SAP

Create Sales Orders from PDF/Unstructured Data

Publish Date: August 8, 2022

Whether you sell services or products, a high-performing Order to Cash (OTC) process is needed as part of your Sales and Distribution Module. However, its performance can often be compromised by error-prone manual processes.

Creating orders from unstructured data can be an especially tedious task. Spotting patterns in large amounts of unstructured data and converting them into orderable data for further downstream processes is time-consuming, inefficient, and error-prone. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an automated system that could help you streamline this process?

In the constantly evolving business world, forward-thinking businesses implement SAP sales order processing to streamline the OTC process. Let’s find out why, where, and how O2C need the SAP automation intervention.

Order to Cash Process and Unstructured Data

The Order to Cash process can be defined as the business cycle that includes all the processes starting from the sales order received from the client to collecting accounts of the final product sales. After receiving the orders from the clients, there are other steps associated with the sales order entry, approval, fulfillment, billing, and finally payment collection.

According to experts, Unstructured data will grow exponentially over the years, occupying a whopping 93% of all data by the end of 2022.

Unstructured data is here to stay. And there are several challenges when you want to create sales orders from unstructured data. The order requests received by the internal sales representatives are often attached to the email in the form of images or PDFs. As a result, the sales order has to be created manually in SAP. A manual process leads to several inefficiencies and errors that can be avoided by automating the sales order creation process.

Besides, this conventional approach is quite labor-intensive, and valuable resources need to be engaged for managing each part of the process efficiently. Not only does it take hours to prepare, but a single minor error during the data entry process can affect the consequent process significantly. There are chances that the regulatory frameworks may not be satisfied. As a result, the overall business performance gets affected.

For example, an image might be downloaded from a website where the resolution may not be ideal. More importantly, these files may contain more than one element that needs to be converted into an electronic format. To compound the issue even further, some documents are not structured enough to easily use the available Converter online tool for converting them into ready-intelligible information.

Main challenges associated with manual SAP sales order processing

  • The process is very time-consuming. It needs to be carried out accurately and demands patience.
  • Keying the data accurately into the sales order screen, manually, in SAP is error-prone. Even if it is executed with utmost concentration, an error cannot be avoided.
  • Elimination of custom solution/external tools for extracting unstructured data from pdf files/ images for sales order creation.
  • As client satisfaction is very crucial for businesses, it is always desirable to carry out these operational processes with utmost accuracy. Unwanted errors and delays can create a negative impact.

 

What is the solution?

Within the Order to Cash cycle, there is significant scope for improvement in sales order processing. Automating the process can bring visibility to the process, along with other strategic benefits like cost savings and strengthened client relationships. Instead of manually processing the sales order, there is a need for a unique platform that can help in integrating end-to-end automation of sales order processing with SAP applications.

Automatic Sales Order Creation from Unstructured Data

Sales order creation from unstructured data can be optimized by:

  • Improving the speed and responsiveness so that the process can be completed quicker as well as more efficiently.
  • Reducing the associated operational costs
  • Improving the service with the implementation of the latest technologies

 

SAP offers these benefits to its customers with prebuilt solutions that can help convert the files received in PDF format into sales orders. These solutions can be implemented in the case of both structured and unstructured file data. In advanced cases, bots can also be used in the process.

Creating Sales Order by Automatic Extraction

File Upload

The PDF files containing the sales data are uploaded into the system. It can be a manual or bot operation for the automatic upload of files.

Data Extraction

After the file upload, a sales order request Is created automatically. Shortly after that, you can view the extraction result. This is a crucial aspect as the important values of Sold to Party, Ship to Party, Material, Quantity, etc. are determined in this process. If the data extraction fails, it can be retried.

Creating Sales Order

After data extraction, the sales order request is created and data is validated for issues, once issues are resolved, the sales order request is converted to sales order.

Final Word

Eliminating the manual processes and adopting automation techniques can substantially reduce the time required for sales order processing. Also, SAP applications can help with quick and efficient order processing. Therefore, the ideal solution is to automate the process efficiently, so the manual touch points can be eradicated and businesses can gain a distinguished competitive advantage.

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