Running a business can be a pain. Especially for any office with a monstrous amount of files, documents or data, and strict regulations governing how they must be managed. Fortunately, the technology exists that can help make capturing, indexing and storing data from your documents quick and painless.
The Association for Information and Image Management found that unnecessary printing and copying is rampant in all businesses and can cost a 10-person company over $1,000 in ink/toner costs.
Work the way you want
An efficient capture workflow that’s tightly intertwined with existing business processes can cut time spent on filing almost in half. It saves you money, too. With an increasing number of solutions offering OCR, ICR, and barcode scanning capabilities, it’s up to you to decide what information is most valuable and where you want to put it. Let your document capture software take care of everything in between.
It could be as simple as deciding you want to pull the customer name and total balance from an invoice and have it sent to your billing system. Document capture solutions enable you to work the way you want. There are just a few steps to consider before getting started.
How to make document capture easy
1. Audit your documents.
Audit – a terrifying word. But you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The very first step to simple document capture is to figure out all of the documents and data that your business uses every day. The goal is to get a complete understanding of the different types of documents you have, how they’re used, who uses them, and where they should be stored. Starting with this foundation, you can then categorize, prioritize, then digitize your documents without much hassle.
2. Have devices and platforms optimized for document capture.
You already know that single-function scanners and multi-function printers are perfect for digitizing paper documents. What about your files that are already digital? Have you set up hot folders for your scanned documents or do you have an effective process for saving email attachments? Take a thorough look at the sources you use to create and obtain files and gain an understanding of how they fit into your automation goals.
3. Install software that automatically extracts data for you.
Document capture software is specifically designed to do the work for you. Seriously. Once you have a solution installed and configured, simply scan your documents and walk away. Using OCR technology, barcode recognition, or even handwriting recognition, capture software will read your document before turning important information into data that you can use anywhere at any time.
4. Create workflows for critical processes or key personnel.
Sure, converting physical documents to digital information is fun, but what can you do with it? Send it where it needs to go. This is the pinnacle of making document capture easy. Now that you’ve scanned your document and extracted what’s important, the final step is to integrate the data into your daily business processes. Automating the gathering of personnel information, invoices, or contracts can save an organization more than half of the time that employees would have spent manually processing documents.
5. Be open to change.
Document capture, like many things in life, isn’t a one and done process. As organizations grow and evolve, the processes that support businesses must change as well. For companies that add new employees every day or every year, this could mean expanding your systems to new teams or new locations. For businesses entering new markets and selling new products, you may need to add new processes. For organizations that have to meet new regulatory and compliance demands, this could mean adding additional quality assurance or security measures at certain steps. Even though it’s easy to set it and forget it, always remember to take the time to evaluate your capture process and make any necessary changes.
Your office equipment vendor can help connect you to the resources you need to get started with document capture quickly and easily. Ask them about ACDI or click here to learn more about our document capture solutions.