The pandemic and ensuing social and economic disruptions have taught us one thing — that technology is key to getting work done. The rapid deployment of cloud based applications and intelligent automation technologies in the days following the first outbreak are a testament to this fact. Intelligent automation has been most useful and impactful for jobs that involve a lot of manpower for repetitive paperwork. One of Artsyl’s premier clients, involved in the commercial trucking and tires business, solved its AP/AR document processing challenges, which increased due to lack of personnel during COVID-19, by applying our intelligent process automation technology for invoice and order processing. Read their success story.
Technology is an enabler. Digital workers make up for the staff shortages that companies experience to get routine, repetitive work done. In the case of the aforementioned commercial trucking company, the management had to let go of a number of AP staff members during the pandemic. In fact, the CIO at that company during that time stated that the entire office was gone, and he had to single-handedly manage AP in the months of March and April, 2020. With Artsyl’s intelligent process automation platform docAlpha, integrated with the company’s electronic document management system Webdocs, the company was able to easily accomplish AP/AR tasks in the absence of their skilled AP staff.
This is the leverage companies get when they go digital with intelligent automation — the ability to continue mission critical business operations like AP invoice processing, sales order processing, medical claims processing, mailroom operations, and other similar document-dependent functions, which otherwise would have taken up a lot of manpower, time, and operating costs.
Artsyl’s intelligent process automation software docAlpha is embedded with digital transformation technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotic process automation, intelligent data capture, business process automation and also powerful recognition software like OCR/ICR. These technologies work to create process automation that emulates a lot of the human actions to get work done. One of the primary differentiating factors between Artsyl’s intelligent process automation platform and other technology solutions available in the market is that Artsyl has the capability to create tactical automation to handle the most painstaking manual, document-intensive processes like invoice and order processing.
Normally, a lot of manual effort goes into handling unstructured or semi-structured documents like vendor invoices, sales orders, credit memos, statements, bills of lading, packing slips, etc, and any kind of transaction documents that initiate business in a company. These transaction documents are generated every time a company does business with its external stakeholders including vendors and customers. The trouble with traditional document processing is that manual effort solely fails to capture documents at the source. This typically delays the processing of these documents by the time they reach a company’s central document management system or corporate office, where all the administrative work is usually handled. Another important thing to note is that document processing involves a lot of back-and-forth activity needed to check, re-check, or reprocess documents, not to mention the lengthy data entry work that goes into getting all the information from transaction documents into a company’s spreadsheet or web folder for further processing. Manual sorting, data entry, data validation, and re-entry of approved data into say, a connected business application like an ERP system or document management system, again takes up a lot of time, effort, and costs.
Artsyl’s intelligent process automation platform receives these challenges — the platform’s powerful data capture and data extraction capabilities, thanks to embedded machine learning and OCR/ICR technology, helps capture unstructured or semi-structured documents like vendor invoices and customer sales orders at the source. This source can be any number of incoming channels like emails, FTPs, MFPs, scan, post, fax, etc. In the case of incoming documents that are digital, the platform automatically captures the documents without using OCR/ICR technology — that is one step less in data and document capture work. Data extraction is done using machine learning technology. Usually, in the case of known document types like invoices from seasoned vendors, the IPA platform bots utilize built-in capture logic to extract relevant data.
However, in the case of new document types, where the IPA platform does not have any built-in capture logic to extract data from the documents, it relies on self-learning of the bots. Self-learning differentiates Artsyl from most data capture solutions in the market — the capture technology of most of the available software in the market is template-based, meaning they are designed specifically to capture documents with standard template formats. The capture features of these software fall flat when it comes to extracting data from brand new documents with a different template structure, as there is no built-in logic for new documents. These market solutions also do not have the ‘intelligence’ to extract data from new documents.
This is where Artsyl’s self-learning technology becomes a differentiating feature and is most useful when processing new document types. In the case of a new document with a different template striure, for which Artsyl may not have the required built-in logic, it in fact ‘learns’ human keystrokes performed to extract details from that document the first time. The Artsyl bots then apply that learning whenever they are faced with processing documents of a similar structure. This way, Artsyl accommodates for document variability while also lowering the dependence on manual intervention progressively, with every new document type.
Apart from removing the complexities of document-dependent processes, intelligent automation, most of all, brings control and visibility over these processes, as one company ovested in the electronics manufacturing sector will tell you, after having deployed Artsyl’s digital transformation platform docAlpha for intelligent document processing in the accounts payable and finance division. Laird is a global technology company and a leader in engineering and electronics manufacturing. With a growing business and offices spread over 50 locations worldwide, the company needed a suitable mechanism to consolidate their finances for better governance and management. They decided on a new shared services center as a way to manage their finances and contain operating costs better, but were still on the lookout for a digital solution that could elevate the center to the level of best-in-class and improve their, mostly cumbersome, accounts payable operations. That’s when they decided on Artsyl’s digital transformation platform as a way to lower the dependence on manual paperwork and automate the mission critical tasks of data entry, document sorting, data validation, and approval routing. docAlpha is Artsyl’s intelligent process automation platform that enables digital transformation of organizations by eliminating the most painful, slow, manual steps needed to process, verify, and get transaction documents from the source to a central management system like an ERP or document management system. By automating document-dependent processes, and routing transaction documents from the source where the documents first enter an organization to the destination, like an ERP system or connected business application, where they can be accurately entered, Artsyl’s docAlpha bridges the gap in automation between these two points.
In essence, Artsyl creates an end-to-end digital transformation platform for intelligent document processing of any number of unstructured, semi-structured, or structured documents. Laird found this especially useful when they integrated docAlpha with their DocLib Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system as well as with their QAD ERP system. A well-connected end-to-end digital transformation platform such as this helped them eliminate manual work for processing incoming AP documents, with the advantage that they needed just three staff members to handle more than 24000 incoming bencor invoices annually. With docAlpha, the company also experienced other notable transformations in their shared services center:
For a full picture of how Laird transformed its AP operations & grew its shared services center with the help of Artsyl's docAlpha, follow this link.