How Optical Character Recognition Can Help Overcome Supply Chain Barriers


In today’s competitive global market, businesses need to stay nimble and innovative in order to remain competitive. However, many face challenges when it comes to keeping their supply chain running smoothly. That’s where Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can help! Find out how OCR can be used to eliminate supply chain barriers and make your operations more efficient.

Introduction to Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR is the process of converting printed text into digital data. When applied to supply chain applications, OCR software can be used to automatically read and capture information from documents such as purchase orders, invoices, and manifests. This information can then be transferred into digital systems for further processing and analytics. OCR can help reduce or eliminate errors in manual data entry, and can also speed up document processing times. In some cases, OCR can even be used to automatically generate reports from document data. By automating the collection and digitization of supply chain documents, OCR can help improve efficiency and accuracy throughout the supply chain.

How OCR Helps Overcome Supply Chain Barriers

The barriers to efficient supply chain management are many and varied, but perhaps the most pernicious is the reliance on paper-based documentation. The sheer volume of paperwork generated by the supply chain – purchase orders, invoices, bills of lading, customs declarations, etc. – can be overwhelming, and the manual process of data entry is both time-consuming and error-prone. Optical character recognition (OCR) technology can help to overcome these barriers by digitizing paper documents and extracting the data they contain. This data can then be processed automatically, eliminating the need for manual data entry. OCR can also be used to automate other tasks in the supply chain such as document routing and approvals. The benefits of OCR are not limited to efficiency gains; digitized documents are also easier to store and retrieve, making them less susceptible to loss or damage. In addition, OCR can help to improve compliance with regulatory requirements by providing an auditable trail of all documentation. If you’re looking to streamline your supply chain and improve efficiency, OCR is definitely worth considering.

Benefits of the OCR Technology

OCR technology can help companies to overcome supply chain barriers by automating the process of capturing and converting information from paper documents into digital data. This can help to improve data accuracy and efficiency, and reduce the need for manual data entry. OCR technology can also help companies to manage their supply chain more effectively by providing real-time visibility of inventory levels and order status. This can help to reduce stockouts and optimize production schedules. Additionally, OCR can be used to track shipments throughout the supply chain and monitor delivery times.

Challenges of the OCR Technology

The biggest challenge of the OCR technology is its accuracy. Currently, the average accuracy of OCR technology is only about 95%. This means that there is still a chance for human error when using this technology. Another challenge of OCR technology is its cost. Although the cost of OCR technology has decreased in recent years, it is still more expensive than other methods of data entry, such as manual data entry.

Steps for Implementing OCR in Your Supply Chain Processes

If you’re looking to implement OCR in your supply chain processes, there are a few key steps you’ll need to take. First, you’ll need to identify which documents in your supply chain process can benefit from OCR. Once you’ve identified these documents, you’ll need to choose an OCR solution that meets your specific needs. Once you’ve chosen a solution, you’ll need to implement it across your entire supply chain. With the right OCR solution in place, you can streamline your supply chain processes and overcome many of the barriers that can impede efficiency.

Examples of Companies Using OCR

When it comes to optical character recognition (OCR), there are a variety of ways that the technology can be used to improve supply chain management. Perhaps one of the most obvious applications is using OCR to read and track barcodes. This can help ensure that products are properly inventoried and shipped in a timely manner. Another way that companies are using OCR is to automate the collection of data from invoices and other documents. This can help streamline Accounts Payable processes and improve accuracy by eliminating manual data entry. Additionally, OCR can be used to capture signatures on electronic documents, which can simplify compliance with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley. Still not convinced that OCR can benefit your business? Here are a few examples of companies that have successfully implemented the technology: A major grocery chain uses OCR to automatically scan and track barcodes on products throughout its distribution centers. This has helped the company improve inventory management and reduce out-of-stocks. A large medical device manufacturer uses OCR to capture data from incoming invoices. This has helped the company save time and money by reducing the need for manual data entry. An online retailer uses OCR to collect signatures from customers when they opt for signature confirmation upon delivery. This has helped the company improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that orders are delivered as promised.


Optical Character Recognition is a powerful tool that can help to break down the barriers of the supply chain. By leveraging its accuracy and speed, companies can automate tedious manual processes in order to increase efficiency, reduce costs and make data-driven decisions with confidence. With OCR capabilities becoming more advanced each day, it’s clear that businesses should start investing in this technology now before their competitors have an edge.

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