Lack of possibility to monitor the location of a document, overdue payments, missing documents, financial penalties, lack of information on financial obligations - these are typical problems of many companies related to processing various types of paper documents. The registration and, in some cases, settlement of these documents can be very labour-intensive and therefore costly.
In the era of the Internet and digital technology, the best way to eliminate problems related to traditional paper document circulation is to implement a solution for scanning and electronic document circulation. More and more companies decide on this step, both on the Polish and foreign market.
Thanks to electronic document flow, companies reduce costs, shorten the time of handling documents (they reduce necessary manual activities and reduce the number of errors) and minimise the risk related to the unintentional suspension of document processing (which, e.g. for invoices, may have a direct impact on the amount of interest on late payments). Additionally, they receive a full view of historical data and easy access to archived documents. Such a circulation also contributes to the optimisation of work and increase the productivity of employees.
SI-Flow is the response of SI-Consulting to these needs and a solution to problems related to document circulation.
The SI-FLOW solution is a product that is constantly supported and extended with new elements. It currently consists of circuits handling: invoices, orders, property documents and delegations (both in the context of application and settlement). It is a distributed tool, i.e. it can consist of four components. Two components are mandatory: the Circulation Management module and the Content Management system. The Scanning and OCR system and the Web Support module are optional. The components are an integral part of other computer systems or constitute an independent system themselves. Communication between them can take place via a local area network (LAN) or a global area network (WAN).
Scanning and OCR
The process of invoice circulation in the company begins with the receipt of a paper version from the supplier to the department or person responsible. Electronic document circulation in a company starts in the next step, i.e. during document registration. Paper documents are barcoded and scanned. Further handling of the electronic document depends on its purpose and is done on the SAP system side.
The key component is software written in ABAP language and integrated with SAP ERP system. This module is used for configuration and management of the electronic document circulation and allows you to use the tool from the ERP system level. The component is primarily responsible for the configuration of types of supported documents, logic and paths of their circulation in the system and assigning users to the circulation. It also provides the use from the ERP level and allows for all kinds of reporting on the operation of the whole tool. The module can be divided into main parts: ERP User Interface, Administration Panel, User Configuration and Additional Toolkit (reports, printouts, notifications).
In the process of document circulation, the user must have direct and quick access to view all attachments concerning the processed documents as well as images of the documents themselves. Such data is stored using files on a separate server, and access to it is managed by the Content Management System. The stored files can have any format, i.e. PDF, TIFF, DOC, XLS, TXT, etc. The basic functionality within the described scope is provided by SAP Content Server, whose license is delivered under the SAP ERP license.
The process of document circulation often involves company employees who do not necessarily have access to SAP ERP. In such a case, the most advantageous solution is to enable participation in circulation using a web browser / mobile devices. For this purpose, the solution is made available to process participants using the SAP Portal solution or a dedicated mobile application made in SAP Fiori technology.
- Unification of document handling throughout the company
- Improving and speeding up the processing and acceptance of documents
- Reducing the risk of late payment
- Current information on costs, elimination of double payments
- Possibility to measure and evaluate the work of individual employees involved in the processing of documents
- The employee and his/her superior(s) have current information about the status of processed documents (including processing times, delays, etc.)
- The complete path of documents (in particular invoices) for the audit
- Control and circulation management
- Possible centralisation of document registration and archiving processes
- Manual descriptions and approvals on paper documents by persons participating in the process replaced by data entered in the SAP system along with the workflow
- Images of each of the processed documents, if any, are available at any time from the level of documents registered in the SAP system, and through the unique code assigned to them, the originals can be found in the company archive.
- One universal interface for entering and processing data for different types of metrics - a user who knows one circuit (e.g. invoice metrics) will find it much easier to process purchase order metrics
- Uniform interface for the configuration of different circulations, which significantly translates into easy learning of tool administration
- The use of a single transaction instead of several standard ones, particularly important in the context of people working with documents irregularly
- Dedicated tabs for individual roles with specific fields available for editing, no need to process non-user-specific data – a tailor-made solution
- Combining related processes into a whole without breaking them into separate workflows - an example of a cancellation invoice, where the reverse of a document opens a pre-existing circulation instead of initiating a new one
- Possibility of precise configuration of the solution, modification of the workflows and making them dependent on all available parameters
- Great freedom to expand and modify individual elements. A custom-made solution built from scratch, which allows you to add much more comprehensive functionality than can be achieved by extending the standard on a similar budget