Going from manual back office operations to automated solutions that minimize data entry and document handling is nothing new; technology has been available to sort documents, extract data, route files and transfer information to ERP/ECM systems for over a decade. Today, however, the tech revolution we’re witnessing isn’t about what’s being done, but about how it’s achieved. Which is to say that modern solutions focus on reducing the overhead we’ve come to expect in the form of software maintenance, implementation services and IT maintenance and support. All of these otherwise costly and inefficient overhead has been radically reduced, so that any company, regardless of size or industry, with even modest volumes of invoices can cost justify and benefit from automating their vendor invoice process, and then further automate similar high volume processes.
The big leap in terms of innovation comes from an approach referred to as “no code” solutions. While there is certainly computer code beyond the scenes, the overall solution is developed to be complete enough to deal with 80% of use cases. To handle the exceptions, rather than relying on custom coding for every unanticipated scenario, these solutions often rely on machine learning to put the power in the hands of process owners, who can teach the systems through the use of an intuitive interface.
No-code platforms rely on visual user interfaces that empower process owners and stakeholders to create apps, usually by dragging and dropping application components, or by recording user actions and translating those operations into part of the system’s knowledgebase. As the name implies, with no-code approaches, users don't need prior coding experience to tailor the system to their needs.
Artsyl’s docAlpha business transformation platform and InvoiceAction smart process application take a no code approach to handling documents in support of a business process. Because AP invoice handling is such a common process across organizations and industries and is well understood, it’s possible to pre-configure functionality to handle 80% of use cases out of the box. Configuring the system to handle other document types or formats, or adjust to other workflows, is easy enough to do without requiring a coder or tech specialilst. End users can configure new document definitions and workflows on their own, with no coding required.
By relying on machine learning, the system is ALSO able to identify and automate exceptions on the fly by interacting with a human operator. When a document can’t be identified, or a required data field can’t be found, the system can record a human user’s actions, then interpret them as instructions to be followed the next time the exception is encountered.
Using this approach, AP teams don’t need to rely on IT to hard code new workflow or document definition rules. Automated processes cost far less to implement and get up and running much faster, more quickly delivering a return on investment.
With greater flexibility comes a broader set of use cases for automation—including lower volume and more complex tasks. Which means that once a company has recapped their initial automation investment for tasks like AP invoices, they can broaden their scope and truly transform their organization.
The most immediate impact to this approach is that process owners can more quickly benefit from a more adaptable system, so that it can handle the majority of use cases immediately and continuously improve. By unshackling process owners from IT, they can have greater involvement and impact on results more quickly.
IT departments and their staff are similarly empowered by self-learning systems that can adapt to user input. Rather than spending time and resources on administrative work and incremental updates, they can focus on projects and processes that have an even deeper impact on efficiency and performance.
When it comes to process automation, companies looking to get started often seek out “quick wins”—projects that don’t require a huge up-front investment in time or money to prove out a concept. Relying on no code data capture solutions like Artsyl’s docAlpha has the potential to achieve a fast return on investment sheerly through time and labor savings—with the added benefit of more timely business data and better process control. Often, a quick win in accounts payable can translate into a newe project and a new win to automate other processes like customer sales order processing or check remittance processing.
Beyond the potential to simplify and streamline automation for routine, high-volume operations like vendor invoices or customer orders, today’s no code data capture and process automation solutions offer the potential to automate and streamline other processes that were historically cost-prohibitive or otherwise not worth the investment in time and money. By lowering the bar for the effort required, companies today can achieve a quick ROI to justify an initial investment in an intelligent data capture platform, gain some experience and achieve some successes, then drill into other processes where data and documents present process bottlenecks.
To go beyond isolated solutions or poorly-integrated systems that rely on custom integrations or proprietary code, contact the Artsyl team and begin exploring a world where your process owners are empowered and your IT staff can focus on ongoing improvement rather than routine maintenance. Your Artsyl representative can demonstrates solutions to meet your needs and help plan your implementation strategy.
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