Manufacturing is a huge industry with multiple document related use cases to cater to. One such use case is quotation bills that are produced in ample amounts and requires processing. With traditional methods, it is possible to achieve the task but it would be very time and cost consuming.
On the flipside, with document automation solutions like VisionERA IDP, it is possible to complete these ordeals with zero to minimal intervention and much higher efficiency.
To address this problem, we have compiled this blog that talks about quotation bills, its importance in the manufacturing industry, and what VisionERA can do as an IDP platform…
What is the meaning of a Quotation Bill?
Also known as Quote, it is an estimated price of the deliverable sent by the supplier to the manufacturing company. The same bill can be sent from a manufacturing company to its client providing an estimated cost of the services which will be rendered.
It is nothing but a ballpark of the amount of money that will be costed to any party that enjoys the benefit of any service. The quotation bill is served in the format of an invoice. Although, the intent of the quotation is a lot different than that of an invoice. The document helps the client or the customer decide which service to go for during market search or it acts as a temp bill before the completion of final delivery.
To further extrapolate, let's take an example of a toy company searching for a manufacturer to create dolls. The toy company would find multiple manufacturers that manufacture dolls and ask for a quotation. This would help them identify which manufacturer is going to be ideal for them based on the quotation bill forwarded and the past credibility of the manufacturer in the market.
Quotation Bill Format
As you see above, a quotation bill is an amalgamation of multiple data points referring to the customer or client that renders the service. It includes basic details such as name, address, items, item description, item code, cost of individual item, total cost, date of promised delivery, etc.
Each of these data points helps a company identify the point of contact (such as name, address, telephone number,...), cost quoted, and much more. To keep track of quotation bills, these are recorded within a manufacturing company. It is essential because it provides a quantifiable view of the services provided or demanded by a company or a customer.
To successfully do this, manufacturing companies can often compare quotation bills from already existing suppliers to see if the quoted prices are increased or not. Also, the data is often verified from the existing database, once the latest quotation bill is forwarded for verification. This task also includes data extraction on a much wider scale.
Primarily, these tasks were catered using traditional methods i.e. data entry and OCRs (optical character recognition). Both of these methods worked great for years but the scenario is different today. Today, the amount of documents processed by a manufacturing company is substantially a lot and it is from various sources with different formats making it difficult to process by an OCR.
To fix the problem intelligent document processing was created. It is a document processing technology that can process unstructured documents from various sources in bulk using AI technology with minimal intervention. A much greater example of this technology is the VisionERA platform.
We will talk about the solution in a bit more detail later on in the blog under its section.
Significance of Quotation Bill in Manufacturing
Talking from the perspective of manufacturing, the quotation bill could be the consolidation of bills of material (BOM). Bills of material is nothing but the description of raw material utilized for creating a finished product, their quantity, and the total cost (single unit cost, total unit cost, and the entire sum of money).
This means a supplier would provide a quotation bill for BOM. This quotation bill will be audited by the manufacturing company and later on saved as reference before the delivery. Once the delivery is fulfilled, the supplier would use the quotation bill as the invoice, if there are no changes, and feed it to their system. Likewise, the manufacturing will also record the data from the invoices, and store it in a central repository for archival.
Challenges Associated with Quotation Bill Processing in Manufacturing
The challenges associated with quotation bill processing in manufacturing are quite similar to invoice processing. It’s because both these documents portray similar kinds of data but with different intent (as mentioned above). These are:
Volume of the documents processed including quotation bills in manufacturing is the reason leaders have to rethink the traditional methods of document processing. This is the reason the IDP market is growing with a CAGR of 37% reaching $4.15 billion in 2026.
Manufacturing being central to each and every industry surrounding it receives a meticulous variety of documents from multiple sources. These sources can have different formats, templates, fonts, and even different entries for the data. It makes up for a huge pile of unstructured documents that can’t be processed by any digital system other than an IDP platform.
Lost Quotation Bills
A much bigger problem with huge volumes of data is that it is prone to get lost under the pile. This is the reason why a majority of companies have already started treading faster towards data digitization. In fact, there are various huge titan of companies that have already thought it through and are going paperless. With VisionERA IDP, it would be possible to consolidate each of these documents into a single condensed file that can be searched easily. VisionERA IDP platform can also seamlessly integrate with a cloud environment making the data both secure and substantially less prone to get lost.
With manual entry, there are loads of missing pieces of data that get blurred out during the process. Think from the perspective of data entry executives who have to skim through large volumes of documents only to input the important information into the DMS. On the other hand, VisionERA IDP can be programmed to only pick up entries that are required from infinite piles of paper. It also won’t make any mistakes doing so.
Error Prone Data
Manual data entry work is monotonous and boring. On the other hand, OCRs are simply not fit for unstructured data. In situations like this companies enroll a dedicated team only extracting and verifying data. Yet, the human mind simply can’t comprehend dull and repetitive work leading to human induced errors. These errors are a much bigger problem in the industry because they end-up skewing the final numbers, thereby sabotaging the reports and general ledgers.
Repetitive Quotation Bills
Previously when digitization didn’t become a norm, there were loads of repetitive quotation bills. It's because this paperwork was maintained using folder files and dockers. With on-premise data storage also, the chances of data being replicated within the system increased. Yet, with the inclusion of VisionERA IDP, the data can be consolidated in the form of excel or CSV sheets. These sheets can be easily sorted using filters and bring out redundant data using common logic.
There are chances that the quotation bill provided itself has incorrect credentials. This is a common phenomenon and occurs seldom in the industry. Yet with the verification feature of VisionERA IDP, it is possible to figure out incorrect credentials. If the current quotation bill doesn’t match the data from the database from an existing supplier, the platform would raise a flag and the accounts payable can follow up to find the truth.
How can Intelligent Document Processing Help in Quotation Bill Processing Automation?
Quotation bills in manufacturing are identical to invoices but differ in intent, as discussed before. This makes the ordeal of the quotation bill amicable to data extraction, verification, and storage. This data would then later on utilized for creating comparisons, general ledgers, and reports, if required.
Limitations of Traditional Document Processing Methods in Manufacturing
With traditional methodologies i.e. data entry and OCR, there are visible limitations. These limitation are:
- Processing in huge numbers
- Processing of unstructured document
- Inclusion of human-induced errors
- Incapability to rectify mistakes
- Manual intervention
- Repeat data
- Reduced transparency
- Less secure
- Data centralization
- Higher TAT (turnaround time) and operational cost
- Dedicated team.
These are some of the common limitations of traditional methods that anyone would agree upon. An IDP platform can mitigate each of these problems, and provide a much more transparent data infrastructure. With IDP, it is easier to process data, store it, and find it whenever it is required. It is secure because it is deployed within the infrastructure, thereby, no information is passed on if used as PAAS (product as a service). Also, its capability to process unstructured documents in bulk makes it an ideal technology for quotation bill automation or any other use case as desired in manufacturing.
VisionERA IDP - Appropriate IDP Platform for Quotation Bill Automation
VisionERA IDP is the latest amongst its niche. With VisionERA, we have tried to cover all the bottlenecks in comparison to the already existing IDP platforms. It can do what any other IDP platform can do and a lot more.
For instance, it comes with an industry beating table detection system, automatic gridling, processing of handwritten scanned documents, smart insights boards, etc. Besides it, the platform requires zero pre-training and is operational from day one. The advanced technologies behind the platform i.e. artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision makes it error-proof, autonomous, cognitive, and an intuitive solution.
VisionERA offers custom DIY workflows that can be easily molded as per the user requirements. Overall, it is a great one-stop IDP platform for document processing that can be tailored by the user itself as per the needs. Also, the platform is priced competitively in comparison to many of its contemporaries.
Benefits of Quotation Bill Automation via VisionERA
Just like there are visible limitations with traditional methods, there are visible benefits that a user can see post deployment. These are:
- Capability to process unstructured documents in bulk
- Scalability and flexibility
- No requirement of a dedicated team
- Customizable DIY documentation and workflow
- Verification of documents in bulk
- End-to-end automation from start to finish
- Ever evolving and ever learning
- Reduced TAT and associated costs
- Data centralization for both EDGE-based or cloud infrastructure
- Easy sorting and segregation of data
Quotation bill as a use case has its own importance within the processes of manufacturing. Seeing it from an individual perspective, the work may not seem much. On the contrary, once it is collated with each of the document operations that are performed within a manufacturing company, it makes up for huge piles. Automation solutions such as VisionERA platform are a gateway to optimize the already existing operation without bringing major changes. It allows the user to independently explore more opportunities to prevent revenue leakage, and free time & resources to better cater to more important responsibilities available.
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