Methods that Have Proven Effective for Capturing Documents

In a highly competitive market, companies that depend on manual, paper-based processes face the risk of being outpaced by digital-savvy rivals. To optimise efficiency, cut costs and maintain compliance with regulatory standards, it’s crucial to digitise documents and their contents. Embracing document management technology enables modern enterprises to streamline data input, processing, storage and retrieval.

Document Capture is the initial stage of Document Management, which involves scanning and saving paper documents into a digital database. Digital documents can also be uploaded as part of this process. A basic Document Capture system simply archives documents, while an advanced one includes data extraction, enabling the use of analytics and improved searchability.

Document capture is an essential process that empowers enterprises to collect, manage and store digital documents. This post aims to explore the inner workings of document capture, the advantages of automating it, and the diverse range of options available for businesses to leverage it.

Put simply, what exactly is “Document Capture”?

The starting point of document management is Document Capture, the process of transforming documents from one form to another (such as paper to digital). Once this step is completed, the succeeding stages of document management can be initiated.

  • Altering –

    The process of modifying a document to improve its readability by enhancing the quality of images and text and undertaking other relevant actions.
  • The Verification Process

    Confirming that the document adheres to quality standards specified by the document management system.
  • Applying Labels to Documents –

    Categorising different types of paperwork such as purchase orders, invoices and receipts.
  • Refining –

    The process of extracting metadata and information from a document.
  • Indexing –

    Adding all relevant characteristics to a document, rendering it searchable with ease.
  • Inclusion –

    After automated processes, the document has a final location in the document repository.

After completion, team members can easily locate and edit documents as required. Shifting from paper records to digital documents enables businesses to conserve both time and resources. Documents can be accessed, shared and collaborated upon quickly by multiple members of the team. Additionally, preserving data in this manner facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements for document control and security.

Who is Responsible for Performing Document Capture?

Document Capture can be an advantageous resource for various types of enterprises.

  • Enterprises that aim to enhance customer service and optimise internal operations can take advantage of automated document management systems. The system simplifies the process of finding specific invoices, purchase orders, and orders.
  • Businesses are exploring options to streamline their form-handling processes. Converting documents into electronic format allows for simultaneous sharing with multiple parties, aiding the approval process where multiple approvals are required. This reduces the time and effort required to finalise the paperwork considerably.
  • Governments and non-profit organisations are placing escalating pressure on businesses to safeguard their clients‘, customers’ and patients’ sensitive information in compliance with regulatory requirements. Employing a paper-based approach is no longer adequate to meet these standards.
  • Organisations aiming to optimise their internal operations through digitisation should adopt effective document indexing and classification methods. A structured digital infrastructure with organised folders and clearly defined tags streamlines the process of locating necessary documents.
  • The insights gained by scanning paper documents can be advantageous for businesses seeking to utilise their data more effectively to inform their operations.
  • Businesses that manage documents through paper-based or inadequately implemented digital document management systems may face difficulties when dealing with remote workers.
  • Businesses seeking cost reduction opportunities may consider diminishing their physical presence. As office and warehouse rental costs rise, foregoing the need for physical copies of paperwork presents an opportunity to allocate funds towards other areas such as employee benefits and product enhancements.
  • Digital document management systems provide businesses with the ability to concentrate on more essential tasks. Paper-based systems require a significant amount of time to retrieve documents and locate relevant information, whereas digital solutions enable businesses to focus on strategic objectives by freeing up additional time.

Steps to Acquire Documents

Various technologies can aid in the process of document capture.

  • OCR is an acronym for “optical character recognition,” a technology capable of “reading” printed text and converting handwritten text into a computer-friendly format.

  • “ICR” stands for “intelligent character recognition.”

    This technology can interpret handwriting, such as that typically seen on customer and client forms.
  • OMR is an acronym for “optical mark recognition,” a technology that detects and interprets information from various forms of markup language, including checkboxes and bubbles.

  • OBR, or “optical barcode recognition,”

    assists in indexing and organising files by reading barcodes and extracting pertinent information.
  • Automatic data mining technology

    generates editable PDFs from image files that contain embedded text.

The volume and type of documents determine the variety of document capture options available to users. With a single scanner and basic computer software, even small businesses can digitise their paper documents. Favored software, such as Google Drive, enable users to scan documents from multiple devices, such as tablets or smartphones. Alternatively, some companies may choose to manually collect data from documents.

Companies with higher document processing needs may necessitate the use of scanning devices and advanced capture software like Adobe Acrobat DC and Abbyy FineReader. Batch scanning, which involves scanning multiple pages simultaneously, is useful for these tasks. This video demonstrates the batch scanning process.

Efficient Document Management to Foster Organisational Growth

Document capture represents a small aspect of the broader digitalisation process, which offers various benefits like cost reduction, superior customer service, heightened productivity, streamlined regulatory compliance, enabled remote worker support, and improved data for informed business decisions.

Effective document management is a crucial aspect of a company’s success, commencing with the acquisition of documents. This process incorporates vital features like access control, data encryption, and retention policies, which are indispensable for promoting a company’s longevity and prosperity.

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