CR Ng Fung is one of the largest Chinese food distributors of rice, fresh meats, vegetables and frozen foods that dominate the Hong Kong market. As part of the China Resources Limited enterprise group, CR Ng Fung ranks among the Top 500 global corporations. The company is dedicated not only to production, processing, wholesale and retail, but also to transportation, research, development, and international trade, which makes it a key player in maintaining the prosperity and stability of the local society.
Considered one of the world´s trade centers, with a population of over 7 million citizens, Hong Kong has a truly humming economy with lively business processes in which CR Ng Fung no doubt plays an active role.
Naturally, a company’s high business volume implies its intensive document circulation. On a day to day basis, CR Ng Fung has to handle accounts payable/receivable (AP/AR) with complicated approval processes in the supply chain. Traditional manual document processing, usually quite slow and prone to human errors, did not meet the corporate goals and did not seem to be a reasonable option. Thus, the company required a solution to automate the workflow at all stages — from receiving order data to their storing and retrieval.
Furthermore, in daily operations, the actual number of goods delivered may be subject to ad-hoc changes due to damage and loss, as drivers or logistic officers often have to make adjustments by direct handwriting. Therefore, another objective was to be able to recognize and validate handwritten text in different languages and in different formats, thus achieving a higher level of workflow automation.
In search of software to streamline the company’s workflow, CR Ng Fung contacted a major enterprise software and IT solution company in Hong Kong — Computer And Technologies Software Limited. Their offered solution, able to achieve all the project goals, was VITOVA EIM. An integral part of this platform is ABBYY FlexiCapture® Engine, which represents the latest generation of ABBYY intelligent data capture technologies. Since ABBYY software is capable of highly accurate recognition of Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English, and their combinations, it perfectly matched the needs of the client.
The entire product introduced by the partner is composed of three main modules: VitalScan® for intelligent scanning, VitalCapture for smart data extraction, and VitalDoc for powerful e-filing and searching.
First, when delivery notes are sent to the VitalScan, they are checked and enhanced while being scanned and converted into e-files. The next step is text recognition and the export of data for further processing. This stage is performed by the VitalCapture module with integrated ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine.
ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine is a software development kit that serves for integrating intelligent data capture scenarios into software. It is built using powerful AI principles and captures on-the-spot critical data like “Invoice No.” or “Goods Delivery” from previously scanned documents and directly exports them to the Oracle® database. This has made it possible to leave behind the former labor-intensive manual document handling and replace it with automatic extraction of necessary data.
Moreover, the platform’s built-in checking rules for data validation have resolved the problem of handwritten ad-hoc changes, which are so common for food distributors’ delivery notes. While retaining automatic data capture of the whole volume of the paper flow, a parallel window allows users to make sure that the extracted fields match those of the original document, and, if needed, to make necessary notes and reconciliations before confirmation and saving. Afterwards, when the documents have already been processed, the VitalDoc platform with its powerful searching functions allows the internal users to easily store and swiftly retrieve the data.
The results have not been long in coming. Within the six months that it took CR Ng Fung to implement the whole project, the workflow has been markedly transformed, allowing the processing of up to 200,000 pages per year.
The VITOVA solution with a built-in intelligent capture tool offered by ABBYY has almost fully substituted the need for manual data input. The solution can directly process the scanned characters without human interaction, saving substantial time and costs. Today around 90% of the delivery document flow is handled automatically with just a few operators dealing with the delivery notes containing handwritten changes. As most characters printed in English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese on the delivery notes can be directly captured by the solution, the number of possible errors caused by manual typing has decreased significantly.
All things considered, such a favorable cooperation between Computer Technologies and ABBYY has resulted in a truly efficient and cost-effective solution for CR Ng Fung, helping the group to optimize their workflow and boost the productivity.