COENS is a dynamic international company specializing in support services for the oil & gas industry, and in logistics consulting. It organizes business trips abroad for employees of Korean technical companies. Besides that, COENS hosts a large number of foreign staff in South Korea.
For comprehensive management of financial resources COENS needs to collect the data from documents for the accommodation expenses of foreign staff in Korea. All the papers used to be processed manually, and the company’s employees had to perform a series of repeated actions, such as assembling notices of payment, classifying them according to types, filling in payment amounts and preparing invoices.
Manual data entry caused a lot of mistakes, which in the end led to additional expenses and increased the volume of work in budget management. Besides that, it was crucial for the processing of notices of payment to be carried out monthly in a short period of time. However, in practice, when the work was done manually, the processing could take up much more time (from several days to several weeks), even if it was initiated right after receiving the notices of payment. In some cases, the deadline was missed, and COENS had to deal with unbudgeted expenses on penalties for late payment.
To solve these problems, COENS made a decision to implement an invoice automation system. The aim was to cut unnecessary expenses and thus make the process of preparing and realizing financial plans more predictable.
The project was carried out by the company N Information Technology, which specializes in mobile technologies and IT infrastructure consulting. Manual data entry was substituted for a solution based on OCR technologies. For this purpose, the company ReTIA, a Korean leader in OCR and document capture, provided an ABBYY FlexiCapture solution. In the framework of the project it was necessary to automate the processing of different notices of payment, including utility payments, telecom services, gas and electricity bills, etc. Each type demanded customized settings, so that during automatic processing it would be possible to extract not the entire text, but only valuable data like the address, the amount of payment, the client’s number, etc. ReTIA specialists made all the necessary customizations to “teach” ABBYY FlexiCapture to process all the notices of payment that COENS worked with.
Having extracted the information, ABBYY FlexiCapture sends it for verification by operators. Apart from field checking, the software has a group verification feature that displays identical figures from a document batch together. Such presentation simplifies the procedure and allows operators to work faster. Once the data are verified, they are collected by the invoice automation system and attached to the corresponding project.
Another requirement for the OCR was supporting different languages. For extracting the address and name of the residential estate it was necessary to recognize the letters of the Korean alphabet, while for extracting the client’s number, the amount and the date of payment, it was necessary to recognize the letters of the English alphabet, numbers and barcodes. However, these types of data presented no difficulty for ABBYY FlexiCapture, which can recognize up to 190 languages, as well as various barcodes and optical marks.
Having substituted the manual notices of payment processing for the invoice automation system based on the ABBYY FlexiCapture solution, COENS has managed to substantially cut the time needed to perform the work. Currently no more than 30 minutes are required for processing 100 pages.
The employees only need to scan all the notices of payment that require processing (regardless of their type and quantity), and the essential data, such as information about the client and the amount of payment, are entered into the system automatically.
Thus, the data capture solution allows to reduce the man-hours spent for the work. Besides, there is no need to spend additional time for checking the information for mistakes manually, as ABBYY FlexiCapture has a function of group verification, which allows to significantly cut the time necessary for checking data accuracy.
As a result, by implementing ABBYY FlexiCapture, COENS has minimized the expenses stemming from human errors in data processing, and the overall efficiency of managing financial resources has been raised.