I have an itch that is just getting worse by the month and it is to do with handling increasing volume of timesheets and associated Purchase Order and Invoice errors due to a mixture of sloppiness, miscommunication, too many rate sources etc.
I own and manage a small staff placement employment agency. We mostly supply temp staff to residential care organisations. Due to the nature of the industry timesheets are heavily used. Every week I’m having to point out purchase order and invoice errors to our clients and staff which is only getting worse.
Although I sympathise with some of the causes of these errors, I can’t help but think some automation of the whole timesheet to (purchase order/invoice) generation process will help. It surely will help me a lot. As a tiny company employing someone to do clerical work is a no go at the moment and I can’t help but think that if I am facing this situation then other similar business must be facing it as well.
There are companies providing systems that potentially solve some of these problems however in my experience none of them is suitable as they generally tend to be geared toward much larger businesses with fixed structures and procedures than mine and are particularly not appropriate for the industry we’re in as they’re not flexible enough.
For my own itch, I’m thinking of creating some system that will read scanned pdfs, extract the necessary information some of which will be hand written and use that to generate my invoices.
For those who are in the know what open source solutions or libraries are currently available for handwriting recognition and how challenging will such a project be? I believe some sort of AI/Machine learning will be involved.