Automating the Insurance Claims Process with AI from Automation Anywhere


  • Automating the Insurance Claims Process with AI from Automation Anywhere

We live in a time in which automation is taking many industries by storm. The insurance industry is perfectly poised to enjoy the advantages that automation brings to the table. This is particularly true when it comes to claims processing, which is laden with tedious and repetitive tasks that are subject to human speed and error.

In order to keep up with an ever-changing industry, it is vital that insurance companies adopt an automated approach to claims processing. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), automation is the perfect solution to handle the claims process. It allows companies to process claims more quickly and at a reduced cost.

How Automation Can Help

Automation makes use of AI in the form of bots (intelligent software) that are capable of processing large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. This is precisely what is required during claims processing. Here are the main benefits of using automation in claims processing:

Streamline Processing

Streamlining the claims process by automating tasks that are traditionally done manually means these tasks take less time and have no errors. Regardless of how the claim is submitted (email, phone, or another method), the information in the claim can be extracted, organized, and transmitted within seconds, making the entire process move more quickly.

Increase Satisfaction

Being able to increase the speed of claims processing increases customer satisfaction, which is the goal of every business. When the claims process is automated, customers will get their money more quickly and with less hassle than ever before. This leaves them happy at the same time as it lowers the cost of claims processing for the insurance company.

Triage Claims

Triaging claims to single out those that look suspicious is an important task that can be difficult to do manually. However, it is vital this is done to avoid paying out fraudulent claims that can cost you billions of dollars each year. Tangentia’s Automation Anywhere provides insurance companies with a means of reducing the number of fraudulent claims they process by automatically extracting claim data and identifying and isolating potentially fraudulent claims. These isolated claims can then be sent to a team that can put them under the microscope and take a deeper look.

Automate Analytics

The ability to automate analytics and insights regarding claims can help you make better decisions regarding your claims process as a whole, as well as each individual claim you process.

Best of all, the bots used in automating the claims process can be customized based on industry segment and the tasks you want them to perform. They can be programmed to handle any level of claims processing, whether you want them to take over the entire claims process from beginning to end, making the final decision on each claim and making the payout, or just certain parts of it, leaving the final claims decision up to the claims adjustor.

Want to learn more about Automation Anywhere and what it can do for your claims process? Reach out to our Tangentia team today. We’d love to hear from you.

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Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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What You Need to Know about AODA Compliance


  • What You Need to Know about AODA Compliance

An incredible 15.5% of the people in Ontario are living with a disability. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) ensures that all businesses and organizations with 50 or more employees will meet the government of Ontario’s accessibility standards by 2025.Specifically, businesses and organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors are to ensure full accessibility of their organization for all Ontarians in five key areas, including:

  • Information and Communications
  • Employment
  • Customer Service
  • Design of Public Spaces
  • Transportation

The first three of these areas can be applied to website design, which is the focus of the most recent shift to full accessibility based on the AODA. It’s called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and every Ontario website needs to comply.

WCAG 2.0 compliance

All businesses and organizations are required to be AODA WCAG 2.0-compliant by January 1,2021. This means that their websites must be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust. In other words, all the information that is presented on a website must be provided in a variety of different ways to accommodate the needs of anyone who goes to that website. This means:

  • Ensuring the website content is easy to navigate
  • Using text to help explain images and other non-text content
  • Using predictable web page layouts
  • Designing the website so readers have enough time to fully comprehend the content
  • Making all text readable by using at least 16 pt font for regular text and 18 pt font for headings
  • Including all links in the form of a phrase
  • Ensuring the content on the page is distinguishable by using a 4.5:1 color contrast between the foreground and background
  • Making the content adaptable so the reading order is preserved regardless of how that content is accessed
  • Providing captions and/or transcripts for audio and video
  • Making assistive technology available to support readability
  • Providing input assistance in the form of error identification and prevention
  • Ensuring all headings have tags that help assistive technology navigate the website

How to become AODA compliant

To become AODA compliant, there are four steps you need to follow. These are:

  1. Conduct a website audit. This audit will determine the level of compliance on all the pages and features of your website.
  2. Get an AODA expert to help ensure your website design is 100% compliant.
  3. Test the accessibility of your website.
  4. Keep track of all the accessibility updates you made so you have records in case you are subjected to a website compliance audit.

There are some easy and effective ways to test the compliance of your website. These include:

  • Using assistive technology to review your site and ensure the design and all technical aspects of it are accessible
  • Using an online accessibility checker to check the accessibility of your website (not 100% reliable)
  • Having people with disabilities to review your site and provide feedback (best method)

If you haven’t already brought your website up to AODA WCAG 2.0 compliance, the time to do so is now. At Tangentia, we have the experts who can help design your website so that you meet the AODA WCAG 2.0 standard of compliance in time for the January 1, 2021 deadline.

Contact us today to for a free AODA website compliance audit.

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Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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Making Automation More Intelligent with Hyperautomation


  • Making Automation More Intelligent with Hyperautomation

Automation is leading the technological revolution of the early 21 st century. Tools like artificial intelligence, robotic process automation (RPA), and machine learning (ML) have been developed and adopted by many industries to automate and streamline tasks and processes. This frees up employees to engage in more meaningful work. However, Gartner argues that RPA and similar tools are not enough on their own. Instead, Gartner believes organizations need to adopt the concept of hyperautomation, which they labeled the No. 1 technology trend of 2020.

What Is Hyperautomation?

Automation has gone through an evolution over the past few years. It began with the automation of simple tasks, then moved on to the automation of individual processes, then progressed to automation across multiple processes. Hyperautomation is now taking the concept of automation to the next stage of its evolution.

Hyperautomation is a term that was introduced by Gartner. It encompasses a combination of complementary automation technologies – RPA, AI, ML, and intelligent business management software (iBPMS) – that together take the automation of business processes beyond what any single automation tool can offer.

What Hyperautomation Can Do?

RPA is confined to interpreting structured data based on a set of established rules. This limits RPA’s ability to deal with more complex data analysis. However, hyperautomation can handle unstructured data, in addition to structured data, which turns it into a powerful analytical tool.It uses AI and ML to learn as new data comes in and outcomes change.

What this means for organizations is simple. Hyperautomation will allow you to provide an end-to-end solution that goes beyond just automating repetitive tasks. Instead, it provides intelligent monitoring and analysis that has the ability to assess and reassess data across multiple systems and departments in order to augment and support decision-making. And the best part is that this is all done in real-time. Hyperautomation analyzes the data as it flows in,which means decisions can be made in a timely manner.

The capabilities of hyperautomation are so powerful that it can result in the development of what Gartner has termed a digital twin of the organization (DTO). A digital twin is a system that all organizational departments and interested parties can connect to in order to get the information they need. This eliminates the need for multiple channels through which data is delivered and allows hyperautomation to provide ongoing intelligence that drives business decisions by making it easier to see opportunities as they arise.

The result? Resource optimization, lower costs, improved employee satisfaction, enhanced customer relationships, and increased revenues. Hyperautomation will also make your organization more agile, providing the ability to change processes as required to keep up with internal organizational changes, industry changes, and external changes (such as the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020) that can affect operations.To learn more about what hyperautomation can do for your organization, contact Tangentia today.

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Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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A Quick Guide to Warehouse Inventory Management in 2020


  • A Quick Guide to Warehouse Inventory Management in 2020

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means retailers and wholesalers must be efficient in organizing their products and managing the inventory of their products.

Depending on the size of your operation, how you manage your products may differ. However, warehouse inventory management is not just a requirement for compliance with SEC regulations and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) for public companies—it’s crucial to the success of any retail company.

We’ve put together this brief guide to help you understand the basics of warehouse inventory management.

What Is Warehouse Inventory Management?

Warehouse inventory management is the system used to organize and track all of the company’s owned products. For warehouse operations, this helps to ensure the right level of inventory is in the right place at the right time. Inventory is then converted to revenue once it’s sold.

In the United States, manufacturers, retailers, and merchant wholesalers carried more than $1.9 trillion in inventory in June 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Accurately evaluating the inventory for the company’s balance sheet requires either physical stock count or an automated inventory system that creates an accurate record of each inventory-related transaction.

This quantitative product management differs slightly from a company’s warehouse management system (WMS), an umbrella term that supports the entire operation of a warehouse, including inventory management.

The best warehouse inventory management systems keep track of products and provide actionable business intelligence, such as identifying trends in product performance and sending reorder notifications when stock is low.

Current warehouse inventory management systems are outdated and often haven’t embraced everything automation has to offer.

Features of Inventory Management

There are many steps involved in warehouse inventory management, some of which include:

  • Picking and packing
  • Shipping
  • Managing locations
  • Receiving orders
  • Tracking inventory levels
  • Cycle counting
  • Generating reports
  • Providing business insights

What Are the Different Types of Inventory Management?

Manual

Every step of the delivery, tracking, loading, and data manipulation is done by workers. This manual system can increase the risk of human error at any point in the inventory management process. If there is ever a mistake, the only method of resolving the problem is another manual re-do.

Another downside to this type of inventory management is its unsustainability for more significant warehouse operations. Without computerized report generation, companies may see difficulties in turning paper-based information into useful data.

Barcode

This system uses the familiar label of black stripes that are affixed to the product, packaging, or pallet. Using wearable barcode readers, workers can speed up warehouse inventory management and save seconds scanning per item. This digital format is efficient and accurate by counting goods in real-time.

RFID

Radiofrequency identification tags are found in two configurations: active and passive. Active systems use battery-operated tag readers located throughout a warehouse and updates of inventory count and location. Passive systems are read-only when someone activates the readers through hand-held devices. Passive technology can be read at up to 40 feet, while active readers are effective up to 300 feet, but both systems automatically record inventory.

Warehouse Robots

With growing advancements in technology and automation, companies are starting to turn to optical systems mounted on the ground or aerial platforms. These systems use machine learning to read existing labels without barcodes or RFID and maintain accurate, up-to-date inventory.

Warehouse Inventory Automation: Is This the New Norm?

Modern supply chains are more complex than ever. Traditional manual processes are no longer viable for businesses that want to optimize workflows and reduce wasted resources.

Automation is the natural solution to these problems. It’s ideal for individual warehouses or companies that support numerous locations across the entire supply chain.

Effective fulfillment requires sophisticated solutions that are able to predict trends, make actionable recommendations, and increase the visibility of potential issues before they turn into larger problems.

Successful manufacturers, 3PLs, and retailers know the importance of optimized supply chains. That’s why they’ve heavily invested in cloud-based automation solutions for their supply chains.

Automate Your Warehouse Inventory Management With Tangentia

Here at Tangentia, we understand the transformative difference automated solutions can make for your business.

When you’re processing hundreds or thousands of pallets or cartons per day, automated processes can significantly save time, effort, and costs. For many retail companies, creating greater warehouse inventory management efficiency translates to a multi-million dollar impact.

Are you interested in learning more about warehouse inventory management automation? Get in touch with Tangentia today to learn more.

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Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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How Just-In-Time Inventory, EDI, and RPA Keep Your Business at Its Most Efficient

  • Automating Your Inventory : How Just-In-Time Inventory, EDI, and RPA Keep Your Business at Its Most Efficient

When it comes to your company’s supply chain, one of the most common weak links is inventory management. There are very few businesses that handle their inventory management well. Typically, retail businesses face problems scaling up their inventory management systems as they grow.

As your business grows, efficient inventory practices become more and more worth investing in. Retail companies with poor inventory management can suffer from stock issues, slowed turnover times, and needing to order excess inventory to prevent running out of stock. Slow delivery and stock issues are a sure way to reduce customer satisfaction, so keeping these issues at a minimum is important.

How can retail companies improve their stock management and inventory processes? For most businesses, the answer is automation. Most inventory management issues stem from human error, inefficient practices, and incomplete item information. Automation resolves all these issues. It is intrinsically efficient and requires complete item information, and eliminates human error.

So, how can your business get started with inventory automation? The process isn’t as difficult as you might think. Just-in-Time Inventory (JIT), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are a few strategies that you can utilize onto your supply chain to be well on the way to an optimized system.

What Is Just-in-Time (JIT) Inventory?

JIT inventory is a way to decrease waste and increase the efficiency of your supply chain. With JIT, your supply chain only receives goods as they become needed.

Pros of JIT?

JIT keeps your business at maximum efficiency. By having goods on hand only when they’re needed, you can keep your supply chain operating smoothly without needing to worry about long-term storage of stock.

Maintaining JIT inventory reduces the amount of waste your supply chain produces from leftover, unused goods. It also keeps the investment into your supply low, as you don’t need to stock more goods than you need.

Cons of JIT

While JIT keeps your business on top of its efficiency when supply is readily available, it can cause your business to suffer greatly from issues farther down the line of the supply chain.

Since you don’t keep a stockpile of the goods your supply chain uses, if they suddenly become scarce or expensive, your business might unexpectedly run out of stock. You might also end up needing to buy overpriced stock.

What Is Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)?

In general, Electronic Data Interchange is simply the technical term for two computers communicating with each other. In the context of the supply chain, EDI is a way to get a full digital picture of your electronic transaction exchanges with your customers, as well as your inventory.

Pros of EDI

Many supply chain issues, such as inventory shortages and surpluses, happen because of a lack of inventory visibility. EDI allows you to keep track of all your inventory in one centralized location, making it easy to track and prevent inventory errors.

With EDI, it’s also much easier to manage more complex inventory processes, such as multichannel sales. The more complicated the process, the more likely it is for human error to occur.

Having a guarantee that all of the information about your inventory is accurate allows you to make supply decisions with the big picture in mind. Overall, EDI improves almost all aspects of the inventory management process.

Cons of EDI

EDI can be hard to adjust for your supply chain to work around, especially if it is a legacy EDI system that is in place. This is especially the case for rapidly growing businesses, which don’t usually have particularly well-optimized supply chains.

If your inventory isn’t well-suited to EDI, it can take some work to get full value out of the EDI system. You may need to overhaul some of your inventory processes altogether.

What Is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

RPA is a way to increase the efficiency of your inventory management by replacing human operators for various digital systems. With an RPA system, the computer essentially uses itself by means of a virtual operator, called an RPA robot.

RPA robots have a wide array of functionalities, and are able to completely replace human users for many applications. They can perform tasks such as moving and collecting data from various sources, as well as process data by performing calculations.

Pros of RPA

RPA can allow for quite a lot of inventory management automation, sometimes up to 90%. In general, processes that can be automated should be, as humans are almost always slower than an RPA robot. RPA robots can drastically increase the efficiency of your inventory management processes.

Like EDI, RPA removes the human element from many processes. In particular, RPA robots can handle data entry, data processing, and other repetitive tasks easily, with a 0% rate of error. This gives them a sizable advantage over humans, who are unable to focus on these tasks for as long.

RPA systems can also keep running overnight, giving them yet another advantage over human operators. Overall, RPA is almost guaranteed to provide a large boost to your business’s supply chain efficiency.

Cons of RPA

Like EDI, a proper RPA system is not trivial to implement. Rolling out an RPA project into your business’s inventory management or production environments actually has a good chance of failing at first. After some troubleshooting, you will likely start getting full value out of the RPA system.

Tying It All Together

Automation is a great way to increase efficiency and eliminate errors within your inventory management process. It can’t do the job on its own, though: if you want to optimize your inventory management, you should use a combination of JIT, EDI, and RPA.

How JIT, EDI, and RPA Complement Each Other

On their own, these three methods of optimizing your inventory are sure to increase your efficiency significantly. When put together, though, they are more than the sum of their parts.

The biggest weakness of JIT is that it’s prone to human error. Improper data entry can result in an unexpected stock outage of your product. EDI and RPA prevent this by removing the capacity for human error in the majority of the inventory management operation.

On the other hand, EDI and RPA can suffer from bottlenecks. It doesn’t matter how efficient your data processing is if your business is bogged down by extra costs relating to storage or other inefficiencies. JIT helps alleviate this bottleneck by increasing the efficiency of your business outside of data processing.

Can I Have JIT or EDI Without RPA?

While JIT, EDI, and RPA are tools that are best used together, they can be used individually to great effect. You should make sure you’re on the lookout for the potential issues with using these tools.

So as long as you build your inventory management process around the tools you’re using—you should be able to work around JIT, EDI, and RPA’s various weaknesses. Overall though, we recommend trying to implement all three inventory management tools, as they work best in tandem.

An Investment in JIT Is an Investment in Efficiency

If your business has been growing and you’re having trouble handling demand for your products, the solution may not be to expand and spend more. Oftentimes, it’s much more budget-friendly and effective to invest in ways to improve your efficiency than expand your flawed, existing system.

When it comes to improving the efficiency of your supply chain, the best way is with automation. JIT, EDI, and RPA are all easy-to-implement forms of automation that are designed to provide you with a quick return on investment. Once you have these systems in place, you’ll find that your inventory management model is much more scalable.

If you’re interested in learning more about JIT, EDI, or RPA, feel free to contact us today to find out how these tools can help your business be the best it can be.

Get Started Today

Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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5 Things to Consider when Choosing a RPA Partner


  • 5 Things to Consider when Choosing
    a RPA Partner

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is becoming increasingly popular in many industries. PwC conducted a survey of the financial industry in which 98% of the respondents said they believe RPA implementation is “important, very important, or extremely important.”

The reason for this overwhelming support for RPA is simple. The use of RPA to automate many of the repetitive tasks that use up too much in terms of human and financial resources is helping companies lower their overhead costs, increase productivity, and streamline their operations.

However, with the increasing use of RPA, it can be overwhelming when trying to choose the right RPA partner for you. Yet, choosing the right partner is critical to the success of your business. With this in mind, here are the five things to consider when choosing an RPA partner for your organization:

1. Powerful automation portfolio

The very first thing you need to do is take a close look at the RPA partner candidate’s automation portfolio that shows what they have to offer. This portfolio of offerings, including their methodology, the support they provide and the commercial model they use, is critical to your RPA success. You also want to know things such as:

  • Whether they are involved in RPA research and innovation
  • What their automation solutions cover – back office, front office, etc.
  • The size of business for which they offer RPA– small, medium, large, or enterprise
  • The platform they use for data capture and document/form processing
  • Whether there is easy integration with existing systems, ERP/WMS/carriers, and eCommerce platforms
  • Whether they offer support for multiple configurable user accounts
2. Proficient business tools

You want to be sure that the RPA partner you choose will be able to provide you with the very best tools to ensure robust automation delivery capabilities. This means that RPA partner will, in turn, rely on partnerships with RPA product companies, such as Jiffy.ai, ABBY FlexiCapture, BluePrism, Automation Anywhere, UI Path, and winautomation. These products should provide things like:

  • Intelligent automation
  • Cognitive document processing
  • Audit, tracking, and update tools
  • The ability to gather data, analyze it, and gain insights in real-time
  • The ability to manage credentials, set security restrictions, and allow role-based access at the task level
  • The ability to automate desktop applications
  • OCR capabilities
  • The ability to multitask

This should all be offered for a competitive price and come with full technical support. In addition, your RPA partner should be fully certified to deliver RPA solutions and experienced in implementing those solutions in your industry.

3. Scalability

In 2020 scalability will be a big focus area for organizations, when it comes time to choosing an RPA partner. Ensuring the RPA platform you select is fully scalable and will meet the needs of your business as they change will help maximize the benefits and long-term ROI. This means that you will be able to use the bots across multiple processes, regardless of variations in process volumes, and have a solution that works as your business grows.

4. Global compliance with robust security

Be sure your RPA partner has a level of process oversight that will meet regulatory compliance and ensure the protection of all data. This includes saving data and information related to automated workflows in an activity log that provides a clear record of all data flow and transactions, ensuring you are prepared for any internal or external audits that may be conducted.

5. Proven automation blueprint

Look at the RPA partner’s track record and clientele. It is important that you can see they have a proven automation blueprint that has successfully worked for other organizations, particularly those in your industry or sector. Take a look at who their customers are and pay attention to ratings and reviews of their products, so you can get a good feel for the success of their automation solution.

Ultimately, when you are looking for an RPA partner, you need to be sure that their expertise and capabilities meet your specific needs. Tangentia has the proven track record, the tools, and the innovative spirit to help you get your RPA off the ground.

Get Started Today

Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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With 2019 Nearly Over- Where are AI, RPA & EDI going in 2020?

  • Where are AI, RPA & EDI going in 2020?

    A perspective by Tangentia CEO, Vijay Thomas

2019 was a significant year for Tangentia. As a recognizable ‘global boutique’ consulting firm that provides bespoke services in Canada, USA and India—we are excited about the progress we saw.

Whether it was our core B2B business of EDI(Electronic Data Interchange) and Ecommerce or the development of our new AI(Artificial Intelligence) and RPA(Robotic Process Improvement) segment, we empowered many businesses to improve their core operations.

But what trends really defined 2019? And which ones will continue to lead the way into 2020?

2019 Was a Milestone Year For Tangentia

2019 was the year we committed to automation through our AI and RPA service offerings. While we had some exposure previously (mostly through providing staffing solutions), we expanded our offerings by creating a new range of services that focused on key problems that businesses face in a multitude of industries. We expanded our partnership with IBM to become a Platinum partner of IBM for Watson AI. Also we are global partners for Automation Anywhere, UI Path and Blue Prism in the RPA space.

We also consolidated some of our legacy services, improving our B2B business segment—which includes our legacy EDI and Ecommerce business. These services continued to grow substantially outside of North America with many significant wins in 2019 in India including India’s largest retailer.

Our global headquarters also moved in Toronto, from Willowdale to the Waterfront district, which saw us join the likes of Google,Uber, LCBO, Royal Bank, and soon Microsoft in what is arguably the fastest-growing tech hub in the world. We are beyond excited to be located in such an innovative area of the city.

How Will 2020 Impact Digital Transformations?

Company accomplishments are important, but the real value is in the lessons we learned from the exciting technologies that we offer.

So, what were the main takeaways from 2019?

Automation Isn’t a Magic Bullet

The RPA industry saw between 600-1000% growth in 2019. These numbers are large and signify that many companies are investing in this technology heavily. Major players in this industry have become unicorns in the investing world as the markets realize the potential that automation has.

However, AI, RPA, automation, and similar technologies aren’t a guarantee. Companies that invested millions into this technology without a plan saw minimal results.

Automation is a catalyst for innovation, but your business needs the right systems in place to take advantage of it. The goal of RPA is to enhance existing systems that are already working. An automation solution will decrease costs, improve efficiency, and other core metrics- but only if an organization understands what areas they need to improve.

It’s important that a company makes small changes that compound over time. We encourage our clients to push for real value and not to fall victim to the marketing pitches that they’ve heard about automation. Our team even has a Continual Process Improvement(CPI) using RPA model that we encourage our customers to try out.

In 2020, we expect to see more companies identify how RPA can help their organization cut costs, improve productivity, and make their business more agile.

EDI Isn’t Dead. It’s Evolving

Yet again, critics made the claim that EDI is dead. But as an EDI solution provider, I can assure you that EDI isn’t going anywhere.

If anything, EDI is evolving and adapting to the digital age. At Tangentia, we see EDI as any B2B communications between two business entities and not through the traditional lens of ANSI X12 or EDIFACT. And while this traditional EDI may be slowing down, XML and API formats aren’t going anywhere—especially in the age of integration. Today, businesses rely on countless apps having the ability to communicate and synchronize flawlessly. This alone will ensure the longevity of EDI as companies look to simplify B2B communications.

Legacy companies will always rely on some form of EDI, while modern startups have the benefit of building out in the digital world. Still, even startups require EDI solutions using either the XML or API formats.

Digital Transformations Matter – But You Must Define What It Means to Your Company

Digital transformation is the buzzword today. Every company is claiming they are making a digital transformation.But what does it really mean?

An effective digital transformation should be all about making incremental changes that drive long-term value and improve the user experience.

For example, a business may use an invoicing system that takes one month to complete. They could realize substantial gains by automating this process down to several days.

One advantage that we can offer our clients is the perspectives we have gained from working in Canada, the United States, and India. We can help companies identify what’s working in one region and find ways to adapt that same technology in another.

Digital transformations aren’t going anywhere in 2020. Successful companies are always looking to modernize and improve the way they connect with customers, employees, and partners. However, we expect to see companies focus more on what their personalized digital transformation looks like.

Where Is Tangentia Going in 2020?

Agile Digital Transformation

Our unique agile approach to digital transformation has allowed us to deliver complex digital transformation projects for the largest beverage alcohol distributor in the world, the largest retailer in India and many mid sized companies worldwide. We will continue to stay true to our belief in the power of the iterative agile delivery model.

Global Boutique

Tangentia is a ‘global boutique’ firm. We know how to execute using a global delivery model with much less overheads than our competitors and that provides our customers with high-end services at a value driven price.

Get Started Today

Interested in Automation but don’t know where to start? Looking for somebody to help maintain, support and enhance your existing bots? Or just want to say hello? Contact us now. We promise a human will answer your query, not a bot.
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Paperless Factory: Invoice Processing Digitalization

  • Paperless Factory: Invoice Processing Digitalization

    By Shantanu Paknikar

Overview

Terms like “Paperless office”, “Paperless factory”, “Digitized Office” have been around for a long time, as an aspiration for the future. And yet, even today, the ground reality is that there are a lot of paper documents that are still in existence. Purchase Orders, Invoices, Shipping Notes, Goods received notes, Proof of delivery notes, and several other documents are still generated, received, and processed in large numbers in companies all over the world. Processes to handle paper documents are largely manual, time and effort consuming, prone to errors, require data re-entry at multiple stages, and result in operational inefficiencies. The need of the hour is to leverage technology to digitize such documents and automate the processes to handle them.

Example use case: Accounts Payable (AP)

Consider a typical use case for Accounts Payable (AP) and the Procure to Pay process at a factory that receives shipments from its suppliers. Trucks arrive at the factory gate with an invoice for the goods they are delivering, along with associated documents such as a shipment note and sometimes the purchase order (PO) corresponding to that shipment. Let us look at how the documents are typically handled.
The invoice and associated documents are in the form of a hard copies (physical paper copies). At the factory gate, this physical invoice is manually inspected, and tallied with the ERP system data. Once done, the gate clearance is recorded (manually again) on the physical invoice, or printed out as another physical document to attach to the received invoice. The invoice is then passed on for further processing.

The further processing might involve invoice being sent to a verifications team, where the received shipment is checked for quality. Once done, the ERP system is updated (manually) indicating that the shipment received has cleared the quality check. The quality clearance might then get recorded manually on the physical invoice document, or a QC certificate might get printed out and attached with the invoice.

The invoice (and the received goods) are then sent to the stores section where there is a quantity verification (counting) process. This involves matching of the ordered quantity of goods from the original PO in the ERP system, with the quantity in the invoice, with the actual quantity received. The matching requires a visual inspection and a manual comparison of the PO and Invoice for quantity as well as other details.
Once the matching is completed, the goods are accepted at the store, the ERP system is updated (manually), a Goods Received Note (GRN) is printed out and handed over to the supplier’s delivery associate, and the physical invoice is sent to the accounts team for the payment approval.

Business Challenges

The limitations of this process are obvious. It is inefficient to have the paper invoice (and other documents) being sent across from one department to another. There is quite a bit of work on data entry and re-entry including updates to the ERP system, which could also result in data errors. Also, with a paper-based process, search and retrieval of documents later (e.g. during audits) is a very painful process since the actual physical documents are not easy to find. These inefficiencies impact both the cycle time as well as productivity of the factory personnel involved in receiving and processing shipments.

Cognitive AI based Invoice Processing Bots

Cognitive Bot’s can reveolutionize business by sense of business documents like Purchase Orders, Invoices, Quotes and other business documents in any format.

The solution: Invoice Processing Digitalization

These inefficiencies can be addressed by a technology solution that involves converting the paper-based manual process into a digital, automated process. Such a solution involves two main steps:

  1. Digitization of the physical invoice
    This involves the following

    • Scanning of the invoice and converting into digital (e.g. PDF) form
    • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to extract specific data fields and values from the document
    • Generating and adding “tags” or “meta-data” to the digital document, to help describe the document and to help for later search and retrieval
    • Storing the digital documents in a document repository or document management system (DMS), to be accessed when needed
  2. Intelligent automation

    Just converting the documents to digital form and storing them is not good enough. The next step is to have a process automation/workflow engine that can orchestrate the document workflow via a process application. The process application will handle approvals, automatic forwarding of the document to the right stakeholder, automated alerts and notifications, and integration with any back-end systems that might be needed. Process applications can be made “smarter” or “intelligent” through technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The use of AI to complement automation is in fact what has given rise to the term “Intelligent Automation”.

Benefits

Invoice processing digitalization offers some obvious benefits. The scanning and conversion of the document to PDF form can be done at the gate itself, after which the physical documents can be sent for filing immediately, eliminating the risk of the physical document getting lost or damaged. Search and retrieval can now be done on the digital documents, reducing the time required from a few hours to a few seconds. With intelligent automation, manual data entry or re-entry can be automated fully or partially, reducing the chances of data entry errors. Overall, digitalization offers direct improvements in operational efficiencies with invoice processing cycle time reduction, reduced costs, and improved staff productivity.

Summary

While this article covers the AP area and a portion of the Procure to Pay process, digitalization equally applies to other areas such as Accounts Receivable (AR) and Order to cash processes. These processes are a part of any organization and digitalization of such processes goes a long way towards achieving the vision of the “digitized office” or “paperless factory”. This is of course, provided that companies are willing to invest in digital technologies such as intelligent automation. A lot of companies have already implemented such solutions, or are in the middle of doing so. Where does your company stand?

Footnote: Tangentia’s Invoice Digitalization Solution is designed to help you address the challenges related to handling physical invoices and related documents. Leveraging the power of Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Workflow / BPM technologies, the solution delivers all the benefits of digitalization including reduced invoice processing cycle times, reduced invoice processing costs, elimination of data entry errors, improved staff productivity, significantly reduced time and efforts for document search and retrieval and zero risk of documents getting damaged or misplaced during processing. The solution is a part of our Digitalized Office / Paperless Office offering, which includes automation solutions for Procure-to-Pay as well as Order-to-Cash processes.

Please contact us for a complimentary, no-obligation demo and a free consultation with one of our experts.

Write in to automation@tangentia.com today!

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