Stop me if you’ve hard this one before: by creating a straight-through process (STP) that allows data and documents to flow through your organization, you’ll save time and money and improve process visibility, etc., etc. The vision and the promise of straight through processes has been compelling for decades. The feasibility of achieving the kind of hands-free approach process owners have envisioned (and have repeatedly been promised), however, hasn’t always lived up to the hype.
Until now. That’s because new self-learning tools and technologies, along with more flexible ways to integrate disparate systems, are overcoming the biggest hurdles to achieving STP.
Straight Through Processing (STP) is an approach to handling data and documents that flow from one stakeholder to another, ultimately ending up in a system of record like an accounting, ERP or ECM system, without manual user intervention like keying in data or uploading documents. The main goal of STP is to allow companies to streamline the flow of information through a process across multiple touchpoints and multiple channels, including native digital and scanner paper assets. This reduces the number of times employees need to re-enter information or re-check a process status to ensure that a transaction is fully processed. The results for successful end-to-end, straight through processes is that companies can share timely information electronically, in a secure, accessible and auditable manner.
The vision for going beyond siloed applications and isolated tasks to a fully integrated and automated system is nothing new. But in the past, straight through processes were built leveraging custom integration in a way that was inflexible, requiring a great amount of IT support and maintenance, making upgrades or changes risky and time consuming.
Integration aside, often the biggest hurdle to achieving STP came from the manual steps involved in digitizing paper assets like invoices, receipts, purchase orders, etc. Intelligent data capture solutions like Artsyl’s docAlpha intelligent process automation platform, have addressed that problem by streamlining, simplifying and automating how information is extracted from both paper and digital documents, and then routed downstream for coding, approval and transaction entry.
Flexibility and adaptability in every step of that process has been key to making STP a practical reality for companies of all sizes. Making integrations equally flexible and future-proofing them from anticipated changes/upgrades to various systems has also been key. New integration approaches like integration platform as a service (IPAAS) models have taken the pain out of keeping data and documents flowing through to accounting/ERP/ECM systems.
Using this approach, Artsyl customers can fulfill their visions for seamless, straight-through-processing of documents and create a “hands free ERP” experience for their AP staff in a way that truly empowers them, so they can focus less on data entry and more on planning, analysis, budgeting and other high-level, valued-added tasks.
Integration as a Service (IaaS) the next buzzword you’ll need to know and understand to go from siloed, manual processes to truly scalable, enterprise-wide efficiency Integration as a service (IaaS) leverages the cloud service model to provide integration among disparate data sources and the applications that need access to that data. This approach allows companies to connect their on-premise or cloud applications and databases in a way that is far more flexible in the past, in a way that, again, relies the burden and dependence on IT every time an integration is required.
Statistics show that the majority of companies relying on on-premise enterprise systems (ERP, ECM, CRM) often remain on the same version of those systems for more than a decade, often because of the potential impact to ancillary systems integrated with them. Often, it is the cost and complexity of system integration that prevents companies from creating fully automated, end-to-end solutions to deal with high-volume, high-velocity processes like vendor invoice processing or customer sales order handling.
IaaS helps to overcome the financial burden and the IT/tech burden associated with automating these types of processes. But it ALSO allows companies to dig deeper and go farther when it comes to process automation. Now, all of a sudden, not only does the ROI for back process automation make it a no-brainer, automating other processes with less volume or greater complexity becomes possible. All of a sudden, ANY manual, inefficient process becomes suspect and represents an opportunity for automation and process improvement.
Today, intelligent process automation platforms like docAlpha from Artsyl Technologies leverage IaaS to deliver flexible integrations with ERP and ECM systems, helping companies automate 80% of common business processes like vendor invoice or customer sales order handling out of the box, ending in fully automated ERP/ECM transaction creation.
There’s no better time that right now to explore new solutions to help overcome the status quo and go beyond the operational challenges that can limit growth and dampen profitability. Take the first step o your digital transformational journey and visit the Artsyl resources page to explore your options and learn from the experiences of Artsyl customers worldwide. Then contact Artsyl to schedule a demo and discovery call.