Case Studies and Success Stories



The Challenge

ABB’s Connecticut office was experiencing long turnaround times to research replacement parts for its customers resulting in poor customer service and lost revenue.  When client equipment is down, it not only interrupts their business operation but can also be a safety hazard.

ABB is a worldwide leading manufacturer of installed industrial power plants such as boilers and steam generators. A Bill of Materials (BOM) is a parts of the raw materials of all the components of a device.  This collection of paper BOMs were 60-years-old and recorded in over 100 formats, handwritten, and on various types of paper stock and color. The vellum and blue colored paper were especially challenging to create sharp images.  When a client called for a replacement part, a service representative had to sort through warehouse files looking for the correct BOM. This took on average 7-10 days and resulted in many clients to source replacement parts from competitors.  If they could find the part at all.

To solve this issue, an enterprise-wide parts management system was developed. When a client called, a service representative could  instantaneously search the BOM data on a line item basis then view an image of the original BOM.

All that was missing was the usable, editable line item data to search and PDF images of the original BOMs.

sample bom

Our Solution

Before meaningful data extraction and capture could occur from the paper BOMs, ILM developed a system that identified and classified the documents during the scanning process.  With images classified, OCR with human verification of the images produced a 99.95% accurate datafile that could be uploaded to ABB’s parts management database.  Intensive Quality Assurance was required performing an image to source then data to image comparison to ensure that all of the data fields were being captured correctly.  By the end of the project, many of our data capture operators could recite parts numbers from boilers and heat exchangers!

The Results

With accurate data and images populating the parts database system, service representatives reduced turn-around time from 7 days to 20 minutes.  ABB increased revenue by $2 – $3 million and massively increased customer satisfaction and retention.


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