Today’s data capture needs

In the present day, organisations are spending large amounts of time processing, indexing and archiving paper documents. There is a huge need to go electronic, simply because it will speed up the entire process from capturing and storing documents to retrieving them.

Every employee in each department of an organisation captures business documents. These documents feed a business process. A truly valuable electronic capture tool must be easy to use and handle and resultantly increase the accuracy and speed of a business process.

Furthermore, capturing documents and data at the point to which it originates is pivotal. This is because it reduces the costs of logistics, reduces the time to process, streamlines business processes and, the most important factor, and allows an organisation to provide better customer service.

Finally, an electronic capture system must be able to distribute documents throughout an organisation seamlessly, including being able to capture documents in large volumes and of different types.

Manual archiving

It does not take much imagination to acknowledge the obvious disadvantages of manual archiving: it is time-consuming, prone to errors in indexing and taxonomising, takes up physical storage space, increases physical storage costs and becomes increasingly difficult to retrieve documents as paper piles up.

Digital archiving- who is it for?

If your organisation or department meet any of the following criteria, digital archiving is something you should definitely be considering:

  • Process large amounts of documents.
  • Requirement to store documents as and when they come in.
  • Have a need to process documents automatically, with little effort and training.
  • Essentially want to remove paper filing cabinets and want easy and fast access to documents.

The solution

The solution is simple, yet effective. Scan all paper documents into digital formats (PDF, PDF/A and more) that are full-text searchable, retain your paper equivalent folder structure and file name and are suited for long term storage.

Intelligent capture

Organisations that digitally capture documents may still be manually entering them into their system. A typical scenario is an organisation digitising paper thereby proceeding to manually enter data from the digital copy to a system.

This is highly inefficient use of one’s time and does not make full use of the capabilities of digital archiving. An intelligent digital archiving solution not only digitises documents but intelligent extracts and stores the relevant data from each document.

Many organisations are aware of simple scanning and archiving but lesser known is the intelligent data capture element.

Example case study 1: invoice processing

The challenges

  • Error reduction from manual data entry
  • Reduce long invoice cycle times
  • Improve quality
  • Increase visibility of process
  • Need for better reporting
  • Benefiting from payment discounts

Invoice workflow

  • Invoices from all sources centralised and verified.
  • Legal conformity checks
  • Business unit matching
  • Data validated
  • Purchase order matching
  • Line item extracted
  • Invoices digitally stored
  • Data exported to financial system

The benefits

  • Invoice captured from where it originates
  • Process transparency
  • Increased data quality
  • Quicker payments
  • Regulatory compliance adhered to
  • Increase budget and expense visibility and control

Example case study 2: digital mailroom

The challenges

  • Manual processing is slow
  • Errors negatively impact business process and customer satisfaction
  • Time intensive
  • Lack of visibility and transparency
  • Customers want a response ASAP

Digital mailroom workflow

  • All incoming communication amalgamated into one central processing system
  • Documents classified e.g. customer complaint or enquiry
  • Contents of document classified.
  • Data extracted and validated.
  • Documents and data digitally stored and routed automatically to relevant system/department

 

The benefits

  • Faster decision making
  • Better customer satisfaction
  • Greater visibility and transparency
  • Cost reduction
  • Increased productivity

Concluding points

An intelligent digital data capture and archiving solution will entirely speed up a business process. Only two examples were given here, this can extend to managing documents in any industry:

  • Banking: Mortgage and loan applications, fraud checks and records management
  • Legal: Case and records management
  • Insurance: Claims management
  • Private sector: Records management, application forms
  • Health and public: Records management

The overarching benefits derived from automation include cost savings, better use of time and, arguably the most important, better delivery of customer service – unequivocally essential in the current competitive business climate.