The company's need
The Coop Centro Italia Group, an important Italian organization for large-scale retail distribution, wished to implement an automated invoice control process within its information systems.
The company has an information system totally based on iSeries and has acquired over the years a series of solutions (which have become a standard in the retail sector) to cover all business areas.
In particular, the commercial module is based on the application Me.R.Sy (Merchandise Retail System) by Diebold Nixdorf, which allows documents to be checked at the level of the bill of lading.
The Station software provides the ability to compare documents even at the article level, an option that can be activated at any time, if the ERP software is updated with this option.
Station can be used to automate any type of information flow, as the principles of data recognition, disassembly and loading can be applied to any repetitive process performed in the company. Process automation leads to significant benefits in terms of:
- Time saving
- Precision in operations
- Speed in execution
The solution proposed by Arket
1. Document acquisition phase
In COOP Central Italy the supplier invoices are received in different ways:
- Via e-mail
- Via certified e-mail
- Via EDI
- In paper format, they therefore require to be scanned
The Station software is able to monitor all these input channels and:
- Downloads the document from the email
- Acquires documents from folder (if EDI or scan to folder)
- Uploads the documents to the Station database
2. Document recognition phase
After the first acquisition phase, Station proceeds to recognize the document:
- EDI files are always recognized and interpreted by a special template. Station collects both the PDF and the text file in pairs, assigns the document to a group / user on the basis of pre-established rules and generates an XML file to be supplied to Me.R.Sy for automatic registration. The comparison phase will then proceed.
- In the case of other file types, Station searches for the specific template for that specific document, searching among those already mapped. Therefore two situations can occur:
- Station finds the specific template for the document. In this case it assigns the document to a group / user and generates an XML to be supplied to Me.R.Sy for automatic registration. The comparison phase will then proceed.
- Station does not find the template and then starts the Auto-mapping procedure, which is able to identify and extract data from the header and footer of the document.
- If Station manages to carry out the document autmap, it extracts some header data necessary for registration, assigns the document to a group / user and starts a double screen process, which allows the user to view the document received and the relative ERP screen side-by-side on a single screen. The data extracted with the autmap will be automatically uploaded by Station in the ERP, so the user will have to manually enter only the line data. Once the operations are confirmed in the double screen, the registration and printing phase is activated.
- If Station fails to map the document, it will insert it among the discarded documents and the process will come to an end.
3. Automatic comparison phase
Once the XML file provided to Me.R.Sy, Station waits for the outcome of the automatic comparison:
- If the automatic comparison is successful, we move on to the registration and printing phase
- If the automatic comparison detects inconsistencies / errors then the double screen process will be started, indicating precisely where the inconsistency was found.
The double screen process requires the operator to manage the document with the same software that he uses on a daily basis, so the user will only have to make the necessary correction. Once the operations are confirmed in the double screen, the registration and printing phase is activated.
"Receiving a large amount of supplier invoices every day, in heterogeneous paper and digital formats, had become a priority for Coop Centro Italia to streamline the process of checking these documents. Station proved to be the ideal solution for us, able to automate the acquisition, registration and verification of supplier invoices received. In this way we were able to considerably reduce the time spent managing these documents and the number of errors deriving from repetitive manual operations. All this by integrating directly with Me.R.Sy, (Merchandise Retail System), the ERP software specialized for Retail companies and developed by Diebold Nixdorf."
Massimo Lagetti – IT Manager – Coop Centro Italia -www.coopcentroitalia.it