Image by Nana Smirnova

 

PACKING LISTS

A logistics company eliminated nearly all manual data entry requirements in the processing of packing list documents from its key customers.

The organisation is an external logistics partner providing personalised packing and delivery services for its key customers.

Customers are emailing in hundreds of packing lists (orders) each day. On receipt of each order a member of the administration team would manually enter the details including line items to their line of business application (ERP) system.

The high volumes and manual process were causing delays getting packing lists to the warehouse and limiting what was otherwise a highly efficient operation.

After implementing a new automated workflow solution, packing lists received via email are processed immediately. Each new request displays in their line of business application within seconds and the warehouse can begin the physical packing process.

The system also has validation checks pre-configured to improve accuracy and removes manual data entry errors.

The result frees up valuable staff time in the administration team and enabled a marked improvement in customer service.

Service level agreements can now be more easily met and the company is able to promote the automation to help with new business development.

SOFTWARE DEPLOYED

PRISM Capture

PRISM WorkPath Server

PRISM WorkPath Desktop (Reviewer Interface)

Altman IM digital workflows are always customised to suit the way your organisation works. The various stages required and sequence vary from customer to customer. The outline below details the flow deployed in this particular project.

 

 

PROCESS STEPS

1. Input

Packing lists are captured via monitoring a mailbox account. Each time an email is received the attachment(s) are stripped and sent for processing.

 

2. Data Extraction

Initial recognition determines which customers packing list document is being processed. This ensures the correct data extraction template is applied. The following data is then extracted:

  • Order Number

  • Order Date

  • Requested Date

  • Delivery Name

  • Delivery Address

  • Country name

  • Line Items (multiple pages)

    • Product Number

    • Quantity

    • Remove delivery charge line item

The Requested Date field is not on the document. It is a post processing zone which is automatically populated using a calculation involving the order date, current date and current time.

The country name is auto-corrected (via database lookup) to a two-digit country code (ISO3166).

All fields have validation rules configured to determine whether automatic processing should take place. If it fails a validation rule the document and data is sent for review (Step Three).

3. Data Review (Verification by accounts)

On the rare occasions that a packing list is sent for review a member of the team will correct or add data where missing. The interface is easy to use, displaying the document on the left and fields on the right. Successfully validated fields display in green and fields which require attention display in amber

 

4. Outputs: SharePoint and ERP

Once processed and validated the data is directly output to the transport companies’ line of business (cloud) platform. This is done using the platforms own API. In case of error e.g. duplicate order the document and error code are sent via email notification to the processing team.

 

The physical packing list document is saved in an agreed Microsoft SharePoint folder structure with new folders creating automatically when required. Invoices can easily be retrieved through searching key index data or full text search.

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ABOUT ALTMAN IM

Altman IM delivers effective, affordable and easy to use, cost-saving solutions for organisations across a broad range of industry sectors. Our objective is to provide leading-edge print management and document processing automation technology with high-quality, responsive support and professional services.

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