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Streamlining High-Volume, Manual Invoicing & Approvals with RPA-based Intelligent Document Processing

A comprehensive, integrated fuel distributor with more than 80 years’ experience and a commitment to personalized service was continually exploring new ways to facilitate their Core Values (Respect, Solve). They began to pursue Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to support employees by increasing operational efficiency and reducing mundane tasks.

SDLC Partners studied the client’s processes and analyzed each of their stages in detail to understand the suitability of using Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), building upon RPA to reduce the tedium and effort involved with document processing. We focused on intelligently extracting data from invoices received from multiple vendors and streamlining the approval workflow.

Our RPA/IDP solution enabled the client’s finance team to process invoices much more quickly, freeing time to concentrate on organization growth and strategic initiatives instead.

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The Challenge:
High-Volume, Manual Invoicing & Approvals Waste Resources & Creates Errors

The fuel distributor manually processes more than 500 invoices each day. They receive invoices from multiple vendors in different formats like PDFs and scanned graphic files. The accounts payable (AP) team downloads and saves each invoice from various sources, including email and vendor portals.

Although the client was using an existing application to extract metadata from invoices, it was not reliable. It caused the AP team members to manually extract invoice data, enter that data into a database, and route the invoices to approvers, requiring manual verification of several documents. Also, the process for finance to approve invoices, which required team members to compare data from multiple systems, was time-intensive, slow, and error-prone.

Types of RPA
What is the difference between RPA, intelligent automation, and hyperautomation? Read Insight
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The Solution:
Invoice Processing & Approval with an Automated Digital Assistant & Intelligent Document Processing

SDLC Partners created an intelligent document processing and automation solution based on a Design Thinking approach. Using RPA robots, we replaced the client’s existing system with an end-to-end solution, combining IDP with Microsoft’s Power apps capabilities.

Invoice Processing Automation Steps

Our intelligent RPA solution automatically carries out a series of tasks:

  • Read each email
  • Download and categorize each invoice
  • Extract metadata from the invoice
  • Ask the human counterpart to validate the data
  • Once the data is validated, the digital assistant saves the data and documents to the database or network drive
  • Send email to the approver to approve it

Invoice Approval Automation Steps

Our intelligent RPA solution integrated with Microsoft’s Power apps capabilities, providing a seamless approval workflow.

Now, the approver finalizes the form that is prepopulated with values extracted by the digital assistant. The digital assistant notifies the corresponding AP team member if the invoice is approved or rejected. If the invoice is reassigned, however, the digital assistant notifies the corresponding approver and AP team member.

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The Results:
Using IDP & RPA Streamlines Invoicing & Approvals to Create Space for Pursuing Growth

The RPA-based solution combined IDP with Microsoft’s Power apps capabilities, providing an end-to-end resolution of the client’s invoice processing and approval challenges.

Now, the client’s finance team processes and approves a high-volume of daily invoices much more quickly, freeing time to concentrate on organization growth and strategic initiatives that require human problem-solving, creativity, and planning.

How could intelligent automation revolutionize your operations and save money while maximizing employee contributions?

Contact SDLC Partners to discuss specific areas where RPA and IDP could streamline manual tasks and drive measurable efficiencies and cost savings.

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