OCR solutions in ERP software are the next big thing. Sooner or later you will have to select a solution to meet your needs, otherwise, it will turn into an upcoming nightmare. In this article, we will take a look at the following topics:
- what kind of solutions for invoice OCR exist in the market,
- what are their advantages and drawbacks,
- what is essential when integrating an OCR solution into ERP,
- how to satisfy your customers.
Why would you add OCR solution in ERP?
ERP systems have been on the market for a long time. You’ve probably developed a lot of modules since you’ve started development. Like any other business, you are trying to increase your income. Because upselling is much easier than acquiring a new customer, it makes sense to expand your product portfolio. Being a hot topic, invoice OCR is one of the best fits for your ERP.
What kind of OCR solution needed by an ERP?
As an ERP, you need to know that not every invoice OCR solution fits your needs. Before deciding which suits you, you need to know the following facts:
- Invoice OCR should be done in seconds.
- The service should be integrable into the existing workflow – no additional steps.
- The service should be continuously learning from your users.
- The service should have an AI engine for each user.
From the users’ perspective, an invoice OCR service must fit the aforementioned requirements:
- Invoice OCR is done in seconds.
- Service can be integrated into the existing workflow – no additional steps.
- Service that can be continuously learning from your users.
- Service must have an AI engine for each user.
Nonetheless, there is also a developer’s perspective. Every developer wants a service that:
- is easy to use,
- is well documented,
- is scalable,
- is reliable.
What are the options of OCR solutions for ERP?
There are quite a few services for invoice data extraction, but they can be grouped into four types by their extraction model.
- Template systems
- Human-check systems
- Classic AI systems
- Continuously learning AI systems
Template systems have been on the market for quite a time. While they may be applicable in some cases, they are missing flexibility. For every invoice template (layout), areas containing the desired data have to be marked on the document. Your users are the ones that have to do it. Before extracting data from an invoice, a template must be selected. Therefore users have two additional steps in their workflow.
- They must create new templates when they are onboarding a new supplier.
- They must select a template when a new received invoice has been added to the ERP system.
Human-check systems may have an API interface for integration, but at the end of the day, you are outsourcing manual data entry. Besides their cost, those solutions have the following drawbacks:
- The response is slow – up to 72 hours.
- It is not scalable.
- There is an unknown person who is retyping data.
Classic AI system
These systems use the advantages of AI and machine learning. They can reach a quite impressive accuracy after training. The training itself is similar to templates in template systems. With these systems, you don’t need to select a template before data extraction. The training is also done in advance or on special occasions. The response of data extraction is returned in seconds. The main drawbacks are:
- Training is costly – easily reach $10k to onboard a new customer.
- The training process is separated from the business process.
- There may be simple cases on which extraction won’t work correctly.
Continuously learning AI system
The principle of data extraction may be similar to classic AI systems, but there is one huge difference. Continuously learning AI can be integrated into your existing user workflows. It is designed to learn directly from your user’s data and allows you to separate AI engines for each of your customers. That means::
- Users have their data extracted in seconds.
- Users can keep their workflow the same.
- Errors in simple cases are eliminated by continuous learning.
- Every user has an AI engine tailored to their own needs.
Which one to choose?
As you can see, there are many options to choose from. From a client’s perspective, it is evident that the solution for ERP systems is the one supporting continuous learning. What about developers? Your developers will hate you if you decide to integrate a service with lousy documentation. typless was built with all that in mind. Check it out here.