31st October 2016 Posted by David Chescoe

Is it time to upgrade your Document Capture System?

Smarter technology has now changed the way we do business – enabling you to do more than ever, so is it time to upgrade your document capture system?

Document Capture SolutionsSince the introduction of document scanning systems in the early 2000’s, many companies have invested in solutions that feed line-of-business systems with essential document data needed for day-to-day business operations.

Since these initial investments over ten years ago, the world of commercial business has moved on dramatically, with new horizons being reached through the rapid development of technology.   Many organisations are now reviewing their existing Document Capture systems not least because of the increase in electronic inbound traffic and the high levels of automation that are now possible.

Here are some of the reasons why it could be time to review the current system and realise greater efficiencies.

The Process

Shortly after the turn of the century, or the new Millennium, scanning paper documents was ‘the thing to do’.  Paper was everywhere, in filing cabinets, on desks and in expensive, external storage.  By digitising this paper, or at least the on-coming rush of new paper, firms found they could eliminate the need for further storage, saving on office space and therefore costs. In addition, the electronic records could be searched for and retrieved so much faster now that Document Management systems had become available.  This whole era was focused on ‘Scan to Archive’ once the paper copy had been used, and it had a powerful return on investment.

More recently there has been the demand to scan or capture documents as soon as they enter the business. By applying business rules to each document received, this not only gave greater transparency for the documents reaching an organisation, but this ‘up-front’ scanning could also start a business process.  Essentially, this eliminated the need to work from paper but instead use the digital information on-screen.  This phase of development was known as ‘Scan or Capture to Process’ and was a major reason for many firms extending their use of data capture.

The Technology

Interestingly, despite the technology being available, very little use was made of Optical Character Recognition (OCR).  OCR offered the power to lift data from a form or document and load it as information into a business system without the need for keying.

More recently, and especially with the advent of incoming electronic documents such as PDF’s, more use is now being made of OCR to take information from one electronic place and move it to another electronic place where it can be used immediately.

It is not uncommon now to see batches of PDF’s being received, OCR’d and validated such that all the key data is captured and then processed – without a single member of staff being involved.

Not only have the early systems been upgraded to capture new electronic documents as well as paper, but the technology powering these systems has moved forward in leaps and bounds to give greater reliability and automation to business processes whilst reducing costs across the enterprise.

Whilst scanning is still essential for documents that originate in paper form, electronic data types are also rapidly expanding beyond straightforward PDF’s.

There are now a multitude of portable, mobile and tablet devices out there that capture data in the field and need to pass it back to the office for processing.  Leading capture systems must be able to capture documents and data from multi-channel sources, now including emails and attachments.

A popular example is the Email Importer. Organisations with growing volumes of customer and supplier communication are experiencing a 70% increase in email traffic from their trading partners year on year. In addition, fax traffic refuses to die away completely and also needs to be handled. The ability to respond and act quickly to all channels of communication is key to improved customer service and a positive supplier experience.

Multi-channel capture capabilities enable organisations to automatically trigger business processes upon receipt of a document with little or no manual interaction. The headline benefits include:

  • Increased processing efficiency
  • Improved customer experience
  • Higher data accuracy
  • Faster response times
  • Reduced costs of operation
Increased Business Efficiency, Higher User Productivity and Lower Cost of Ownership

Todays’ Document Capture systems offer far greater advantages with the aim of eliminating or reducing the manual effort involved in driving line of business applications.

Capturing email, fax and other documents received in files, shares or through web services as soon as they enter the organisation, turning them into actionable digital information, and routing that information to workflows, processes and applications is the key to automating document driven business processes and achieving operational excellence with sustainable cost reductions.

If your document capture system is not delivering what your business needs or if you would like to look at the options, please contact AAC Systems on 01628 421569 or use the form on our ‘Contact Us’ page.

AAC Systems ONE St. Peter’s Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7QU . Telephone 0800 955 3315. Click here to email us ›