Corlison / Pearlie White: Increasing Productivity with Canon’s IRISXtract™ - Business Insight - Canon Singapore

    Corlison / Pearlie White:Increasing Productivity with Canon’s IRISXtract™

    What was once a small family business established in 1964, Corlison / Pearlie White is now one of the largest distributors of personal, health care, and home cleaning products that is fully Singaporean-owned.

    With the shift in the way consumers shop, they have greatly invested in expanding their e-commerce capabilities especially in respect to tapping into the growth from an ever growing number of smaller business-to-consumer transactions for their products made via e-commerce websites and e-marketplaces However, the growth in the business was hampered by traditional operational practices that were more suited to fulfilling larger business-to-business transactions.

    Read on as Mr Andy Ong, Managing Director of Corlison / Pearlie White, shares how Canon’s IRISXtract™ has improved their business efficiency in the processing of online transactions since the implementation.

    Before adopting Canon’s IRISXtract™, what were some of the main challenges you faced?

    My company has been around for 56 years now and with that comes its own set of problems. Many of our staff are quite senior and as such, most of them are very used to the “old way” of doing things and are less inclined to changes.

    Previously, the processing of purchase orders on our system was heavily reliant on manual data entry. Our staff had to handle the keying in of transactions, one-by-one, including documents for repeated customer orders, purchase orders, invoices, and more. Often, our orders come in a variety of formats, which further complicated the process. This meant a lot of unnecessary time was spent on high volumes of manual data entry, making them prone to human errors. Every entry typically required up to 3 minutes, no matter the size of the order and transaction, so at the end of the day, we realised it was too unproductive.

    Because of this, our productivity suffered as the business continued to expand with an ever-increasing volume of transactions and a limited number of man-hours. A lot of time was spent not just on data entry, but also on spotting and correcting of errors.

    We also started receiving feedback that our team members wanted to be given more challenging tasks that required a higher level of complexity and challenge. Thus, we knew something needed to be done and changed, in order to keep our employees engaged.

    How did Canon’s IRISXtract™ solve these problems?

    To sum it up, Canon’s IRISXtract™ has been a game-changer for our business on many levels.

    The good thing about using Canon is that it has its own line of hardware and software which are integrated. In our case, Canon’s IRISXtract™ was implemented and configured to fit our business needs, and data extraction became automated and seamlessly integrated with our ERP system. By automating the purchase order process, our workload was significantly reduced. It has managed to boost our productivity by 10-fold as we are now able to process 10 times the number of purchase orders, given the same amount of time used previously. The free-form, full-text approach of Canon’s IRISXtract™ gave us a flexible and template-free solution. The AI-based classification helped to simplify the process of data extraction by identifying certain features and characteristic values that are unique to different types of purchase orders. Indexes are automatically extracted and data is then double-checked using a unique and extensive set of rules in place.

    These unique and customisable features of Canon’s IRISXtract™ have allowed us to process transactions from many platforms in various order formats (structured, unstructured and hybrid forms) — even the small and bulk orders that come in via fax and email. For non-digital purchase orders, all we had to do was to scan the paper orders and data extraction would be completed in seconds, and automatically sorted to the relevant department. With the elimination of manual data entry, it resulted in a 90% reduction in errors with no loss of documents in transit or during processing. Also, no orders were left behind.

    Another feature that has helped improve our efficiency is the scalability of the solution. The implementation of this solution a year ago was definitely timely. Over the years, and especially during this period where most of us have shifted to online shopping, our company has seen a 30% increase in transactions. Because of this, we’re now able to cope with the exponential growth in demands efficiently and smoothly, and document management has become much easier for the team. Everyone adapted to it quickly as they could see how Canon’s IRISXtract™ improved their work processes with the automation and user-friendly interface. In turn, we are able to cope with higher volume orders at lower production costs with the same headcount, which allowed us to achieve a good Return On Investment (ROI) within a year because of the implementation of the solution.

    With all these changes in place, we noticed improved staff productivity and customer service. Our team now primarily scans through each order and acts as quality control for the automatically keyed in data, freeing up their time to analyse data, and to look for ways to improve and communicate with our customers.

    How was your experience when partnering with Canon?

    Overall, our partnership with Canon has been a positive experience right from the start. From the various pre-sale and implementation meetings, Canon’s frontline staff and team members were committed to helping us to tackle, solve and improve our work processes with their solutions. The follow-up support from Canon has been very responsive as well, giving us the ability to reply our customers on the status of their orders promptly and confidently.

    If you would like to find out more about Canon’s IRISXtract™ and how it can be implemented in your organisation for greater work productivity, email our friendly consultants at

    Read more success stories on the various business solutions Canon has provided for our valued customers here.

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