The accounts payable department of the Mayo Clinic, the nation's largest not-for-profit healthcare provider, was drowning in paper and experiencing a backlog of up to 5,000 invoices daily.

The organization's 400,000 vendors all have unique invoice layouts, making optical character recognition applications based on pre-established invoice templates useless. In addition, the Mayo Clinic had added another facility, which was expected to result in a 12% workload increase, and it had targeted a 6% cost reduction.

Brainware offered a solution that could capture data from vendor invoices without requiring templates. Instead, the technology scans e-mailed or scanned hardcopy invoices for vendor-identifying information, such as the purchase order or invoice number. It then extracts 90% to 95% of the information necessary to record the invoices and send out payments. And, says Robin Balliet, Mayo's business coordinator, "It doesn't require our suppliers to change how they invoice us."

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