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Case study

The challenge

A large, multinational manufacturing conglomerate processed about 80,000 supplier invoices a year. However, massive, error-prone manual tasks and data entry involving multiple application screens made meeting this objective a challenge. To overcome this challenge, the company turned to Cognizant to fully automate its critical accounts payable invoice preparation process.

Our approach

Every invoice submitted for payment has to be validated against data in the client’s SAP application. Before, that meant an analyst manually extracting information from eight different fields in three different applications and following multiple procedures until a unique identification number was generated for use in the system. To address this challenge, our manufacturing automation experts designed a robotic process automation (RPA) solution to automate the entire invoice validation process—from downloading an invoice copy to capturing, validating and updating invoice details in the client’s web application to generating unique identification numbers—and ensure timely payments processing.

If a supplier isn’t in the client’s web application, a bot supports that supplier before uploading the invoice. It also generates exceptions for human intervention if the SAP application is missing a purchase order number. At the end of each day, the bot sends a detailed email report of processed and unprocessed invoices. Further, the bot incorporates reusable features so the client can easily expand automation to other similar processes.



Automation improves the speed, accuracy and compliance of a manufacturer’s supplier payment process

The bot effectively manages the process seven hours a day, seven days a week and sends a detailed daily invoice status report. As a result, the manufacturer’s transactions are 100% accurate and compliant. Thanks to automation, the average handling time per invoice has been slashed by 50%.


transaction accuracy


reduction in average handling time per invoice