Scanning, Recognition and Forms Processing Design
Focusing on using technology and processes to capture the right information at the start of your business process
The capturing of information into your business processes is the first step towards managing information properly. High quality information coming in at the beginning of a process reduces the opportunities for error and improves customer service.
Historically information was often gathered in a haphazard way with open ended paper forms that were manually typed into databases. Or telephone conversations where information was recorded and where there is much room for misinterpretation and error.
Information in your systems or filing in this old world would be unstructured and difficult to access and interpret effectively.
Happily in recent years there has been significant technological advancements to improve the capture and interrogation of information. Information can be captured online in forms, via tablet and smart phone applications and even paper forms can be redesigned to enable automated capture.
With the cost of technology and hardware such as tablets it is often the case that it is impractical to simply replace paper forms with electronic capture because it would mean supplying a large workforce based in the field with expensive equipment.
In this situation however it is still possible to improve the quality of data captured by redesigning the forms that are used. If you redesign the forms themselves and include things like barcodes and registration marks then we can design a process whereby all incoming forms can be scanned into a system, the form type and information entered can be extracted with a high level of accuracy and then entered directly into a database system. The team that currently enters in all the form information by hand would then only have to quality check the data rather than enter it all in. This effectively halves the processing time (at least) and increases the accuracy of the information captured.
It is also possible to use Optical Character Recognition and intelligent software analytics to interrogate all your historic unstructured information and define, for example, the document type of each document and the key indexing information contained within it. This means that your unstructured information becomes easier to access and the information you are gathering from day one onwards is more accurate.