Healthworld, a leading supplier of Natural Medicines in Australia and New Zealand, began looking in 2015 for a scanning solution to scan documents and integrate with SharePoint.
At the time it was manually processing invoices at its head office, manufacturing and testing facility, located in Northgate, Brisbane.
Combined with a renewed interest to optimize financial workflows, technology has changed the way a process like accounts payable automation is conducted.
Recent advances in scanning, optical character recognition and electronic document management technologies permit increased efficiencies in workflows surrounding invoice payment.
Only 23 percent of businesses worldwide have a high level of accounts payable automation, according to The Institute of Finance and Management’s (IOFM) Accounts Payable Benchmark and Analysis Study. Even more striking, less than nine percent of mid-sized companies (those with annual revenues of between $US10 million and $US199 million) have a high level of accounts payable automation.
More than 50 percent of companies still receive the majority of their invoices as paper. While the use of imaging, optical character recognition (OCR) and other technologies for digitizing accounts payable processes have matured, many companies have not fully automated critical invoice processing functions such as matching, exceptions handling, payments and reporting.
Healthworld faced a number of challenges in developing its solution. The documents to be scanned and processed were a mix of different sizes, thickness, condition and quality. Like most other organizations, Healthworld did not have any control over this.
With a high throughput of up to 40,000 invoices per year, the solution had to be fast and efficient.
Healthworld engaged IT distributor ACA Pacific who recommended the i4200 scanners with Kodak Capture Pro Software used for barcode recognition and document separation. Database lookup was set-up to extract the metadata from Healthworld business systems and the document images were output directly to SharePoint.
This metadata is then used by SharePoint document libraries to manage archiving and retention of documents.
Healthworld is currently using a number of Kodak i4200 and i2600 scanners across various locations, and success with in voice processing has led it to develop new workflows for additional processes such as workplace health and safety.
Nintex SharePoint workflow software is being used in addition to Cosign digital signature technology for electronic authorization.
Scanning is also being applied to digitize the storage of high volumes of manufacturing batch documents. The manufacture of many Natural Health products is regulated under the Therapeutic Goods Administration Act, so each time a new batch of product of is created it must be accompanied by extensive documentation on ingredients, processes, etc. Previously these were stored in large off-site storage facilities causing headaches when it was necessary to retrieve documents.
These documents come from a wide range of different systems and shop floor processes involve manual annotation and mark-up, so paper is till the medium of choice.