent document processing platform is a documentation automation platform that can help in easy adoption of e-invoicing. It possesses the capability to automate the entire ordeal end-to-end with zero errors, least throughput, and turnaround time with minimal manual intervention.
Wondering how IDP can help the logistics sector reach anywhere -from seashores to skylines? Read ahead.
What is an Invoice?
An invoice is a document used for commercial purposes. It is issued by the seller to the buyer and serves the purpose of defining the sales transaction, product, quantity, services, etc. provided to the buyer.
Are Invoices in Logistics Different from Other Industries?
No, they are not. In fact, the part that comes under bills & Invoices is logistics (for any industry). While the format and purpose may differ, the act of registering the sales transaction itself is logistics.
What are the Key Components of an Invoice?
Even though an invoice varies as per needs, a few standard components of an invoice include-
- Invoice date
- Unique reference number
- Product description
- Total amount charged and the currency
- Payment terms
It is important to note that it's not just the format and purpose of an invoice that may get altered as per needs. At times, even its key components can change. A few common reasons for these alterations can be-
- Different geographies
- Different regulations
- Intention of the invoice
- Department of the invoice
Challenges In Invoice Data Extraction
Ideally data extraction from an invoice is done via two methods. These are manual scanning and Traditional OCR.
Let’s take the image above into consideration and assume that a logistics company only requires two details from it. One being the exporter name and the other being the destination region.
How do you think the employees will extract these two fields from thousands or probably lakhs of invoices?
Well, they will have to take the old route and sort out the invoices on a one by one basis. This will be time consuming and highly prone to error. Besides, it might also push up the operational costs by manyfolds as the entire process of manually sorting, extracting, and classifying the data would require a dedicated team.
Optical Character Recognition
Optical Character Recognition or OCR utilizes either a scanning device or an application. In the case of a scanning device, the paper-based document is scanned with the OCR detecting the required data fields along with the data. On the contrary, an app based OCR extracts the field and data from a digital copy.
Even though the process of data extraction with OCR is considerably faster, there are a few limitations to it like the OCR requiring a manual operator. Apart from this, it doesn’t work well with unstructured documents and is incapable of extracting data categorically.
It will make data extraction easier but the process would still be time and cost-intensive.
How can an Intelligent Document Processing Platform help in Invoice Data Extraction?
Intelligent document processing works as a one-stop solution for invoice data extraction for both structured and unstructured data. They are AI-based platforms capable of working with both digital and paper-based invoices, and allow custom & categorical data extraction.
For leveraging an IDP platform, the user is only required to upload the documents to the platform that can be from varied sources- such as file folders, cloud, or the DMS. Post this, the platform takes care of everything- from pre-processing, to extracting the required data. The extracted information can be exported after processing in different formats such as excel, CSV, etc.
Source of Invoices in the Logistics Industry.
With multiple coordinators involved like freight forwarders, carriers, shippers etc. to make up the supply chain, the amount of invoices produced and processed is magnanimous. Some of the critical documents that are generated in this domain include- bills of lading (BoL), commercial invoices, certificate of origin, driver’s notes, shipping instructions, waybills, etc. Each of these documents require data extraction and verification at some level. This accounts for heaps of unprocessed documents that can be processed automatically using an IDP in no time.
Can the Logistics Sector Automate its Document and Data Heavy Processes?
Keeping track of the goods shipped by the logistics companies can prove to be costly, and time-consuming. Leveraging on a state of the art IDP platform can help the logistics industry capture, archive, and search for information from crucial records like invoices, customs documents, and bills of lading.
VisionERA- The All in One Document Gateway for the Logistics Industry.
VisionERA uses powerful self-trainable AI technology and machine learning algorithms with zero third-party dependency. It helps logistics organizations replace manual data entry with automated data capture.
The platform provides DIY workflows and document selection for customizing the entire operation with zero sample training. With VisionERA, our clients get an industry beating table detection system with auto gridlining. The platform offers continuous and active learning via feedback using the AI-Human alliance and can easily be deployed with any infrastructure using the plug-n-play feature. It also allows the user to customize the UI using drag-n-drop, and apply DIY triangulation logic for data validation.
Leveraging on our IDP prowess, crucial logistics information can be captured and accessed swiftly helping the logistics industry boost customer satisfaction and become more agile.
To learn more about VisionERA and see it in action, click on the CTA below to schedule a demo at your own convenience.
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