Automated Capturing and Processing of Delivery Notes and Incoming Invoices

IRIS Partner: Canon Germany

Manual delivery note processing still means a high administrative and time expenditure for many logistics companies. Therefore Canon has implemented a digital workflow for the automated capturing and processing of delivery notes, based on the IRISXtract™ OCR software at VCK Logistics. This workflow relieves employees of paper work, improves the process quality, and represents a significant step towards a completely automated process.

Speed up the processing of delivery notes

VCK Logistics specializes in individual transport logistics in the area of ​​project and contract solutions for the mobile communications industry. Incoming deliveries are re-assembled and sent to mobile sites. All delivery notes of incoming shipments were previously filed manually in folders, for forwarding all delivery notes were copied and attached to a newly assembled shipment. With the constant growth in the turnover of goods, this procedure proved increasingly time-consuming, the error rates increased and were no longer acceptable. In case of an ambiguity or a wrong sorting into ongoing dossiers, the search in the folders was extremely time-consuming.

“We wanted to simplify our internal delivery note traffic through digitization. By consequence, also the processes for outgoing goods should become faster and easier to handle,” says Jacqueline Dewald, project manager at VCK Logistics. The aim was to scan and destroy delivery notes after removal from shipments. The assignment of the scanned documents on the basis of an order number should then be automated in a document management system, so that the clerks could then take over processing of the shipments. “We also wanted to be able to pass on the data from this solution to our customers for their final archiving after the shipment has been completed,” says Jacqueline Dewald. In view of the approximately 400 outgoing shipments per month and the resulting delivery note volume of around 360,000 sheets per year, the company hoped that this would significantly improve and speed up their delivery note processing.

Using OCR software for the automated capturing of delivery notes and incoming invoices

Following in-depth market research, VCK Logistics opted for Canon’s solution based on the IRISXtract™ OCR software with subsequent transfer of business process data to the document management system Therefore.

In a first step, the manual data entry and the delivery note storage were abolished. After scanning with a Canon professional document scanner, the records are automatically created with all relevant delivery note information. With the click of a mouse, the individual dossiers within the mass files are separated with digital separation sheets. These sets of documents are passed to IRISXtract™ for analysis. An automatic import compares the data of announced shipments from another system at VCK Logistics with the scanned data. Unrecognized documents are checked individually by the employees. “The completed dossiers are transferred to the Therefore workspace for permanent storage and processing via a standardized interface. There they wait for further processing,” says Albrecht Hermann, Head Product Manager at Canon Germany.

The implied solution has been extended to handle incoming PDFs. Multi-page delivery notes in TIF-format are scanned into the newly created import directory of IRISXtract™ and can be edited. This process has proved to be so successful that today almost all delivery notes arrive digitally and the on-site scanning takes place only in individual cases.

“The improvement of the processes has convinced us, so that we have gone even a step further to digitize the receipt of the invoices,” adds project manager Dewald. “That’s why we wanted to significantly shorten the internal allocation and subsequent manual processing, so we expanded our solution with Canon to also handle incoming invoices,” said Jacqueline Dewald. The annual volume of incoming invoices is around 12,000 pages per year.

Saving time and costs, while improving the quality

With the solution from Canon, the clerks at VCK Logistics now manage all accounting-relevant invoice checks and the final processing of each invoice. The workflow function starts automatically after saving the record in Therefore and gives the signal for processing. The checked and released data records then go to the accounting department.

The entire process saves time and costs, and the quality of the process has significantly increased,” notes Albrecht Hermann. The data is transferred via an interface to the Datev accounting software for booking. Also, the collection of the remaining delivery notes from third-party suppliers has become much easier thanks to the complementary hardware component in the form of the high-performance Canon DR scanner. Thus, the predefined index fields of each delivery note are automatically filled. Since different standards and formats are scanned here, capturing according to defined keywords and numbers enables the desired acceleration when creating the data records.

“Today, it is much easier to capture the data on the system side, and we can significantly accelerate this service thanks to digitized processes,” says Jacqueline Dewald. “This project with Canon has convinced us of the benefits of document digitization, and we will extend the solution to other departments.”

The digital workflow relieves us of the time-consuming handling of paper files and considerably speeds up our processes.
Jacqueline Dewald, Project and Purchasing Manager, VCK Logistics

Solution with:

Key facts

  • 360,000 delivery note sheets processed per year
  • 12,000 incoming invoice pages processed per year
  • Significantly speeds up and improves the processing of delivery notes