RPA and Smart Automation
Inventory and Non-Inventory Invoice Processing
A Major International Manufacturing and Retail Company uses both SAP for data entry and DocuWare to keep track of their inventory and non-inventory invoices. Currently the Accounts Payable department is responsible for sorting through over 500 invoice lines for 100+ invoices daily. This task is very monotonous and can take up to an hour per invoice; with RPA alone, the automation was able to eliminate 50% of the AP Team’s daily volume by processing the digital invoices. However, with the addition of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to the initial automation, the bot is able to handle nearly 100% of all the inventory and non-inventory invoice processing.
- Information Extraction: Bot downloads Invoices from DocuWare and extracts information using text manipulation.
- DocuWare Indexing: Bot indexes all information into DocuWare using data manipulation to extract invoice number, date, sale amount, and line items that note inventory product sizes, material, color, PO Number, etc.
- SAP Invoice Posting: Invoices from DocuWare are cross-referenced with SAP to make sure all the inventory line items match, and the balance is zero. If it does not match, the DocuWare amount is kept, and the number in SAP is overwritten by the automation. If the balance is zero, the invoice is posted, and a document ID is created.
- Document Numbers are Logged: Bot extracts the Vendor ID and SAP Document Number, logs the information into Excel and sends the document to the Accounts Payable Department.
- Invoice Stamping: The bot stamps the invoice in DocuWare with the SAP information, finalizing the process and notifying the AP team that the Invoice was completely processed. “AP Enter” is used as the digital stamp and features the document ID, company number, vendor number, and date. Then invoice is then moved to the entered list.
- Non-Inventory Invoice Processing: Once all merchandise inventory invoices are complete, the process is repeated for all non-inventory items such as warehouse costs, electricity bills, travel expenses, etc. for both the client company and one of its subsidiary companies.
This automation not only saves time and money for the client, but it also increases the accuracy of all inventory tracking, ensuring that the correct number of sizes, colors, and models are sent to each vendor.
Further realizing the opportunities this automation offered, the client took advantage of the inventory invoice processing automation, and opted to further optimize their enterprise automation program be re-purposing the automation to include non-inventory invoices, thus increasing Automation Program ROI.