June 11 2019
Digitizing a document is not complicated, and your business probably has the equipment to “dematerialize” all your paper files. But scanning and converting your documents to PDF is just the beginning of digitization. It reaches a whole new level when your company has the tools to process documents in a smart way.
The value of digitization is truly felt when the image of a document comes to life – allowing you to extract the information it contains to interpret, process, export, forward, file, etc. In other words, smart scanning combines document digitization with the power of character recognition software and automated data processing software. Users no longer just take a photo of their document. They delegate the job of electronic conversion to a software smart enough to extract the relevant data and integrate it into systems the company already uses.
Printing out paper documents costs businesses time and money. But even more time is lost distributing, archiving and searching for documents. A study conducted by RS Consulting among 250 European companies shows that employees spend an average of 35 to 50% of their time searching for and archiving documents and only 5 to 15% reading the information contained in these documents. By combining digitization with artificial intelligence, businesses can realize the full potential of a paperless environment. Here's how.
1. Improve your operational efficiency
Smart scanning can optimize several processes that are critical to the smooth running of your business, particularly mail reception, inventory management and accounts payable and receivable. Smart scanning software automatically manages your documents from start to finish, from capturing information to integrating it into your internal systems. Its optical character recognition (OCR) tools typically include the ability to process dozens of different languages and an unlimited amount of data.
2. Automate your incoming email
Your employees spend a lot of time sifting through all their emails. Smart scanning software generally helps to automate the management of incoming email. All the documents your business receives, whether in hard copy or electronic format, will be automatically analyzed, sorted and sent internally to the right people. Meanwhile, key data included in the emails can be automatically extracted and transferred to your systems.
3. Optimize your invoice processing
Still today, most businesses don’t realize the potential savings in time and money that lie within their accounts payable department. If your employees have to enter invoices into an accounting system manually, then validate the information and get approval before paying them, you're missing out on potential time savings equivalent to three work days a month, according to IRISxtract. By equipping your accounts payable department with a smart scanning tool, you'll empower them to generate value for your business. Read our blog post devoted to this topic.
4. Convert and compress your documents
In today’s digital age, businesses are increasingly concerned about the space their computer network takes up and the Internet data they consume. Smart document management solutions can shrink file sizes while preserving quality, so you can quickly transfer files and save on archiving and recovery costs. The files can then be placed in various document management and sharing systems, such as Microsoft SharePoint, Google Docs, Dropbox, Therefore, etc.
Smart scanning isn’t about replacing your employees with robots but rather enabling them to contribute to your business by creating value instead of searching for data. According to a McKinsey report, employees spend too much time searching for information: 1.8 hours per day, or 9.3 hours per week. In today’s context of full employment and labour shortages in some sectors, the automation of processes takes on a whole new meaning. Whatever the size of your business, smart scanning is a tool that can be optimally deployed using the right software and custom integration.
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