Balfour Beatty Rail is a leading international rail engineering, design and construction business, employing around 3,000 people with operations around the world. The company has a learning culture and applies innovative techniques in creating customer value. Recently they wanted to find an innovative way of improving a key process within the business as it related to working with documents.
The main work performed by the department is to give quotes and participate in procurements related to railway construction projects. In order to competitively bid for a project pricing information from suppliers, which Balfour typically receives as PDF, must be imported to their calculation tool.
Because the data is often locked in a scan or PDF an employee would spend hours manually retyping the information into an Excel® spreadsheet in order to then upload it to the calculation tool. Not only did this result in lost productivity due to the amount of time needed to process each PDF file, but it also meant that errors could easily be made, making accurate calculations more difficult.
Software Distributor Trigono of Lund, Sweden, consulted Balfour Beatty Rail to help them find the right solution. After evaluating their eeds, trigono recommended they use an optical character recognition (OCR) software program. They chose ABBYY FineReader as a best-fit solution because it was cost efficient and highly accurate solution to help Balfour convert their PDF documents into Excel Format without manual retyping. ABBYY FineReader is a text recognition, or OCR, software that converts scanned documents, PDFs and camera images, into searchable and editable formats, including Microsoft® word and Excel. Its advanced recognition capabilities provide full access to information locked on paper and in images and virtually eliminates time-consuming etyping and reformatting. Additionally, any document can be digitally archived, in searchable PDF format for example, which allows it to be easily and quickly retrieved later.
“With the help of ABBYY FineReader I calculate that the 4 hours of work we previously needed to convert a file and export the relevant information is now done in 10 minutes,” says Jörgen Jönsson of Balfour. “This not only improves our accuracy but enables us to quickly make bids and therefore increase the share of business we are able to win.”