P2P blog series: Large enterprises automate their P2P process with Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) – Purchase orders

In this blog series, we focus on Procure to Pay (P2P) documents that large enterprises process in the P2P process. Next-generation Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) enables the automated processing of the most common P2P documents and the delivery of structured data, allowing large enterprises to significantly increase the efficiency of their accounts payable processes.

The purchase order is the most important document in the entire P2P process. On one hand, it gives clear guidelines to the vendor, on the other hand, the purchase order provides the buyer with the exact details of what was previously agreed upon. The purchase order is used again and again throughout the P2P process. So it’s a good thing when employees in large enterprises don’t have to read out purchase orders manually.

Large enterprises maintain direct EDI interfaces with the majority of their suppliers and customers. However, there are still suppliers and customers who are not connected via EDI and send purchase orders via email, PDF or even physically. Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) nevertheless enables the automated capture of purchase orders her.

Without Intelligent Document Processing: Purchase orders have to be read out manually

Purchase orders make the entire P2P process much clearer for both buyers and vendors. However, in the absence of direct interfaces from large enterprises to customers or suppliers, purchase orders must be manually captured by employees and entered into ERP systems. This has a number of disadvantages, including the following:

  • Instead of using employees to do value-added work, they are used for tedious tasks.
  • Many different systems, manual processes and the numerous employees involved increase the risk of errors when entering orders.
  • The P2P process in large enterprises suffers and an increase in operational efficiency is not possible.

With Intelligent Document Processing: Automated reading of line item data in purchase orders

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) comes into play for customers and suppliers with whom large enterprises do not have EDI solutions. All relevant data from the purchase orders, regardless of whether they are received physically or digitally, are read out. Of course, all header data and general information on the order is extracted automatically:

Header data: Address and details of the supplier and recipient, etc.

General information: Purchase order number, date, supplier number, VAT number, etc.

In addition, the IDP solution can also automatically extract all line item data on a purchase order so that it can be used for reconciliation with, for example, the order confirmation, delivery note or invoice.

As shown in the photo from the IDP platform, all line item data for each individual article is automatically extracted. This allows it to be forwarded to the ERP system in a structured form:

Line item data: Position, title and description of each article, vendor article number, customer article number, delivery date, quantity, price per unit, etc.

The integration of Intelligent Document Processing in the P2P process results in several benefits for large enterprises, including the following:

  • The IDP solution is integrated in a complementary way with already existing P2P solutions, thus complementing EDI systems, for example.
  • The IDP solution works out-of-the-box and without an initial training project.
  • The IDP solution increases the operational efficiency of the entire P2P process in large enterprises.
  • The IDP solution eliminates the need for additional staff that might otherwise be required.

Customize P2P document types within minutes

To give large enterprises full flexibility, P2P documents can be easily customized to meet their own needs. By deleting or adding fields, they can be customized. With the user-friendly, no-code IDP platform, large enterprises can also create their own document types in no time at all.

In part 2 of the P2P blog series, we delve into the automated capture and processing of invoices with Intelligent Document Processing.

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