Luz del Sur is a private electricity distribution company that serves more than one million customers in the south-east area of Lima, capital of Peru. It is one of the most important companies in the country, holding over 30% of the electricity distribution market, and one of the leading electricity distributors in South America. When the Peruvian government required all the companies that had operated in the period between 1979 and 1998 to submit information about their employees and their contributions to FONAVI (El Fondo Nacional de Vivienda/National Housing Fund), Luz del Sur decided to choose a modern and efficient automatic solution over outdated manual entry.
decades-old typewritten pay slips
to complete the project
operators were involved
In 2014, the company faced a request from the Government to submit all the payslips of its employees to the Peruvian Ministry of Economy and Finance over a long period of time — between 1979 and 1998. The volume was significant as it was around 80,000 pages, but that was the least of the problems. What really made it a challenge was the fact that these payslips were at least 20 years old, which meant that not only they were of poor quality due to their physical age, but they had also been originally typewritten. 5 people would have to be engaged in this time-consuming tedious task — the manual entering of data into Excel® data sheets.
Being a progressive company which stays on top of technology advances, Luz del Sur has more important things to do than waste time and resources on mundane tasks — it has to bring light to people. After some careful thinking, they decided to look for a solution that would automate this project.
Luz del Sur contacted the IT solutions provider Arnebuk Perú SAC, ABBYY’s Peruvian partner. After the problem was explained to them, Amebuk specialists recommended the powerful data capture and document processing platform ABBYY FlexiCapture, which helps automate the capture and extraction of data from any kind of documents. The platform was introduced into the workflow and successfully implemented.
ABBYY FlexiCapture digitized the payslips or imported the processed images through Hot Folder, with the work distributed between 2 operator stations. The images were then be saved in TIFF format, and the data were exported into a database in Access®, to later be sent to FONAVI in a TXT file, as required by government regulation. Even though recognizing decades-old payslips is no trivial task (as paper tends to deteriorate over time), it posed no problem for ABBYY FlexiCapture which has a built-in module for image enhancement.
Another troublesome aspect — the fact that these documents were typewritten — also wasn’t an obstacle for ABBYY FlexiCapture, because its settings can be tuned to the recognition of typewritten fonts.
Last but not least, all the documents were obviously in Spanish — however, this was no problem for ABBYY software because ABBYY, as an expert in linguistic technologies, provides OCR (recognition of machine-printed characters) for more than 180 languages and ICR (recognition of hand-printed characters) for more than 100 languages.
After Arnebuk’s specialists adjusted the project and created special templates in order to automate data extraction and export into the database, it took only 3 operators (2 working on a regular basis and 1 performing random quality control) and 1 month to complete the task, leaving 15 days for the quality check.
Although it was a one-time project, the solution proved to be so useful and efficient that since then Luz del Sur has introduced it into three other internal processes and continues to use it every three months.