Document capture software is revolutionizing how businesses leverage incoming data and important information to improve their workflows. Whether you need to capture data from paper documents or manage information that is scattered among electronic points such as email and file shares, document capture offers a solution. Its automation reduces time spent searching and processing documents, improves visibility into your data, and speeds up workflows.
First, let’s dive into what the technology is.
What Is Document Capture?
Document capture software enables organizations to capture incoming documents and data, extract critical information, and transfer them into a workflow or business application. The technology handles all phases of the capture process, including:
- Scanning paper
- Importing electronic documents from email and fax
- Image cleanup
- Barcode and character recognition
- Manual indexing
- Exporting data and documents to an enterprise resource planning (ERP), workflow, document management system, or file server
The right document capture system will work with a variety of scanners and other input devices such as fax and email servers and will include different modules to provide production-level document capture.
Benefit #1: Capturing Documents Earlier in the Process
With manual systems for processing documents, businesses often find themselves batch-scanning documents on the backend of the process. Bringing documents into the workflow at that stage doesn’t provide the ability to see the document and the transaction as soon as it gets to your company. Document capture software enables you to capture documents the second they get to your organization’s doorstep – ushering their important data into your workflows, so nothing is missed and complete visibility is provided. You’re then able to process data into your document management/workflow system or your ERP/line-of-business application sooner and faster. Knowledge is information, and capturing documents on the front end of any process helps apply all the benefits workflow automation can offer sooner in the transaction’s lifecycle.
Benefit #2: Automated Capture
At the core of document capture software is automation and its many benefits. You can capture hundreds to thousands of documents daily at remote offices or centralized locations with high-volume batch scanning abilities. The technology also allows for low-volume and ad-hoc scanning to capture data as it comes into your business. Technologies such as optical character recognition (OCR), intelligent character recognition (ICR), and barcodes allow you to minimize manual data entry and populate data into your target systems sooner, more accurately, and with less effort. Features including email attachment, folder import, and web service import simplify capturing documents arriving to your organization in non-paper format.
Without the need to manually print, route, scan, and save documents, your employees save time, and you eliminate costs associated with paper organization or information gathering.
Ultimately, the automated capture aspect of the solution helps you better address customer needs because your relevant data is instantly available. Research from AIIM cites that one-third of organizations using document capture have reported faster customer response times as their most prominent benefit of using the software.
Benefit #3: Simplifying Workflow
Document capture allows you to avoid some of the risks associated with manual paper processing and improve things such as routing to appropriate parties and verifying accuracy.
Capturing certain documents in the software can trigger other actions such as approval processes so the data can be sent instantly to the right person. Anyone who needs to review, approve, or be notified of certain incoming data can quickly do so with this automation.
Document capture also automates the process of verifying information that arrives against other software you use. For example, customer information that arrives through an invoice can be verified against purchase orders and the data you have in your accounting software to ensure only clean transactions make it into your line of business applications. This scenario could also be used to update data in your accounting system, so your systems stay up to date.
If you think your business could benefit from automating its document and data capture, contact All Star Software today. We’re the experts in document capture software and would love to show your business how to leverage it for more successful operations.