What is intelligent document processing?
A never-ending stream of manual data requests, often numbering in the thousands, is the daily reality for large service operations teams. Successfully handling this daunting task requires efficiency, speed, accuracy, and the right tools. One technology solution that provides a solution for tackling the challenge of manual data entry is Intelligent Document Processing (IDP).
For finance teams handling a constant influx of invoices or logistics teams managing huge volumes of order forms, IDP is a game-changer. These tasks are slowed down by the need to manually scan everything and are vulnerable to human error, but IDP can perform the same task in a fraction of the time and at a higher level of accuracy.
We’re going to discuss the benefits and challenges of IDP, along with the steps you should take to implement it. But first, let’s explore the ins-and outs of IDP in finer detail.
What is Intelligent Document Processing
Intelligent Document Processing, or IDP, is an advanced technology solution that combines artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP). IDP is used to automate the extraction, classification, and processing of information from a range of documents, including invoices, contracts, forms, and emails. This is a step beyond traditional data entry and manual data entry, delivering a smarter, more efficient method of handling large volumes of information.
How can Intelligent Document Processing help you run operations better?
- Enhanced efficiency: Using IDP removes the need for manual data entry and document processing, giving the time back to your team. Instead, teams can focus their energies on higher-value aspects of their job role, so everything runs more efficiently and company resources are used more effectively.
- Accuracy and error reduction: We all make mistakes, especially when tasked with a mountain of repetitive paperwork. IDP significantly increases data accuracy as it reduces the human error that frequently occurs during data extraction, classification, and validation. So, the integrity and reliability of your data improves.
- Scalability: Growth is the goal for every business, but with it comes more work and a higher volume of documents. IDP can be a huge help in this area, as it seamlessly scales to manage the increased workload without the need for additional personnel. This adaptability is essential for handling spikes in service demand.
- Speedy decision making: IDP allows for real-time document processing and data extraction, which supports quick decision making. This is particularly helpful for things like customer enquiries, approving transactions, and meeting your SLAs in a timely manner.
- Cost savings: When documents are being processed manually, this eats up a lot of time and impacts labour costs. When you adopt IDP to automate these tasks, you’ll be able to allocate resources in a more cost efficient way. Operational expenses are therefore significantly reduced.
What are the risks involved with Intelligent Document Processing?
While the benefits IDP offers are undeniable, there are still some potential risks and challenges to bear in mind.
When you’re handling sensitive customer information, iron clad security measures are non-negotiable. Carefully consider data security when implementing IDP and take steps to ensure no breaches can occur.
When adopting IDP it is likely you’ll need to integrate it with existing processes and systems. There can be compatibility issues and without expert IT support, implementation may be poorly executed, leading to disruptions in your operations. Ensure you have the right team in place to make it a success.
Dependence on technology
If you rely solely on technology for a task like document processing, there is always the risk that a system failure or error could disrupt your operations. Establish a backup plan to handle this situation and ensure everything keeps running smoothly.
There are many laws and regulations covering data protection that are always subject to change. Failure to abide by them can result in serious legal repercussions. Take care that your IDP solution is fully compliant with the industry-specific mandates that govern your organization.
How can you deploy Intelligent Document Processing?
- Identify your needs: Take stock of your current document processing demands, pain points, and objectives. Which documents and processes can benefit most from automation? Address the areas where the need is greatest first.
- Secure buy-in from internal stakeholders: Take your proposed plan for implementing IDP to internal stakeholders to get their approval. Clearly outline the long-term efficiency and cost-savings benefits to get them on board.
- Choose the right IDP solution: Not every business’ needs are the same and it’s important to thoroughly research which IDP solution is right for you. Look for one that will integrate with your existing systems and align with your unique requirements. Be sure to take into account factors like scalability, data security, and usability as well.
- Pilot implementation: Start with just a handful of processes in order to test your IDP solutions capabilities. This will allow you to iron out any issues on a smaller scale and gather feedback from users. Once you’ve made any necessary adjustments, you can roll it out to more documents.
- Train your team: Provide staff with comprehensive training so they are confident using the new IDP system. Continue to offer support in this manner to ensure organization-wide adoption and the maximum possible benefits.
- Monitor and optimize: By continuously monitoring how your IDP system is performing, you can gather data and extract valuable insights. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make informed decisions on how to improve and optimize your IDP processes going forward.
At Enate, we’ve deployed IDP within our platform so businesses can automatically incorporate it into their operations, without needing to spend time and money training a model. Simply use Enate credits via the marketplace to get started today.
Operational Soup is a term we use when work is being carried out, but businesses have little idea how much, by whom or exactly how it is processed.
Start orchestration in departments with strong use-cases to deliver value quickly. Often, good examples can be found in back/middle office process areas that have high variation and complexity such as finance or HR operations. Recent intelligence sourced through process mining suggests 80%+ of the work performed in a shared services organization is not performed in the ERP systems, but rather in Excel or Outlook. This is where Orchestration thrives.
Having orchestration implemented across our departments can be likened to having x-ray vision into your operations.
Global Head of Operations at TMF
Almost half of banking and investment CIOs (49%) and insurance CIOs (44%) indicated that they will increase their automation investments in 2021.
Source: Gartner, 2021