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5 Ways to Use Intelligent Capture to Get All Those Chaotic Incoming Documents Under Control

Feb 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM by John Mancini

[This post is based on a presentation by industry analyst Mark Brousseau on a January 18 AIIM webinar. Mark Brousseau is a noted marketer, analyst, speaker and writer with more than twenty years of experience advising leading providers of payments and document automation solutions. He is President of Brousseau and Associates, a full service marketing PR and business development firm specializing in the payments and document automation arenas. You can view the original webinar HERE.]

In this era of big data, what do we do with all of the exploding data coming into your organization?

We explore these 5 security vulnerabilities in more depth in our new Tip Sheet, Why Should You Get Rid of Your Old Capture Solution. Free download.

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First of all, you need to digitize it. you need to get it in a way that it's usable, accessible, available. So, we have to digitize it. Now we've shifted our thinking away from scanning and toward intelligent capture. We need to capture more information and intelligently route it to accelerate the availability of that information to the knowledge workers who need it.


Here is one example from the healthcare space of how information volumes are growing. One trade journal recently said that every hour treating a patient in America creates at least 30 minutes of paperwork. This makes perfect sense. All those downstream users who need to be able to not only get the regulatory and treatment information but also the billing information and the prescription information to make sure that they can get that patient through the process.

Across multiple industries, capture requirements are not only becoming larger, they're also becoming more complex. It's not picture taking anymore. It's not just capturing header information from an invoice. Organizations are asking, “Why aren't we capturing all the line item detail on that invoice so that we can make smarter business decisions about what's happening with our purchasing?" Organizations are not only capturing more documents, but more information from each document than ever before.

The reality for most organizations is that they can't keep up with these demands. Their antiquated information capture systems are getting in the way.

In a typical organization, information might be coming into you from customers, field workers, folks in branch or remote offices, as well as your mail room. And you know what? That information is coming in as paper, via email, via fax, maybe a website, or maybe a mobile device. It might be coming from a mobile location, maybe a BPO provider you have in a specific region, maybe from your own shared services center.

What happens is that organizations are not set up to manage that information as it flows through those back-end processes to the systems and processes of record and to the knowledge workers who need it. Think about financial processes. Businesses are spending millions of dollars to purchase and millions of dollars to maintain ERP systems. They're the financial nerve center of the organization, and yet, what is in front of many ERP systems? Manual, semi-automated, antiquated, paper-based financial processes that make it difficult to get information into these ERP systems.

What happens when you fail to automation the “information ingestion” process? It results in high labor costs. It results in poor business agility. You can't see the information that's coming into your organization. You are forever stuck in a reactive mode to customer service trends and to sales trends. You're get more customer complaints because you can't see problems in your supply chain until it's too late. You have slow inventory turn and higher day sales outstanding. If you're in a financial environment, you're end up with late payments, penalties, fines, security breaches, and compliance violations. If only we could get a handle on our content, we can avoid all of this.

The challenge organizations face when they're receiving documents via multiple delivery channels is that while paper was clearly not the right way to be capturing documents, now that we have this diversification of delivery channels, organizations have not figured out how to normalize the handling of those documents across those delivery channels. If you're sitting on an antiquated scanning or capture solution, you're in a really bad position to solve that problem.

What you need is intelligent technology that allows you to ingest documents via in any delivery channel in any format, paper or electronic, to extract the information you need, then to classify the documents to determine which documents are which to eliminate all that manual and post-document sorting. And that also allows you to align the information with what you might have already stored in downstream systems of records, to validate that the information you captured is correct, and that the document being processed is the one you're expecting. Then finally, to connect all of this to any downstream systems or processes.

Here are the 5 steps you need to consider in order to get your multi-channel inputs under control:

1 -- Ingestion. It all starts with ingestion. Today the reality is that organizations are ingesting paper and electronic documents via a number of methods, and all of these are necessary in the typical environment. You need to expect to receive documents via a number of delivery channels.

2 -- Extraction. Next, you need to be able to extract information, and it's not just optical character recognition. You need to be able to use a multiple number of extraction techniques to get the full amount of information you need for your business processes.

3 -- Classification. Once you have that information, you can then apply business rules that allow you to determine what type of documents you have and how it should flow in your organization. That extraction also helps you classify documents.

4 -- Validation. Once you've extracted that data, you need to make sure it's correct. You need to make sure that it aligns correctly with information that we have stored in a downstream system.

5 -- Connection. Finally, we need to connect that information, all of that content, to those downstream user systems and processes that need it to drive the business. All of this together accelerates the access to information by those knowledge workers.

Some other content assets that may be of interest:

  1. White Paper - 9 Ways Your Document Imaging System Could Be Vulnerable to Data Theft and Compliance Violations
  2. White Paper – 5 Ways to Increase Profits in Mortgage Lending
  3. White Paper – Top 10 Mistakes in Choosing a Scanner
  4. White Paper – 5 Benefits of Intelligent Document Recognition
  5. Tip Sheet – Three Reasons Why Streamlined Document Processing Should Matter to the C-Suite

Topics: information capture, intelligent capture

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