Data Capture from a PDF File

Client Description:

The shipper is a global hygiene and paper company that develops and produces personal care products, tissues, and packaging solutions.   Sales are conducted in some 100 countries.  Many of the products are subject to regulation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).



  • To make use of data already being generated and printed on internal ProForma Invoices;
  • To augment the information on the ProFormas with information stored in external databases;
  • To eliminate duplicate data entry;
  • To generate the paperwork required by both US Customs and the FDA;
  • To provide a computer readable file to the Broker;
  • To do this in a cost effective and timely manner.


Ability to Provide Data Electronically:

The Client uses the SAP system.  While the data is available inside SAP, the client determined that it would cost between $45,000 and $70,000 to write the routines to pull the data and require 3 to 6 months of lead time.


Solution Implemented:

The EDI-Link - PDF Data Capture

Solution Details:

When the user of the client's SAP system prints their ProForma Invoice, the SAP system automatically generates a PDF file of the forms and emails this file to the EC Dynamics WebServer.

The ProForma Invoices being received do not contain all information required for import into the US.  In this case, the information about the FDA Producer (name, address, registration number, etc.) is not on the forms.  The missing fields are stored in an external database.  As the PDF file is imported, the import process uses the Product code to identify the proper file in the external "FDA Producer" database and "pulls" the missing fields and embeds them into the new shipment record.

The import process contains several edit checks to verify the existence and format of selected fields.  If any required field is missing, the process notifies the user and stops the import process.

When the import process is complete, the user has the ability to review the shipments and print the required forms.  In addition, the EC Dynamics server automatically:

  • Generates a computer readable and importable file.  The file is in the format and delivered in the manner required by each individual recipient;
  • Distributes the data file to the Customs Broker for importing into their ABI system.  This eliminates the redundant data entry.  The Customs Broker reviews the information received.  Once the file is ready, the Broker submits the file to Customs.
  • Emails a copy of the customer's original ProForma Invoice to the Customs Broker.