fun things to do with BizTalk - #1

#1. streamline the processing of paper forms you can't totally eradicate yet

The paperless office. Remember that? We're still working on it. And sometimes there are paper forms that you can't get rid of just yet. For a variety of reasons. Some legal. Some practical.

One example I've seen is a large manufacturing company who gets 70,000 Proof Of Delivery forms each month. Traditionally they would receive them, then someone would make a note that it had been received, and they would be archived in boxes somewhere offsite in storage. Which is all fine until a customer disputes an invoice and says they didn't receive the goods sometime in the future and then you have to retrieve the POD. If you can. Sometimes they get lost. Usually they take several weeks to retrieve. Which mean you have outstanding receivables.

A solution:

When the PODs come in, run them through a high-speed scanner. OCR the data. Pass the data and the jpeg of the document to BizTalk. It can update a field in your ERP to note the receipt of the POD against the original order. It can also place the jpeg into a SQL database for future retrieval via an intranet portal in case of dispute.

The benefits? Less chance of losing the PODs after they come in. Faster retrieval of the POD in cases of dispute, which means faster turn around of outstanding accounts receivables. Using BizTalk to update your ERP means less human data entry, which lowers ongoing operating costs and lowers error rates, providing better data integrity. I've seen solutions like this literally save companies millions each year. The cost to deploy it should be well under $250K.