While the Internet of Things (IoT) has been a hot topic for the past couple of years, particularly when it comes to home automation, bridging the gap between humans, software automation and the physical world, has far deeper and broader implications for all kinds of business operations—including the procure to pay process.
The most-commonly cited examples of Internet of Things use cases involve consumer applications like monitoring and optimizing a home thermostat or using a remote video camera to catalog the contents of your refrigerator to update your grocery shopping list. Business applications often highlight supply chain scenarios, where RFID-labelled goods are automatically inventoried and handled by robotic forklifts, and so on.
When it comes to P2P, the biggest physical obstacle or “thing” that impedes efficiency and process visibility are the paper documents that have to be manually filed or scanned and translated into ERP system transactions, with a computer keyboard as the interface.
The Human Element in IoT
Through the lens of the Internet of Things, purchase orders, invoices and receipts are “Things” that can be transformed from inert objects that slow down a process into the data sources that can inform a set of rules to match documents, route invoices for approval and intelligently identify and flag process exceptions for human workers to handle.
As this example illustrates, the other key element in the Internet of Things world is the human element.
When you think about the Internet of Things, you should be thinking about the interaction between humans and “Things” (paper, products, appliances, etc), and asking yourself how sensors and software intelligence might make it possible to do things differently.
When it comes to accounts payable invoice processing, over 90% of invoices can be handled without involving human intervention.
docAlpha, Artysl’s Smart Process Platform for intelligent document automation, is just one example of a system that can automatically translate paper and electronic documents into structured data that can be exchanged with ERP and ECM systems to perform invoice validation and matching, along with approval routing and transaction entry. That same approach can apply to any document- or data-driven process, eliminating routing steps while empowering employees to manage exceptions.
For more information about how docAlpha and how The Internet of Things can transform P2P. consult your Artsyl representative.