Logistics transformation at a renewable energy provider

Energy & Utilities

A custom-built, cloud-based Deep Learning solution that extracts data from paper-based receipts, was used to automate the client’s manual Order to Cash process. A phased approach set up the client for 3X growth without the corresponding need to add resources.


  • Leading supplier of timber & biomass products in North America and Europe
  • Provides seamless transactions from inception to delivery
  • Offer door-to-door delivery via truck, railroad and barge

Business Challenge

  • Client provides door-to-door delivery of timber and biomass products
  • Manage logistics from inception to delivery, including sourcing, procurement, carrier logistics, tracking, billing, etc
  • Was finding it difficult to keep up with the complexities involved in handling nearly 1000 truck shipments per month, primarily via phone, email and manual billing
  • Expected to grow to approx. 3000 truck shipments per month by 2022
  • Had to manage challenges in finding and training back office resources to keep up with increasing workload

Our Approach

  • We commenced with discussing client’s mid-term expansion goals with leadership team
  • We then mapped out current as-is process and identified gaps, in order to address immediate workload needs
  • In the first phase, we setup Deep-learning based OCR to recognize and extract structured data from paper-based receipts to eliminate manual data entry
  • We connected Contracts, Orders, Shipments, Scale Tickets and Invoicing together in an integrated cloud-based custom-built platform that greatly reduced emails and phone calls to source raw material, obtain supplier forecasts, schedule trucks, send invoices, etc
  • Additionally, we also laid out a phased approach to distribute workload away from the client to some of the suppliers, carriers and truck drivers (while identifying means to incentivize these additional parties)


  • Administrative workload reduction from ~25 hours per week to less than 15 mins per week
  • Created ability to capture meta-data on transactions that will allow additional big-data analytics

Key Takeaways

Our team custom-built a deep learning based cloud platform to perform data extraction from paper-based receipts. This allowed us to automate a large part of the client’s Orders to Cash process. We developed a roadmap to allow the client to scale 3X without hiring additional back office resources. The extracted data has also provided the ability to optimize sourcing, pricing, procurement, distribution and routing.

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