Deep Learning Converges ERP & DMS
The amount of data involved in legally binding documentation is staggering. Whether it’s a contract for a real estate transaction or a standard agreement for business operations, the documentation often requires extensive, time-consuming data extraction and organization. Traditionally, data from legally binding documents has been stored in and retrieved from Document Management Systems (DMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, as well as Excel spreadsheets. But deep learning technology has increased the efficiency of data management, disrupting existing methods.
DMS and ERP: Functional, But Separate
DMS and ERP may be separate systems, but in order for them to function well, they need to be seamlessly connected. The role of the DMS is to store original documents and contracts in either PDF or image file formats. The ERP system contains the key data and pertinent information from these documents. These two systems require integration and this has traditionally been a manual operation. The usual procedure to get the most critical data from the DMS into the ERP system is to manually read it out from the files in the first system and re-type the information into the second one.
While each of these systems serves an important function when it comes to documents and the legally binding information they contain, their integration with one another can pose problems. Manual extraction of data from documents is time consuming and associated with a high error risk. The interconnectivity of data also poses a threat; if one piece of information is incorrectly typed in the ERP, there are few automated methods to audit and find the correct information. Therefore, if critical data needs to be retrieved, it must be found in the DMS and in the original documents to avoid the risk of grabbing incorrect data.
Consider this scenario: A window breaks in your office building. Not only are you stressed about the situation, but you also find yourself wondering who is legally responsible to fix it – is it you, or the landlord? In order to find out, you must manually search through pages and pages of the original contract, stored in DMS, to find the “contractual repair clause.” Simply looking to ERP would be risky, as the information it contains may not have been correctly inputted, or may even be outdated due to built-in contractual changes which appear over time.
Another large-scale scenario is the new IFRS16/US-GAAP accounting standards that will come into effect by January 2019. Companies will be required to re-evaluate thousands of leases and contracts on or off the balance sheet to comply with the new standards. This will be a painful process and when gathering the necessary data it will be too risky only looking into the ERP system as the data might not be accurate. Again, one will have to go to the source of the data to be sure to procure the correct information. This manual search for data in two separate systems is, of course, inefficient and complicated. That’s where an automated extraction software comes in.
Combining ERP and DMS Functionalities
Technology available today solves the inefficiencies and the error risks rampant within the DMS/ERP setup. An automatic data extraction and storage solution combines the best characteristics of the two systems into one intuitive platform.
The LEVERTON solution bridges the gap between the DMS and the ERP system, such as SAP and others. New documentation, such as leases or real estate contracts, are fed into the platform and undergoes automated data extraction. The extracted, legally binding information is then passed on to the ERP system and updated automatically. This reduces the error risk associated with manually typing DMS-sourced information into an Excel spreadsheet or ERP.
It is one platform facilitating the interconnection of legally binding data and extracted information. Data from the original document can easily be found with direct linking from the data point to the data source – or in other words: all information within the ERP system is directly linked to its original source within the document in the DMS. Extensive search for the right paragraph in a contract is replaced by a single click on a link.
Best of all, information is always kept up-to-date through a real-time connection via an API between LEVERTON and the ERP system. The software helps companies run analysis and reports on complete and accurate data and makes it easy to comply with regulatory changes such as the new lease accounting standards. With the use of Deep Learning technologies, data and document management can now move into the much-needed future and manual data search is now a thing of the past.