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Inter Partner Assistance in Zanzibar Leverages Kofax Intelligent Capture and Exchange to Automate Document Processing

Published 14 January 2010 | By Kofax

Leading emergency services company processes 25,000 documents a month with Kofax Solution.

The situation

Inter Partner Assistance in Zanzibar provides 24-hour emergency international medical, travel, financial and concierge services for individuals and companies. The company employs over 2,500 people around the world. Thousands more, professionals contractors and companies, contract with the company to provide the services its clients require. These contractors bill Inter Partner for these services. Lawyers, travel agencies, auto repair shops all charge the company for services provided to its clients.

The challenge

The invoices for Inter Partner Assistance are mailed paper forms and the forms are as varied as the services that Inter Partner Assistance coordinates. Some are even handwritten. On the client side, Inter Partner Assistance also receives a significant volume of customer correspondence on paper. Fast invoice processing and client response are difficult when the process includes retrieval and sharing of paper documents.

We try to have no desks with paper, said Serge Busain, Information and Communications Technology Manager at Inter Partner Assistance in Brussels. It's just too hard to find paper documents and it takes too long to retrieve them from the archives. Plus, paper documents can only be available to one person at a time.

On the other hand, the dozens of different types of forms received posed a challenge to an electronic document capture system.

The solution

EMD, a Kofax Capture value-added reseller in Leuven, recommended a Kofax Capture-Lotus Notes document capture and workflow system that accelerated invoice and correspondence processing and eliminated lost documents. Kofax Intelligent Capture and Exchange, the foundation for Kofax's strategy to help organisations streamline business processes, was the ideal solution, and included:

  • Kofax Capture, the world’s leading automated information capture platform

We were looking for a capture solution that would allow us to scan and index both documents and forms at a high quality and fidelity level, explained Serge Busain. After EMD showed us a demonstration of Kofax Capture, it was immediately clear to us that we had found the perfect fit.

Documents are scanned on a Xerox 440 Document Center, networked digital copier. EMD wrote a driver for the device that permits the operator to easily select the document type from the device's control panel. They are scanned and saved to a network directory and then imported into Kofax Capture. Approximately 25,000 documents are captured per month.

The list in the copier display matches the document types defined in Kofax Capture. These definitions determine which capture operations Kofax Capture performs on each batch of documents of that type.

Both unstructured correspondence and structured invoice forms undergo image processing as a first step. All documents are deskewed, despeckled and extraneous lines are removed. These steps enhance document image readability and boost OCR accuracy. Operators manually index correspondence by typing in the index values from the document image.

If the batch consists of forms, Kofax Capture identifies them and OCRs the zones set up for the form. Fields captured are: supplier name, invoice date, invoice number and net and gross amounts. If invoices are handwritten, they are indexed manually like correspondence. Many small home repair and car repair vendors submit handwritten invoices. All document indexes are manually validated against the image.

EMD developed a custom Lotus Notes workflow application for Inter Partner Assistance's document users. The reseller integrated their back end with Kofax Capture by developing a custom release script. The application permits authorised users to modify and change the status of documents and it automatically tracks all modifications as well as approvals.

The results

Inter Partner's Serge Busain says the solution has worked so efficiently that he plans to begin electronic capture and workflow for Inter Partner Assistance's legal documents soon.