The client had its invoicing system on an AS400-based ERP with a lot of custom-coded features. The high involvement of manual processes led to stretched payment cycles and erroneous invoices. The 200 staff hours per week engaged in the invoice management process didn’t help in boosting the process efficiency and there were long waiting times before customers received their invoices. The lack of the right AS400 specialists to address the issue further exacerbated the matter with frequent system downtime.
The solutions team from Nalashaa, after a clinical analysis of the workflow, recognized that automating the invoicing process could help the client save considerable time and money. An RPA solution was engineered to run the invoicing process, thus automating the standardized and repetitive data entry involved in the process.
RPA Bots browse through the AS400 system to collect customer and transaction data at regular intervals. The relevant information is then entered into the invoice template; an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system with natural language processing (NLP) capabilities is used to ensure that all necessary fields are filled with accurate information. For invoices missing any critical information, bots tally the missing data with data in the ERP and generate the correct version. On detecting any anomaly, the concerned team is alerted with an email.
Once a batch is verified, the robots authenticate the Outlook email and schedule the sending of the invoices to the intended recipients from the configuration file. The invoice emails carry the following options for the recipient – Accept, Reject, and Seek further details. When a recipient clicks on any of these, the bots update the response in the ERP and notify the finance department for further actions. The team also implemented an accounts payable dashboard that provides 100% visibility to supplier invoices and facilitates actions. Complete audit trail and management of approved invoices enable the bots to generate consolidated invoices for preferred customers.
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