Scanning, Workflow Accelerate Invoice Processing For Agribusiness
A/P (accounts payable) processing is often a pain point for large businesses like The J.R. Simplot Company (Boise, ID). Simplot is a privately held agribusiness with annual revenue of approximately $2.8 billion. The 12,000-person company derives most of its revenue from food processing, fertilizer manufacturing, agriculture, and related business. Each of Simplot's five business groups processed A/P individually, but Simplot wanted to consolidate the A/P processing into a single, shared-services department at its corporate headquarters. It also wanted to automate its A/P processes. This would require Simplot to convert a large volume of paper documents (e.g. invoices, purchase orders) into electronic images and route them using a workflow application.
Scan 2,000 Invoices Per Day
Integra Information Technologies (Boise, ID), a regional reseller, responded with an idea to integrate scanners, a scanning application, and workflow software with Simplot's existing A/P program. Now, after an invoice is approved for payment, the shared-services department scans the invoice using one of three Kodak 3500 scanners (a bar code separator page is used between each invoice). Dane Meuler, VP of business development at Integra, says, "When a document comes across a user's desk, it is not in paper format; it is an image. The user keys data into the A/P application from the image, and then the system automatically indexes and routes it." Using Pixel Translations (a division of Captiva Software) PixTools/EZ and PixTools/IP, Integra's Visual Basic programmer wrote a scanning application to communicate with the ISIS-(images and scanners interface standard) compliant scanners. PixTools/EZ and PixTools/IP are software toolkits that allow imaging applications to work with virtually any scanner, controller board, or display.
Once the documents are scanned, they are then placed into Optika's Acorde workflow software. The system allows Simplot to scan 2,300 invoices per day. Simplot will eventually use the system in other departments, including cash receipts, legal, and engineering.