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Document capture to the rescue
By Jacob Nthoiwa, ITWeb journalist

[Johannesburg, 8 April] - Organisations should adopt effective document capture solutions to improve their process efficiencies and boost their bottom line.

This was the message from a speaker at the Document Capture and Process Executive Forum yesterday at the Pivot Convention Centre in Montecasino. The forum was hosted by Kofax in partnership with Intervate and ITWeb.

Senior VP of EMEA Software and Solutions at Kofax, Thomas Senger, said by capture-enabling their business processes, organisations can enhance data quality, accelerate processing times, reduce costs and risks, while improving customer service and compliance.

CIOs are focusing on business processes improvement and this starts with information management and streamlining those processes helps them in making better decisions faster, he said.

“The answer to this is information capturing and transforming this information into digital formats as well as exchanging information is
a high ROI solution.”

At the forefront

According to Senger, as businesses seek to capture-enable their infrastructure, the capture must move to the front of their business processes, as they come to the realisation that capture should be
an extension of their enterprise software stack.

“Businesses are now realising the need to establish a standard mechanism for on-boarding content into their enterprise infrastructure.

“They are starting to question how are they on-boarding business content into their ERP [enterprise resource planning] system, CRM [customer relationship management] system, ECM [enterprise content management] system, BPM [business process management] system or a combination.”

It is important to get a fully-integrated solution that will allow them to on-board inbound content in almost any format or medium – paper, e-mail, fax, or print streams.

“Businesses should get a central management configuration and monitoring framework that can extend the needed capture tentacles out to the farthest reach of their enterprise,” he advised.

Captured content is normalised and delivered to all enterprise infrastructure, he said, pointing out that document capture allows businesses to understand what they have captured, separate it from other content, and extract and validate any or all metadata contained within the content.

“The solution can also simplify the outbound process-related messaging. Be it SMS, fax, e-
save mail, or telex. With the document capture solution, one can dramatically simplify outbound notifications, alerts or broadcasts,” he pointed out.

Way to go

Senger pointed out that many documents that businesses receive are requests from customers, partners or suppliers and they need to be attended to as quickly as possible.

He said document capture solutions are important in paper-based businesses such as banks, insurance as well as government departments.

“Small businesses should also not be left behind because document capture can save them a lot of money and time they could be using to focus on running of their core business,” he noted.

“Converting paper documents to electronic content eliminates cumbersome pushing paper processes and businesses are able to respond quickly to customer demands.”

This, in turn, increases productivity, especially in those businesses that are pushing paper or spending time searching for valuable documents, and are not able to focus on core business priorities, he advised.

“With paper documents captured in a digital form, businesses can access the information they need, quickly and easily.”

According to
Senger, document capture reduces costs by decreasing the need for manual data entry, since a business will not need as much space for document storage.

He said paper documents are expensive to store, difficult to retrieve and extremely costly if lost. “The impact of this is compounded when the documents are needed to control or make decisions, as part of a critical business process,” he pointed out.

Senger also believes that multiple delivery options give businesses a choice on how to receive and retrieve captured document data. “The staff can access documents via the Web or a private corporate network where one can view and navigate pages.”

When documents have been scanned and indexed, searching is easy, as users will find the valuable information they need to get their job done without digging through piles of paper or endless file cabinets, he said.

Seamless integration

Document capture helps with data integration, especially with high-value ECM, ERP, financial or corporate systems, such as SAP. “This can dramatically increase the level of automation of invoice processing.”

By capturing documents electronically, businesses can experience an improved customer service, he noted. “When the staff is able to access the vital information contained in your documents, they can meet customers needed more quickly.”

Competitive advantage goes to the companies that can share information and collaborate quickly and accurately in the most cost-effective manner,
Senger pointed out.
 

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Intervate is a specialist provider of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions that are directed at helping customers succeed by improving productivity and collaboration, reducing costs, and increasing legal compliancy.

Areas of expertise include web content management, intranets and portals, document imaging and capture, electronic document and records management, business intelligence, enterprise search and, process automation and workflow.



Kofax plc (LSE: KFX) is the leading provider of document driven business process automation solutions. For more than 20 years, Kofax has provided award winning solutions that streamline the flow of information throughout an organisation by managing the capture, transformation and exchange of business critical information arising in paper, fax and electronic formats in a more accurate, timely and cost effective manner.

These solutions provide a rapid return on investment to thousands of customers in financial services, government, business process outsourcing, healthcare, supply chain and other markets.