Travelit Clears Their Backlog of 70k+ Invoices in 1 Week

May 30, 2023
6 mins read
Travelit Clears Their Backlog of 70k+ Invoices in 1 Week
    Together with Veryfi’s technology and ours, we made something truly amazing.
    Mina Meyers, Product owner for OCR and finance solutions, Travelit
    Challenge: Manual invoicing
    Solution: Veryfi OCR API Platform
    Result: 70k+ backlog cleared

    About Travelit

    Travelit, based in South Africa, is an innovative online solution for travel and expense management. Supported by industry experts with extensive knowledge and technological expertise, Travelit has transformed the way travel requests and bookings are made.

    Originally focused on travel services, Travelit streamlined the process by consolidating content from multiple providers. This made it effortless for travelers to choose the best options available. Their initial target was corporate travel, allowing business employees to book and approve travel arrangements while adhering to ERP system approval procedures. As they grew, Travelit expanded their services to include rewards and leisure systems, as well as expense management and procurement tools.

    Mina Meyers, the product owner for Travelit’s OCR and finance solutions, wholeheartedly believes in their integration capabilities. “We do integrations. That’s what we do,” she confidently states. Travelit acts as the payment intermediary for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers, assuming the role of either a merchant or a payment gateway.

    Travelit simplifies and enhances the travel and expense management experience. With their commitment to integration and industry expertise, they have established themselves as a reliable and efficient solution for businesses and travelers alike.

    Challenge: Thousands of Suppliers Means Thousands of Invoices

    We needed to automate the invoices coming through us and to us and get a solution in place.

    When Meyers reached out to Veryfi, Travelit faced a sudden surge in purchase volume brought about by the post-pandemic travel boom and the launch of their rewards program. As a result, they had to reconcile hundreds of thousands of additional transactions with their corresponding invoices. The process of processing invoices was arduous, involving the assignment of individuals to handle folders of invoices, manual matching of purchase orders, and navigating multiple systems to gather extracted data. Manual work proved to be an expensive bottleneck.

    • Slow Time to Cash: Travelit experienced delays in receiving payments, which put them in a difficult position of shouldering the payment responsibility.
    • Low Team Morale: Team members felt overwhelmed upon logging into work and encountering a queue of over 70,000 items. Their days were consumed by manual invoice processing, with each invoice requiring a minimum of 5 minutes to handle. Multiplying this by the vast number of invoices, exceeding 70,000, it would take approximately 5,833 hours to clear the queue. This heavy workload significantly impacted team morale.
    • Tedious Bill Processing Experience for Clients: Processing bills using systems like SAP, Oracle, or J.D. Edwards proved to be an unpleasant experience for clients. They had to create purchase orders, validate them, ensure they met specific criteria or surpassed their invoice tolerance, and then pass them along to another person for further review.

    The Limitations of Invoice Templates

    When Travelit began exploring vendor options, they initially turned to a widely-used template-based solution employed by their sister company. As Meyers explained, however, “Despite its long-standing usage, it failed to deliver the automation results we were expecting.”

    Dealing with a multitude of global suppliers introduced a challenge: each supplier had invoices in distinct formats. With thousands of suppliers utilizing unique forms, relying on template solutions proved ineffective.

    Stop manually entering data! Upload a document here for free and see results now.

    Why Building In-House Was Not an Option

    We would have spent years reaching this point, whereas utilizing Veryfi’s API enabled us to achieve our goals in a matter of weeks. We did explore other providers, but ultimately, we preferred Veryfi.

    In addition to considering template-based solutions, Travelit contemplated developing an in-house solution, considering their expertise in integration. They recognized, however, their own strengths and limitations. They faced a choice: either dedicate internal resources and invest years in developing a functioning solution, or opt for Veryfi’s prebuilt solution, which leveraged years of AI learning and offered the necessary functionality for immediate implementation. The decision was made in favor of Veryfi.

    Deciding between buying an OCR solution or building your own? Here’s a look at the building process.

    Solution: Seamless Integration and Rapid ROI

    Travelit first encountered Veryfi when they began using the Expense Management App to solely capture receipts, particularly for travel expenses like restaurant bills. Realizing the immense potential, they made the strategic decision to integrate Veryfi’s OCR API Platform solution into their invoice payment process. Travelit specifically sought to harness the machine learning capabilities that were lacking in alternative vendors. By doing so, they aimed to unlock greater efficiencies and drive tangible returns on investment in a short period of time.

    Why Travelit Embraces the Veryfi OCR API Platform

    The integration process was completed in under two weeks, and according to Meyers, it was “remarkably straightforward, fast, and effortless.” Travelit holds a deep appreciation for the Veryfi OCR API Platform for numerous reasons. Firstly, they love the fact that it provides a JSON response, which they find extremely compatible and seamless to work with. Additionally, the documentation provided by Veryfi was excellent, leaving no room for guesswork. Armed with the necessary API keys, Travelit was able to swiftly implement the solution without any hindrances. They were thrilled to embark on this journey and quickly realized the benefits it brought to their operations.

    Results: Igniting Business Growth

    “The results have surpassed all my expectations!” says Meyers.  Processing invoices is now “so ridiculously quick and easy.” With the newfound efficiency and streamlined invoicing process, Travelit is positioned to scale their operations and expand their business offerings, confidently embracing new opportunities for growth.

    • Enhanced time-to-cash: Invoices are promptly reconciled, leading to expedited payments and improved cash flow.
    • Boosted team morale: Productivity has skyrocketed, with invoices being processed promptly, eliminating any backlog or queue.
    • Time as a valuable asset: No longer burdened with extensive data entry tasks, the team can allocate their time towards more impactful activities, such as actively pursuing outstanding bills from suppliers.
    • Exemplary client experience: Travelit has seamlessly integrated with numerous key clients, delivering invoice data in a format that perfectly suits their processing needs.

    With these remarkable outcomes, Travelit is experiencing a renewed focus on business growth, benefiting from streamlined processes, empowered teams, and satisfied clients.

    Immediate Results Achieved

    Travelit successfully implemented the Veryfi OCR API Platform in under two weeks, marking a swift and efficient integration process. They were able to swiftly address the daunting task of processing over 70,000 invoices in just a little over one week. Currently, processing invoices has become a simple and seamless task, with Travelit efficiently clearing their queue on a daily basis. The immediate impact of this implementation has propelled Travelit towards enhanced productivity and smoother operations.

    Real-Time Invoice Reconciliation Unleashes Travelit’s Potential

    The Travelit team has successfully freed themselves from the burden of manual work. “We have accomplished something I never thought possible,” remarks Meyers. “We have reached a point where we are eagerly awaiting invoices. Our backlog has been completely cleared. Previously, we had over 70,000 invoices scattered across various queues that needed resolution before we could proceed with our earned service. Now, we can proudly say that our queues are empty, and we have overcome this obstacle.” This remarkable transformation in real-time invoice reconciliation has unlocked Travelit’s true potential, enabling them to operate with unprecedented efficiency and agility.

    Strengthening Vendor Relationships through Streamlined Automation

    Travelit seamlessly incorporated this newfound automation into their vendor relationships, allowing their valued partners to directly submit invoices through their service. This integration ensures effortless consolidation of these invoices with other managed invoices and purchase orders, creating a harmonized and streamlined process for all parties involved. By facilitating smooth collaboration and efficient invoice management, Travelit enhances their vendor relationships and optimizes overall operations.

    Effortless Data Extraction from Email and Regular Mail

    While large vendors seamlessly submit invoices through integrated channels, Travelit also caters to small vendors like guest houses who prefer sending invoices via email or regular mail. These invoices, conveniently received as PDFs, undergo swift processing, validation, and prompt payment to the suppliers.

    With invoice and payment processing now streamlined and automated, Travelit can divert their attention to business expansion. Their next strategic move involves incorporating Veryfi Lens into their solution, empowering clients to effortlessly scan receipts and other travel expense documents. This seamless integration will further enhance Travelit’s offering, delivering an enhanced user experience and enabling clients to easily manage their travel expenses.

    Embracing the Future: Insights into Travel Industry Trends

    Highlighting one significant transformation, Meyers reveals, “A major shift we’ve witnessed is the (re)emergence of travel as a reward. While banks have long offered it as an option, its prominence wasn’t as pronounced. After enduring prolonged periods of confinement, however, travel has become the ultimate incentive. In response to this trend, we have already secured partnerships with numerous potential reward partners who are eager to leverage our solution, enabling them to offer travel as a compelling incentive to their customers. The demand for this offering is rapidly growing, and we are excited to meet it head-on.”

    Process your docs in less time than it takes to read this.

    See for yourself.