The large building materials supplier specializes in providing construction materials to various customers.
A complete provider of Building Envelope Systems® that control the flow of water, air, vapor, and energy in a building. The company receives POs via email in different formats, including paper and PDF. Up to 15 data points within each POs had to be manually entered into various data sources using 10 resources.
Customer Challenge – Manual Inefficiencies
The supplier faced significant inefficiencies in their accounts receivable/accounts payable (AR/AP) process. Ten Customer Service Reps spent their time manually processing Purchase Orders (POs). This involved re-keying data from paper POs or PDFs into the company's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for processing. The manual data entry process was labor-intensive, error-prone, and required an entire department to ensure accuracy and process payments.
Solution - Microsoft Teams, Power Automate & Cognitive Services
Softura implemented a solution leveraging Microsoft Teams, Power Automate, and Cognitive Services to address the challenges associated with manual accounting inefficiencies. They built a new Teams Channel that utilized Microsoft's Cognitive Services Computer Vision for Intelligent Image Processing and Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The solution was designed to read 100+ different types of purchase orders (POs) and accurately map the extracted data to the relevant fields in the ERP system.
- The system integrated with various data sources, including emails, file shares, faxes, and scanned images, to capture and validate fields.
- It employed intelligent image processing and OCR capabilities to extract data, handle exceptions, and flag POs requiring manual Quality Assurance (QA) correction.
- The solution utilized artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to capture and correct invoices automatically.
- Straight-Through Processing (STP) was implemented to accelerate payment processing by 3 days.
- In cases where uncertainties arose, the solution leveraged RPA to route the POs to human QA approvals with MSFT Teams.
Benefit - ROI was < 6 Months and Savings of Over $300k+/Year
- Implementing the Microsoft Teams, Power Automate, and Cognitive Services solution was a significant automation benefit to the operation.
- The solution seamlessly integrated with the ERP system and third-party document systems, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing errors.
- The labor-intensive process was streamlined, resulting in a remarkable 96% reduction in manual labor.
- A single Microsoft Teams channel for all interactions, including data correction and manual override approvals, simplified the overall workflow and enhanced collaboration.
- The solution empowered the company's staff to focus on more value-added tasks and better serve customers.