Document Management Software With Document Capture Combined

steve-in-white-1Decisions in any business are based on organizational knowledge. In today’s business environment, this knowledge rests not only with some top executives of an organization, but also with the databases and documents that an enterprise maintains. It’s the speed and accuracy with which information can be retrieved that the success of a business largely depends. Digital document management has made it possible to create and store information, and organize it for easy retrieval.

There are generally two types of documents that any organization handles, one that is produced by the organization and second, received from the outside. Most of this documentation in the form of financial statements and monthly or yearly reports come in handy for analysts to formulate future goals and assess current status of the business. Critical information is also received from the outside in the form of invoices, suggestions from clients or customers, letters of complaint and so on. This data comes in several formats, both electronic and paper.

Document capture forms an important part of recording every piece of information received by your organization. If you do not convert paper documents to digital format, it cannot be included in your analysis. This can be of great importance when making critical business decisions. Though scanning a document converts it into an image, it’s of no value without the corresponding metadata which makes it searchable and retrievable. Document management software provides a unique solution to this problem, as every data from a paper document can be captured and stored on the computer.

Document capture can be defined as a process that converts paper information into electronic format, which can then be processed and stored using various technologies. Some important components of the document capture process are:

Scanning or document capture: When a document is scanned it produces an image on the screen of the computer which can be stored on the computer like any other file. Several factors must be considered when choosing a scanner depending on requirement and average number of documents likely to be processed every day. For instance, size, quality of paper, volume is some factors that you must keep in mind. Scanners are extremely handy and can process a variety of documents, from business cards to engineering drawings.

Automatic document feeder: Optimum use of document management software can be made only if you have automatic document feeder. This device feeds paper automatically into the scanner and speeds up the process significantly. The device is quite useful for processing bulk documents such as invoices and forms.

Speed and accuracy: Speed with which documents are processed by document management software decides the quality of the document. Ideally, a standard sized scanner can process anywhere between 6 to 200 pages per minute. However, considering optimal performance, a processing speed of 20-30 pages per minute should suffice for everyday use.

Image cleanup: Most scanners come with enhanced technology to apply cleanup techniques to increase accuracy of data. Contrast adjustment, noise removal, rebuilding broken characters and cropping borders are some of the cleanup techniques used in scanners. This helps in capturing all the information in the original document without compromising on its accuracy.

Data extraction: As in the case of paper documents, digital document management too requires extraction, storage and appropriate indexing of useful information. Document management software normally has an indexing system which organizes documents in form that can be easily searched and retrieved when needed. As such, accurate extraction and storage of information is one of the most important features of any document capture solution.

A digital document management system must perform various tasks to make the scanned data readable and useful for the organization. As each type of document needs to be processed in a different manner, the document management software must be customizable to meet these requirements. New technology has provided a great tool in the form of document management systems to maximize productivity and increase profitability, and is one of the best investments that you can make for your business.

Steve Breault “DocMeister”

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