Top advice from industry experts that will accelerate your technology evaluation and implementation process – and save you from setbacks along the way.

We sat down with our executive team and industry experts to get advice and tips on how to succeed with your intelligent document processing (IDP) initiative. Capturing, classifying and extracting data is usually the first step in any digital transformation project. It’s the foundation of being able to find, access and utilize your data, automate processes and gain insights to guide strategic decision-making. 

As document capture is a prerequisite for successful process automation, it is critical to get it right and maximize the value of your investment. Based on many years of experience working with companies across the globe, our team shares their learnings and top advice to make your document capture initiative a success and lay a strong foundation for your digital transformation goals.  

From a CEO perspective: Ike Kavas 

I try to put myself in my clients’ shoes every day to make the right decisions. In my pursuit of understanding why and how our clients think, I have identified 3 questions that contribute to making successful digital transformation and automation projects. 

  1. What can I do for my company that will eliminate the busywork my company does each day?
  2. What can I do for my company that will give us a lasting competitive edge in the marketplace?
  3. What can I do for my company that will improve my chances to be promoted so my impact is even greater?

The reason digital transformation, digitization and automation is on every leader’s mind these days is that it checks all the boxes. However, most projects cannot be done with one vendor, in one department or by one person, especially in medium to large enterprises. Selecting a best-of-breed technology vendor is better than relying on one company that does everything mediocre. In the age of cloud, AI, low/no-code and connected systems, pick one vendor with expertise in IDP, RPA and iPaaS/workflow.

When it comes to implementation, it’s fine to start with one use case, but it’s important to have a clear view of how that implementation will lay the groundwork for other automation use cases enterprise-wide. Learning and scaling will yield the most success. Lastly, never forget that digital transformation initiatives can affect the company culture, so everyone must embrace the autonomous journey for true success.

From a CFO perspective: Naren Goel 

A recent Gartner survey for CFOs identified the most impactful technologies for the Finance function as AI, Digitization and Cloud. The same survey indicated that in addition to the traditional “value protection (cost efficiency, etc.)” role of a CFO, there is added focus on “value creation (revenue, margins).” IDP is a great example of the type of technology that checks all these boxes. New cutting-edge IDP offerings are cloud and AI-based, which are a prerequisite to modern digital transformation. While some of the IDP use cases, such as invoice data capture is clearly a cost and efficiency play, there are other use cases like mortgage, tax forms and customer onboarding that can significantly improve the customer experience and help drive the top line and margins for a company. IDP can be a great stepping stone for finance and operations teams’ digital transformation journey.

From a Corporate Strategy perspective: Lynn Tanattanawin 

The BEST thing you can do is the RIGHT thing.

The NEXT BEST thing you can do is the WRONG thing.

The WORST thing you can do is NOTHING.

Digital transformation of the whole enterprise is a massive endeavor. If you’re hesitant to start a big project, you don’t have to. Start with invoices. Start with ANYTHING. Just start.

From a CTO perspective: Kevin Harbauer

Digital Transformation and automation are hard and success is dependent on capturing the data you need to feed your transformation. As an organization moves through their automation journey, the data they need is going to evolve over time. Selecting technology that will evolve over time as automation requirements change will be critical. While there is no magic bullet for future-proofing your technology, deploying solutions built on modern technology that leverage AI and machine learning will put an organization in the best position to succeed today and tomorrow.

From a Strategy and Evangelism perspective: Stephen Boals

Many prospects come to us confused and with a ton of questions due to the noise in the market.   It seems every day a startup or RPA/workflow company is touting their new “AI for Documents” or some outrageous accuracy statistic on their website or advertisements. The basic tenets of   Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) have not changed in a decade. What has changed are the layers of technology that make it faster, more accurate, provide additional context, allow for minimal configuration and “0 day” results. Tip: Make sure to ask your vendor specific questions about AI technology and its architecture to make sure it’s really there and not just a sales buzzword. 

From a Customer Experience perspective: Sumita Mavros

The best thing you can do is to continue to elevate your employees – and ultimately your customers – is to take on more critical business needs. Always ask the question, “What else can I automate?” because it will always lead to a path of improved productivity for your business and continue to improve your bottom line with a better customer experience. This can lead to tremendous potential in terms of time-saving efficiencies that elevate employees to focus on more important tasks; tasks that they didn’t originally have budgeted or expand into overlooked operations departments like the mailroom or accounting. 

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of organizations have been increasing their investments in AI-based products and automation. This investment inevitably increases the capacity of your data analysts, nurses, accountants or front office staff to focus on the important stuff, not manual tasks. Don’t get too comfortable with what you’ve got, and continue seeking efficiencies. Because doing nothing can be detrimental to your business, your customers and your employees.

From a Solution Engineering perspective: Chris MacWilliams

Data is king. To succeed in any IDP project, having a sample set of the document images you wish to classify and extract information from, is critical. Understanding the volume of information that is entering into the business process is extremely helpful when looking to see what type of automation results you can realistically achieve. Before engaging in a conversation with a vendor, think about the requirements of your project. Below are a few questions to ask yourself and team prior to engaging: 

  • How many different document types are entering into this business process (i.e. invoices, W-9, bill of lading, records, etc.)? 
  • What are the minimum number of fields we need to extract from these documents to automate our business process?
  • What are my peak loads of documents that I need to process? 
  • Do we have a data dictionary or a guide of how we organize information in our organization? Standard naming conventions are important. 

From a Sales perspective: Stephen Lee 

The common factor to achieving successful IDP initiatives is to clearly identify on solving one problem instead of trying to automate everything all at once. There is a saying that simplifies this: “Pick a small project to start, don’t boil the ocean.” 

My favorite tool for success is the 80/20 rule. For example, in the case of invoice processing, we recommend an analysis to determine the number of invoices, where they are coming from (such as the vendor and if it’s email or paper) and where the bottleneck of manual tasks are slowing down processes. This helps identify which steps are taking up the most time and increasing costs. Most businesses will find that 20% of their main suppliers actually make up 80% of their volume, while the remaining suppliers do not generate enough invoices to create a problem. By automating the top suppliers’ invoices first, huge gains are seen from eliminating manual processes. After that initial success, scalability across other lines of business can then be pursued. The outcome results in delivering huge value and ROI to the entire organization.

Ready to start your intelligent document processing project? Learn more about IDP here.  Let us help