Thursday, February 27, 2014

Press Release: Smart Document Management Software and Alfresco help retailers to automate the tax-free shopping process

Athento has presented a new case study: this time, the subject is the use of Smart Document Management to automate the validation of sales refund checks that have been provided by some retailers.

Many stores, wholesalers and businesses offer foreign citizens a “Tax-Free” shopping service: the option to buy and to be refunded sales taxes such as IVA, VAT, TBW or GST (the different value-added taxes collected by different countries). The method used to refund these taxes to foreign citizens before they return to their countries of origin is the use of checks which can be cashed or processed in airports.

These checks have to be validated before the refund is carried out. Athento can make it possible for those checks to be validated automatically. Once the checks have been processed using document imaging, this validation is carried out using recognition and reading of bar codes or QR codes included in the checks. In addition to validating the tax refund checks, Athento extracts the data contained in the codes and sends this information to other systems.

In the case presented by Athento, once they’re processed, the checks are stored in Alfresco, and the data from the checks are sent to Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

This document validation technique can be applied in many other cases, in which users aim to confirm the veracity of documents and obtain information from them. The advantage of using this mechanism is that it avoids needing manual validation of documents, manual data entry in other business applications; and, additionally (thanks to storage in Alfresco), documents can be kept safely and be accessed 24/7.

According to José Luis de la Rosa, CEO at Athento: “Implementing automatic document validation processes means that clients can reduce the amount of time needed for processes, optimize the resources used with them and, for sure, increase the amount of money they save.”

Bar codes and other codes such as QR codes constitute a simple way that businesses can use in projects for automating processes where documents need to be validated or data need to be extracted. Currently, Athento is able to recognize the majority of standards, including QR codes, Code 39, Code 93, Code 128, EAN 8, EAN 13, UPC_A, UPC_E and PDF417, among others. In addition to extracting metadata by using codes, Athento offers other possibilities like extracting data using textual parameters and zonal OCR.


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