What is the starting point for your business processes? Is it sifting through a filing cabinet for paperwork? Or is it at your document management system, where you can digitally search and retrieve the information that is imperative for your business to function. While this is an acceptable starting point, a good foundation for creating efficient business processes begins with capture automation.
Automation is a word that is thrown around the content management industry all too often. But what does it actually mean, how can it help and is it right for your company? With so many options for automation, it’s hard to understand the full functionality and benefits that come along with it. But in only a few steps, data capture solutions allow your data to be transformed into actionable information, enabling you to make smarter decisions.
Step 1: Data Capture Did you know that 60% of an employee’s time is spent working with documents? From PDF, JPG, CSV, DOC files and more, a variety of multi-formatted documents are opened, edited and filed multiple times a day. By using multi-functional printers and scanners, the ability to process documents and even emails - with or without attachments - can be accomplished in a matter of seconds. Leveraging capture automation tools such as Pattern Matching and Database Lookup Zones makes mining documents for critical data a seamless, stress-free process.
Step 2: The Path of Information Once the documents are captured, it’s time to classify, extract and validate the data. Manual data entry can take days, even weeks, but utilizing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automate the extraction of unstructured and line item data provides a reliable and efficient alternative, freeing up resources for more business critical tasks. Powerful image enhancement tools ensure you get the highest quality extraction from your documents. Once data is extracted, it can be moved through a validation process before being exported in databases and third party software’s. Data capture solutions ensure that your data is accurate while also keeping it compliant, secure, and error free.
Step 3: Organization Now that your data is validated, you can ensure efficient organization. The great part about this is that the tedious administrative task of putting away paper-based files is completely avoided. You determine the order of the captured documents and data to best fit your business’s needs. Checks, Tax Forms, Invoices, Student Records and more are made available to the appropriate people, making the retrieval process simple. This guarantees that each person gets the exact information they’re looking for while also avoiding unwanted viewing of confidential information.
Step 4: Searchability Because the extraction process that was previously mentioned is so thorough, it allows for specific key elements to be pulled. They are then sorted into data fields and users can search for information by name, address, city, phone number and more. This provides the most accurate results and prevents having to dig through mountains of paperwork for small bits of data. Every element in a massive folder of paperwork is at your fingertips in seconds.
Step 5: Data Distribution Once all of your content is properly stored it can then be shared amongst other employees, business applications, and platforms. With data capture solutions the document approval process is much more efficient. Instead of having to travel through the circulation process, data is automatically sent to each department, making the data available that day, within the hour, or whenever your data cycle is complete.
While investing in an ECM platform is a great way to streamline your business processes, data capture solutions can bring you to an even higher level of efficiency by simplifying accuracy and driving consistency. By transforming your documents into workable data, your information will be free of errors, giving you greater visibility into timely decision making and more effective results.