The enormous amount of data being generated in the digital era is well documented – but no less astonishing for it. Estimates suggest that we produced a staggering 2.5 quintillion bytes of information every day in 2020(1); and that this is set to reach 463 exabytes by 2025(2).
A large proportion of that data sits in documents. Organizations in all sectors create and receive billions of files, in a wide range of electronic formats, across all departments and functions.
The burden of documents
Dealing with documents, and the data within them is manual and repetitive work, which takes up a lot of valuable staff resources. According to IDC, 40% of knowledge workers spend up to 30% of their time on document processing and data input(3).
This is costly to businesses, and not just in the financial sense, as it results in:
- lost time and productivity – especially as it takes employees away from higher value work
- human error – people inevitably make mistakes inputting or extracting data into or out of systems and documents
- failure to meet customer expectations – in times of peak demand, the volume of document processing increases, distracting staff from delivering for customers
- diminished job satisfaction – for many employees, processing documents and data isn’t the most fulfilling of tasks.
A better way
The good news is there’s a more efficient approach. Document understanding solutions can automatically extract, interpret, and process data for you.
Products like UiPath Document Understanding make it quick, easy and cost-effective to deploy end-to-end, automated document processing. They’re revolutionizing how firms interact with emails, invoices, financial statements, HR records, contracts, insurance claims, legal documents – and a whole host of other files.
Document understanding integrates three leading-edge technologies:
- Robotic Process Automation. ‘Robots’ (also known as ‘digital workers’) help to automate the process. They open documents and, once information is extracted, can validate and enter the data into other systems.
- Optical Character Recognition: OCR reads and extracts the necessary information from documents.
- Machine learning: A form of artificial intelligence, ML learns your document processing needs, evolving your capabilities to process more documents, in a wider range of formats, over time.
The result is faster processing. This saves time and cost, eliminates errors, and increases productivity. The average gains to an organization compared to manual document processing are:
- 17% less time spent on processing documents
- 52% fewer errors
- 35% cost reduction
- 40% increase in customer and employee satisfaction (4)
Document understanding solutions can also handle peaks in activity in a way that humans can’t – avoiding the need to recruit, train and pay more staff during busy times. And they’re simple to use, requiring no automation expertise. It takes less than a day to train people to use UiPath Document Understanding.
At Tquila Automation, we’ve seen clients generate impressive returns on their investment in document understanding technology. Let’s take a look at a couple of cases, in areas where document understanding is frequently deployed.
An international manufacturing client, with thousands of suppliers, found that vendor reconciliation (tracking and recording invoices received) was coming under severe pressure due to rapid business growth.
The firm opted to automate the process, rather than burdening its finance team with more and more repetitive, time-consuming work.
We developed a custom, machine-learning model, which we ‘trained’ to understand 250 different vendor statements. This accelerated document processing by 88%, saving the company 150 hours per month – the equivalent of three full-time employees.
A global company asked us to automate the accounts payable processes for thousands of suppliers across several sites, and the associated data entry into its ERP system.
Each location had different accounts payable procedures. This demanded an agile and scalable solution, which could be readily adapted to different sites.
We began by developing two custom, machine-learning models for one particular site, which could later be transposed to other offices. The models were ‘trained’ to understand 100 invoices and 100 credit notes. The result was 186 fewer processing hours per month, equivalent to eight full-time staff.
Find out more
These are just two of many common user scenarios for document understanding software. There are many more. It can have a transformative effect wherever a business processes files and data – which is pretty much everywhere.
Discover more about the benefits of document understanding – and see a demo of the UiPath solution in action – on our recent webinar. And feel free to get in touch and discuss how Tqulia Automation can help you to break free from document processing.
(1) How Much Data Do We Create Every Day? The Mind-Blowing Stats Everyone Should Read (forbes.com)
(4) Everest Group – Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) State of the Market Report 2020_CA.pdf