How to automate unstructured transactional documents

Businesses around the world are feeling the effects of the global supply chain disruption. One of the challenges facing purchasing departments is that suppliers are providing multiple order confirmations for each purchase order. This results in a dramatic increase in order confirmations that need to be processed. Unlike invoices, order confirmations are typically unstructured documents.


Unstructured documents are not suitable for solutions such as RPA or traditional OCR as they struggle to extract the necessary data. As a result, purchasing departments need to implement intelligent process automation tools to future-proof their business processes.

The Netfira Platform uses artificial intelligence to extract data from order confirmations. After extraction, the Platform compares and validates the information with the corresponding purchase order. This workflow automation is crucial to the procure to pay process. The benefits can be seen through the Netfira Platform’s implementation at Zentis who automatically process orders into SAP.

The challenge with automating unstructured documents

The basis for successful document automation is data accuracy. Read hear about how to improve data quality in procurement. Automation of document workflows can only be achieved if there is no need for manual correction after data extraction.
For many document types, where data is structured and fits within predictable templates, reliable data extraction is easy to achieve. However, many documents within a business process do not meet this criteria and contain data that is largely unstructured. As a result many purchasing managers face a backlog of order confirmation emails with no way to automate the data extraction of these complex documents.

The challenge with processing unstructured documents

Intelligent data extraction alone can help businesses digitise their processes. Automation, however, requires the software to not only extract but also understand, compare and validate the data. This level of automation means users only need to be involved when discrepancies occur and action is needed. The Netfira Platform is an intelligent document automation solution that is proven to reliably processes unstructured documents such as order confirmations.

How the business logic of the Netfira Platform enables a high degree of automation

When dealing with document workflows in the P2P process it is important to account for discrepancies and variations in the data. These variations are common with order confirmations because details often change throughout the process. The Netfira Platform is equipped with intelligent business logic that allows it to handle inconsistencies found in order confirmations.

How Zentis automates order confirmations with the Netfira Platform

Zentis GmbH is known, among other things, for its chocolate and marzipan specialities, quality jams, jellies and sweet creams. Procurement establishes itself as a resilient innovation driver by using the Netfira Platform to automate the processing of purchase order confirmations. This intelligent document processing reduces the manual workload in procurement and allows more time for value-adding tasks.

Zentis Case Study

Learn about the process and benefits of automating your procurement processes

Automated transactional documents

Automating order confirmations without deviations

The purchasing department of Zentis creates the order in its ERP system and sends it to the supplier. At the same time, the data is sent to the Netfira Platform. The supplier then creates the order confirmation and sends the document to Zentis by e-mail. This e-mail address is linked directly to the Netfira Platform.

The Platform automatically extracts data from transactional emails and compares it with the purchase order. If the confirmation matches the order, the information is entered in the buyer’s ERP system automatically. The confirmation is then archived in the system. The Netfira Platform allows Zentis to achieve nearly 100% automatic processing of order confirmations where there is no deviation.

Order confirmations with deviations

Deviations can be identified quickly and easily in the familiar ERP environment. The Platform directs the buyer directly to parameters that need to be checked. The structured and standardised process for handling deviations saves the purchasing department time and reduces stress in the approval process.
For checking and clarifying the deviations, the buyer has a variety of processing options directly in the system. These are based on the logic of data conversion, the definition of tolerances and data enrichment.

Benefits of automating order confirmations

The time saved in the procurement team through the automation of order confirmations is significant. The cloud-based solution accelerates the approval process and reduces the risk of human error. Analogue checks of documents and items are no longer necessary, significantly reducing the manual workload required.

As a result, the procurement department has more time to concentrate on more essential and value-adding tasks. Furthermore, purchasing can handle the increased volume of order confirmations brought about by the shipping crisis and the shortage of materials.

Automate unstructured transactional documents with the Netfira Platform

The recent supply chain disruptions have impacted procurement profoundly. The growing number of purchase order confirmations can hardly be processed manually anymore. Buyers need to employ procurement automation solutions to remain in control of their workload and increase productivity. Therefore, the automated processing of purchase order confirmations becomes an increasingly urgent matter.

The Netfira Platform enables a high degree of automation and reduces manual workload almost wholly. The Netfira Platform has a proven track record for automating order confirmations effectively, and the software’s implementation at Zentis demonstrates this.