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Don’t let PDF Acknowledgments Slow You Down

Nadav Ullman
by Nadav Ullman
Feb 17, 2023

 Your buying team creates a purchase order in your ERP, and then they email out the purchase order to the supplier. Next, your supplier acknowledges that email by emailing you a separate PDF that was generated by their own system.


Furthermore, your team has to manually compare your original purchase order document to the supplier’s acknowledgement to determine if there are any requested changes or exceptions. Finally, the buying team must manually key in any updates back into your ERP to reconcile changes for accuracy, accounting, and visibility purposes.


Does this tedious process sound familiar to you?


The Issues with Manual PO Tracking

The problem with a buying team spending such an immense amount of manual time on tedious tasks is the following:

  1. Impact: When bogged down by repetitive data entry tasks, buyers are prevented from being able to do any strategic or innovative work - where they could be adding the most impact.   
  2. Happiness: The all-day, constant barrage of processing PO acknowledgments and PDFs is simply not fulfilling nor productive. This leads to issues with both retention and recruiting in an already tough labor market.
  3. Data integrity: Humans make mistakes. Relying on people to analyze documents and manually input updates, especially critical information that directly impacts your company’s spend, is a recipe for lossy and inaccurate data.
  4. Cost: Ultimately, if you operate and manage direct spend, it’s highly costly and inefficient to rely on people to process every single purchase order.


How To Solve this Problem with Leverage

With Leverage’s automated platform, the key to solving this problem is twofold:

  1. Automate document analysis and ERP data entry  
  2. Focus your buyer’s time on the strategic decisions that need to be made


When a supplier sends over a PDF or CSV document, Leverage uses AI to automatically parse the document and identify if the supplier is acknowledging your purchase orders or requesting a change.


If the supplier is acknowledging your PO, our integration into your ERP automatically updates the PO status to ‘Acknowledged’. No human touch required.  



If the supplier’s document contains a change request, your team is presented with an easy dashboard to view what changes the supplier requested (i.e unit cost, quantity, promise date). From this dashboard, they can choose to Accept, Reject, or Counter-Offer the proposed change on the PO with the click of a button. Once the PO is accepted by a buyer, Leverage will auto-update your ERP and your supplier with the latest data. 


This dashboard can be configured in your settings page to help your team further focus their time. The small changes (e.g. +/- 1 day on delivery) can be automatically processed via Exception Thresholds. This means your buyers spend their time on the major changes to prices and dates, and your data remains accurate in real-time.


Benefits of Automating PDF Acknowledgements

  1. Massive ROI: By automating the manual work of tracking and processing PDFs, chasing down suppliers for updates, and keeping your ERP reconciled, our customers typically see an ROI of 11x in the first year alone.
  2. Supercharged team: Empower your team to spend their time solving strategic problems, not just performing manual data entry. As your POs scale, your headcount won’t need to.
  3. 100% Supplier Adoption: In the ideal world, would all of your suppliers remember to log-on to the same vendor portal and update your purchase orders? Of course.  In practice, that’s much more challenging.. With Leverage’s AI-driven PDF parsing technology that operates in the background, you will get 100% supplier adoption, without any behavior or workflow changes on their end.  


Leverage’s automation doesn’t stop at the acknowledgement either. From automated open order reports, lead time follow-ups, to ASN (Advanced Shipping Notice and BOL (Bill of Lading) collection, our technology provides supply chain teams with fully automated end-to-end purchase order visibility.


Want to know what your ROI would be if you automated your purchase order workflow? Schedule a call today.

Nadav Ullman
Post by Nadav Ullman
Entrepreneur, Investor | Forbes 30 Under 30