How AI can upgrade a data capture solution | Transalis Blog


Businesses with a large amount of manual paper processing need to be looking for a data capture solution to increase productivity.

Data capture technology has been available on the market for quite some time, but it can be unsophisticated and rely on simplistic processes that aren’t always reliable. This is particularly true when it comes to the processing of more complex and varied documents. However, the latest advancements in AI technology can upgrade this type of solution to automate even more processes across business functions, Accounts Payable being one example.

Data capture for Accounts Payable

Increasingly struggling to manage the volume of inbound invoices in varying formats across your trading network? AP Automation removes the burden of manual processing to speed the payment cycle so your team can focus on more profitable tasks.

What is a data capture solution?

From a high-level perspective, a data capture solution works by capturing information from a document and converting it into a suitable format for various business systems.

These documents can be considered as “paper” file formats, such as PDFs or scanned images for example. There are a couple of different types of data capture solution. Depending on the business needs it can work in two ways:

  1. Paper to digital – Where the data from a paper document (usually inbound) is converted into a suitable digital file format for business systems and ongoing processing

  2. Digital to paper – Where the data from a digital file (usually outbound) is converted into a suitable format for the recipient (e.g. PDF)

How does data capture work?

Data capture typically relies on several technologies, the most common being OCR, or Optical Character Recognition. OCR data capture works by being able to recognise text within a file, such as images or PDFs.

The key benefits of data capture systems

Businesses that have a data capture system in place reap a number of benefits:

  • Eliminate human error – automating document processing removes the need for data rekeying and the associated time-consuming and costly human errors

  • Increase efficiency – again, automated processes remove the need for manual intervention, which significantly speeds up the processing time

  • Reduce costs – businesses with limited resources will not need to expand their teams purely for manual data management purposes, which cuts overhead costs

  • Digital audit trail – These systems typically provide an archive and full audit trail of processed documents

The limitations of a traditional data capture solution

As technology has advanced over recent years, data capture solutions that purely rely on OCR could be seen as outdated.

This is because the main downfall of OCR technology is that it is unable to identify and correct data errors. Using the Accounts Payable use case for data capture as an example, OCR would automate the processing of an invoice with incorrect pricing on it. In many cases, the use of pure OCR AP automation solutions still means a high likelihood of manual intervention.

So, the question is how businesses can have a fully automated data capture system in place? This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes in…

How AI creates smart data capture

AI technology can be used to enhance these solutions for more intelligent document capture processing.

This AI technology can create smart data capture processing by handling specific tasks. It does this by relying on algorithms to identify patterns, learn and make decisions with minimal human intervention.

For example, our AP Automation solution harnesses AI technology to process inbound invoices to approve for payment. It works by following a reliable workflow; accurately capturing, separating, extracting, mapping and validating the information that enables the full digital transformation of the invoice. These inbound documents can be converted into any compatible format for integration with and direct feed into the chosen business system.

To overcome the limitations of OCR, this AI-enhanced system can automatically flag any format and/or validation rejections that need to be reviewed and corrected. The best part is that these changes are then learned by the system to enable the automatic processing of similarly formatted invoices in future.

Transalis client case-studies

At Transalis, we have worked with many clients on digital transformation strategies and implemented solutions that use data capture technology.

One of these clients was the Food & Beverage manufacturer AG Barr. Whilst they had Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in place across many trading connections, the organisation was still having to process large volumes of inbound paper documents, which was costing them greatly in resources. To tackle this, Transalis implemented a data capture solution that was able to perform paper to digital transformation.

AG Barr achieved an initial £15,000 annual saving on processes beginning with ten priority customers. The 5% improvement on processing also covered the initial investment spent on the project. Overall, AG Barr calculated that they saved 572 man-hours annually that can now be repurposed for higher-value operations.

The full case study has a detailed run-through of the business need, implementation process and the initial results, including commentary from AG Barr’s team. You can also read another client case study for Smeg, who came to us with a similar issue around the manual processing of incoming orders.

Whilst our AP Automation solution can handle incoming invoice documents, we also can provide paper to digital transformation for all kinds of different business documents. Our AI-enhanced data capture technology ensures businesses can efficiently process paper document formats, without disrupting existing workflows across their trading networks. Take a look at our eDI Freedom solution, which enables you to select the exact functionality and features you need, including inbound and/or outbound document transformation.

eInvoice Software

Let’s talk more directly about how our data capture solutions can transform your business processing! Call us on 0845 123 3746 or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or you can contact us via email You can event schedule a meeting with one of our team at a time that suits you.

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