At some point in our professional lives, we’ve all been approached by companies who sell a product or provide a service that we need. They’ve caught us at the right place and the right time and we think “that’s brilliant”.

However, before progressing further, there is always that lingering question…”how much does it cost!?”

For service and solutions delivery, it is impossible to provide an out and out cost before knowing some basic requirements. From our experience, a fear of the unknown and a lack of information cause organisations to shy away from an electronic data capture solution that can potentially make their life easier. Here is a guide…

One off cost

All our electronic data capture costs are a one off investment bar paying an annual support and maintenance fee, which is only optional.

The initial investment looks heavy on face value, so let’s break it down:

Paper data capture

If a paper data capture solution is being considered i.e. a scanning toolkit that will digitise paper documents and extract necessary data from it, the following need to be considered:

  • Design of questionnaire and/or set up of document
  • Quantity of documents that need scanning either periodically (if an on-going project) or total documents for a one off project.
  • Installation of software on site, if not a bureau service. An onsite install is where you do the scanning and extraction at your headquarters and a bureau is us doing it here and sending the data back periodically.
  • Setting up the data management infrastructure, if installed at site.
  • Setting up logistics, if a bureau service.
  • Training in how to use the software, if installed at site.
  • Support and maintenance (optional)
  • Data analysis (optional). Usually organisations prefer to perform analysis themselves.

Additional consideration for mobile, kiosk, tablet, digital pen and web-based data capture

  • Cost of device (unless the organisation already has the necessary hardware).
  • Cost of software installation on device, unless browser based.

Aside from 7 and 8, all are a one off cost. If you are considering any form of an electronic data capture toolkit, it is likely to be because, at present, laborious, error-prone and time-consuming methods such as manual data entry and physical paper storage are used to run a process or activity within a department or organisation wide. Organisations need something that works faster, specifically; data made available quicker, documents retrievable faster, a visible audit trail and so forth.  These are all essential, in order to remain competitive.

From experience, when people hear the cost, they become reluctant to invest and prefer to continue with manual methods. This is totally understandable because it is our responsibility to inform organisations of the benefits they’re reaping as a result of their investment. Specifically:

Multiple project deployment

Once you have invested, you are saved from a lifetime of performing manual and menial methods of data capture. You may run multiple, unlimited amount of data capture projects, concurrently. The one-off investment means a lifetime of cost and time savings from performing manual administrative tasks, delay in retrieving paper from messy file cabinets and no more manual data entry. Data will flow through departments quickly, seamlessly and accurately and employees are able to use the saved time with more productive tasks.  Your organisation has become efficient, giving you a competitive advantage, increased customer satisfaction and retention. Click here to read about a real-life example. Although, the example is from a niche area of clinical research, the underlying concept is translatable in any field.

Moreover, with us, software updates are free and our competent team of trouble-shooters are on hand to assist with any issues.

Business Growth and Increased Margins

The result of employing intelligent data capture techniques is business growth. If you’re able to run projects simultaneously with fewer costs, you’re increasing your profit margin, which facilitates business growth.

Organisations in the area of research (of any type) can bring forward new ideas quicker, other organisation can bring products to the market faster and, overall, organisations can take on more work and turn it around quicker, requiring fewer resources to do so. A successful organisation is one that is built on a stable and scalable infrastructure.

Improve overall accuracy

Living in the information age means it is imperative to maintain accurate data collection and analysis techniques that can measure performance and activity. Bad practice is quickly highlighted by customers and its visibility spreads fast across social media and drives down business productivity. Furthermore, the same applies in highlighting internal bad practise that may be hampering an organisation.

Customer satisfaction

An efficiently run organisation can deliver more value to their customers and that’s priceless! The more satisfied customers you have, the more advocates there are who will speak good of your business. This concept is applicable in both B2B and B2C markets.

Do not think off an electronic data capture solution as an unnecessary cost, consider it a new and upgraded vehicle that will drive your business to greater heights.

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