TricorBraun, which designs and sources innovative rigid packaging solutions for commercial customers needed a way to simplify how invoices, purchase orders, and other documents were entered into the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. It decided on a solution using KnowledgeLake Capture, which helps digitize paper documents so they are sent directly into the ERP system for easy access and viewing as PDF files, saving time and allowing the company to process invoices and other documents faster.
TricorBraun is a leading designer and supplier of custom and stock packaging and packaging molds that are used by companies around the world for their products. It has a catalog of over 75,000 products and the rights to over 4,000 molds to make products such as glass and plastic bottles, jar closures and dispensing components. It also designs custom packaging for customers in industries such as personal care, healthcare, and household and industrial chemical products.
Employees at TricorBraun, which has 40 offices across the United States, were struggling to keep pace with the flow of paper documents-including invoices, purchase orders, and bills for freight-into corporate headquarters. Personnel in the accounts payable department had to manually enter information from the documents into the company’s Microsoft Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a time-consuming and sometimes error prone process.
“It was becoming slow and inefficient to handle invoices like this,” says Brian Griffeth, Senior Systems Analyst. “We wanted to streamline the process of AP invoicing by using auto-sorting barcode sheets.”
To accomplish that, the company looked for a solution that could efficiently scan and index paper invoices, then turn them quickly into PDFs that could be uploaded to the company’s Microsoft SharePoint intranet and ported into the Dynamics ERP system.
TricorBraun decided to use KnowledgeLake Capture for SharePoint, a high-volume, production-level document capture system that works with the company’s various scanners, including models from Toshiba, Canon, and Lexmark.
Griffeth says the company chose KnowledgeLake because of its tight integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics AX-and the options it offers for integrating into other enterprise systems.
“We are a Microsoft shop and use Microsoft .NET for all of our development and web solutions,” he says. “With KnowledgeLake we got not just powerful scanning capabilities, but also its strong links into SharePoint and the Microsoft Dynamics AX environment. It made the most sense for doing a custom integration into our ERP system. Plus we were able to use the KnowledgeLake software development kit to customize KnowledgeLake Capture to fit our unique needs.”
TricorBraun users scan invoices and other documents that are tagged with barcodes containing metadata. The digitized files are picked up by KnowledgeLake Connect, which processes the barcodes and converts the documents into the Adobe PDF file format.
The PDF files are stored in SharePoint. From there, Microsoft BizTalk Server uses a web service to transmit links to the PDF files into the company’s ERP system. Users can view the PDFs within the ERP system. “We designed the solution this way so the barcode sheets can set the key fields needed in our ERP system to process the documents,” says Griffeth. “Later, an AP clerk can add in any information that was not picked up during the scanning process.”
Deploying KnowledgeLake Connect has helped TricorBraun improve the efficiency of its workflows for vendor payments and related financial tasks. Users can quickly find documents in the ERP system. It is easy to use and understand the digitized information, and the system provides a level of automation that streamlines work processes.
Delivers Fast Access to Documents
Griffeth says KnowledgeLake Capture was the right solution to solve the issue of handling invoices and other documents. “KnowledgeLake fit the needs of our business based on what would work best for our users,” he says. “They wanted a means of scanning documents and getting them into our ERP system so that they could process them from within the ERP instead of outside the system. With KnowledgeLake, we were able to achieve an all-in-one solution for our accounts payable clerks.”
Makes Information Entry Easier
The KnowledgeLake solution helps users efficiently enter information into the ERP system. “KnowledgeLake delivers a visual aid for our accounts payable department so they can see exactly how much an invoice is for, when it was received, and what needs to be paid,” says Griffeth. “That helps expedite our payment processes.”
Offers ‘Scan and Forget’ Simplicity for Branches
The solution offers employees in TricorBraun branch offices a “scan and forget” ease of use. “With the KnowledgeLake solution, they know they can get the documents into AP to be processed and paid,” says Griffeth. “They don’t have to worry about the invoice after they scan it. They simply put the barcode sheets between the invoice batches, scan using a custom button set up on their devices, and make sure their scanner didn’t error when scanning. It’s all fast and easy.”