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Case Studies

Distribution Company Reduces Cost, Accelerates Invoice Processing, and Improves Invoice Retrieval with Advanced Accounts Payable Automation Solution from Softworks AI

Business Challenge

A mid-sized distribution company was processing their incoming invoices manually. On a monthly basis, they would receive and process over 5,000 inventory invoices from over 1,000 different vendors; the field data contained was entered manually by three full-time employees. The distribution company was dissatisfied with this expensive and slow process. Initially the company attempted to optimize their invoice processing by converting vendors to EDI transmission. However this proved largely ineffective due to implementation and cost issues. The company wanted to streamline their accounts payable process while accelerating the task of data entry. This led the company to look for an automated invoice processing solution that could achieve high recognition rates while being able to integrate with their existing business system.

Solution

The company implemented SoftWorks AI’s Trapeze for Invoice Processing software to automatically extract field information from invoices. After invoices were scanned, they would be processed through Trapeze to automatically recognize and extract vendor, PO, price, tax, totals and line item information, then match it to the purchase order information from their business system. The solution was able to correctly recognize field data with over 90% accuracy. The extracted invoice data was exported into SoftWorks AI’s validation module for an employee to validate the correctness of the information extracted. Once the information was validated, the invoice data was populated into the business system.

Results

By automating invoice processing, the company was able to reduce accounts payable costs, while integrating into their existing workflow. Trapeze was able to increase the volume of invoices processed from 300 per day with three employees to 500 in five hours with one employee. This allowed the data entry employees to be repurposed to more value-adding positions, to the benefit of the overall company. Trapeze proved to be an easy to use tool that employees could be quickly trained to use to both process invoices and later verify them. Through an automated approach the company was able to reduce overall accounts payable costs while improving invoice processing, resulting in more early payment discounts.

Benefits

Objective Benefits Achieved
Reduce manual data entry costs The company repurposed data entry workers to more value-adding positions, reducing costs related to manual data entry.
Accelerate accounts payable process By processing invoices faster, the company saved money through early payment discounts, while improving vendor relations. In the manual approach, 300 invoices were processed per day, while the automation solution would process 500 invoices in five hours.
Maintain accuracy within accounts payable The combination of machine recognition with a human overseeing the process produced recognition rates higher than the manual data entry approach.
Integrate automation software seamlessly into current workflow SoftWorks AI’s Trapeze was able to fully and seamlessly integrate with the existing business system, streamlining invoice processing and improving workflow.
Migrate paper into digital format for improved retention and retrieval Invoices were saved as compressed, searchable PDFs, making them easier to store, access, transfer, and retrieve
Maintain corporate commitment to optimal office efficiency Automation improved workflow and productivity by allocating employees more efficiently.
Implement software that can be configured to accounts payable rules SoftWorks AI’s Trapeze was able to be configured according to the company’s rules, allowing for a more standardized and efficient method of invoice processing.
Produce measurable ROI based on software investment By repurposing employees and taking advantage of early payment discounts, the company was able to produce a corporate ROI.
Successfully repurpose former data entry employees to more value-adding positions With Trapeze implemented the company was able to retain most of their accounts payable staff while repurposing one as a buyer.
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