Australian BPO Datatime adopts next-gen intelligent document processing

Pacific Commerce/Datatime has selected TCG Process to replace its legacy systems and provide a path to develop new processes and lines of business. For the past 38 years, Pacific Commerce/Datatime has been a leader in outsourced document management for corporate business, as well as education, health, state and federal government sectors in Australia.

The bulk of its work is around digitising purchase orders, invoices, and other associated business documents, whether as a direct contractor or through a partner. Pacific Commerce/Datatime has made a name doing this for medical organisations, as medical invoices are notoriously complex, and Pacific Commerce/Datatime’s 99.95% accuracy speaks for itself.

Pacific Commerce/Datatime offers a full suite of document management services and uses two different software platforms to execute them. While the current infrastructure was able to handle demand, Pacific Commerce/Datatime found that its dependency on these legacy systems was both costly and restrictive.

For example, any custom processes and automations could only be accomplished through scripting. As Pacific Commerce/Datatime was not in the software business, it didn’t have a deep bench of coding talent to rely on. It had a small team supporting applications and creating scripts for the legacy systems, and an increasing number of templates needed to be set up for each invoice variation.

Adding to this stress was the sheer cost of having to maintain legacy software that was soon to be unsupported by its developers. To upgrade and build out new capacity for growth was going to cost roughly $500K AUD, which is a lot of money to throw at retired software.

THE CHALLENGE: Remaking the present with an eye to the future

Pacific Commerce/Datatime knew it was time for a tech refresh and viewed this as more than a necessary modernisation of its current infrastructure. Many of Pacific Commerce/Datatime’s customers were becoming increasingly interested in digital mailrooms, for example, one of a few growth opportunities the firm had identified.

Pacific Commerce/Datatime already knew it wanted to pare down and move everything it did onto a single software platform, and whatever it chose needed to handle everything already being done, as well as allow the flexibility to develop new processes and lines of business.

Further, Pacific Commerce/Datatime identified the need to have much more agility with changes to existing processes or the creation of a new process.

Having only a few people with specialised knowledge of the software was not a sustainable way to operate; Pacific Commerce/Datatime needed to be able to rely on a solution with a low-code/no-code interface that could be supported by a broad range of internal resources and could be adapted to automate a range of document-driven processes.

Improving STP Rates

Perhaps the biggest challenge of all was to improve straight-through processing (STP) rates. STP occurs when document processing is completely automated, without any human intervention. This isn’t impossible, but Datatime knew that there were two things complicating this:

1. Datatime needed to process thousands of medical invoices for one of the Australian Government’s Health Agencies. The structure of these invoices varies from practitioner to practitioner, and they contain a seemingly endless permutation of billing codes. 70% of the invoices processed by Pacific Commerce/Datatime contain product and service codes, and all need to be looked up or verified. The same is true for POs they process for hospitals.

2. Datatime works seamlessly with its sister company, Pacific Commerce, a global EDI VAN (electronic data interchange, value added network). In short, Pacific Commerce/Datatime performs the work for companies or agencies that still utilise email PDF documents - be it medical invoices, purchase orders or any other type of business-related document. Datatime scans these documents and converts them into a digital file, then “hands” this file to Pacific Commerce. Pacific Commerce, as an EDI VAN, will either upload the file to an ERP and/or software system or manipulate this data into different file formats as required by the client and then upload the file to an ERP and/or software system.

The IDP Solution

After evaluating several intelligent document processing vendors, Pacific Commerce/Datatime selected TCG Process to design a solution and put together a proof of concept. DocProStar (DPS) was the only solution that could address all of Pacific Commerce/Datatime’s concerns.

 DocProStar’s capabilities meant that it could fully replace both of the legacy solutions Pacific Commerce/Datatime was using, while still allowing it to expand into offering new services or flesh out existing ones.

Because of DocProStar’s no-code/low-code set up, creating custom processes and automations was no longer the responsibility of a small team. DocProStar

processes are configured, not scripted, and so any team member with a good idea could go ahead and set it up and test, no specialised knowledge required.

TCG Process’ use of artificial intelligence was another key factor for Pacific Commerce/Datatime. Machine learning allows DocProStar’ efficiency to improve with time, and its superior text recognition capabilities ensure greater accuracy of data capture. The decision was made to carry out the proof of concept using medical invoices; their complexity and lack of structure made them the most challenging to process. If TCG Process could succeed with these documents, using DocProStar for the rest of their business would be a no-brainer.

THE RESULTS: Using DocProStar was the only option

DocProStar delivered on all fronts for Pacific Commerce/Datatime, and the organisation decided to move forward with it to drive its business into the next decade. The BPO is now meeting and often beating a 24-hour SLA set by its corporate clients and government agencies, to the tune of 3,000 documents per day and gearing up to hit 6,000 by the end of the year.

In turn, its Australian Government Health Department client is better able to process invoices with greater efficiency and volume. Pacific Commerce/Datatime has recognised it will be able to double - if not triple – the department’s invoice volume and efficiency now that it is utilising DocProStar.

Providing a service to the Australian Government Health Department requires Pacific Commerce/Datatime to meet and maintain very strict SLAs that include requirements around not just speed but accuracy.

To this end, Pacific Commerce/Datatime requested specialised “button” functionality to save on valuable keystrokes and drive increased accuracy, thereby improving operator performance further. TCG Process’ development team acted on the valuable insight and promptly delivered the extra functionality needed.

Today, DocProStar automatically processes about 30% of Datatime’s documents without any human intervention, a number it is confident will increase following migration of the full volume of medical invoices to the DocProStar solution. This is an excellent number for a company whose primary service is handling all the tasks that couldn’t be automated.

It has also seen a time improvement in processing documents that still require human intervention to validate a minimal number of fields.

Meanwhile, the team has come up with some new ways to expand Pacific Commerce/Datatime’s digital mailroom offering, facilitated by DocProStar’s flexibility.

And since obtaining significant improvements to medical invoice processing, Pacific Commerce/Datatime has begun migrating the full volume of processes off its legacy systems and onto DocProStar.

Contact TCG Process

Tel: +61 2 9060 3727


“TCG Process worked closely with us to develop, in this case, new functionality to improve the automation of our processes. We really appreciated this open and agile approach to partnering with a vendor–our industry IP together with TCG’s automation expertise–to deliver great outcomes to our customers, or in this case, the community.” - Leanne Gomm, Operations Manager at Pacific Commerce/Datatime