Top 3 document scanning mistakes companies do and how to avoid them

Nalaka Withanage Uncategorised Leave a Comment



Today I like to share top 3 mistakes that we have seen companies do when it comes to planning and designing of their document scanning solutions.

Documents are an integral part of everyday business. Streamlining document centric business processes especially at the fore front of the business, makes a significant difference to the bottom-line and top line of business operations. At the end of the day it’s all about knowledge worker productivity and empowering them to do what they do best over manual document handling, filing and searching for documents scattered in multiple systems and locations across the organisation.


#1: 70% of the companies do scan documents but only 20% extract meaningful data out of documents

Why do companies scan documents? Well, getting rid of the filing cabinet and call it a paperless office is one of the oblivious goals.  But not many companies realise that they are just hiding valuable and actionable business data along with documents in the process of general MFD scanning and digitisation.  Generally speaking companies do scan documents either to archive or to process them. Whether it is to archive or process it is important to extract meaningful business data during the scanning process. Auto-classification and auto-indexing documents makes it easy to store them against the right customer, employee or transaction.  It also eliminate manual data entry into the ERP, CRM or custom database solution and improve the ability to search documents much faster when you need them.  We find that companies go beyond  general scanning solutions and incorporate intelligent document and data extraction, enjoy a much higher ROI and productivity in a relatively shorter time periods.

#2: The distance between document scanning software and document management solution (DMS)

The immediate question to follow after scanning the document is where do we store them?  The easy answer is the corporate network drive. Let me tell you that this is one of the main reasons why document centric processes are broken.  Most organisations have a formal document management solution in place. However we see that companies are struggling to get the content into their documents management systems in the right way. Part of the challenge is no body wants to browse and upload documents one by one and enter all relevant metadata tagging by hand. We know that this is a time consuming and error prone manual task. The good news is that the right scanning solution can directly deliver the document and index data into the document management solution without manual intervention. This level of seamless integration allows you to deliver the document directly into right document library in your document management solution where the necessary workflows are kick-off upon document arrival. At the end of the day network drive can help us only as a repository. It cannot make the digital image actionable, findable, secure or meeting regulatory compliance needs.

#3: Creating document scanner dependent process automation solutions

A business today receive documents in multiple ways. Paper, Email Attachments, FAX, EDI, Social web are some of the common input channels. Your ability to process documents in a common and consistent manner no matter what the input channel is a very important element. Unfortunately many organisations have created process automation solutions centered on their MFD scanner which serves as a single input source. This often involve proprietary software solution which comes with the scanning hardware supplier. Proprietary technology creates numerous challenges in extensibility and openness to integrate with other line of business systems.  You need a document processing solution that is little more flexible and agile. Open and mainstream technology with a service oriented architecture gives you a greater business agility and lower your risks over tightly coupled proprietary hardware and associated software solutions.

In summary 80% business to business transactions today are happening with some form of document exchange either in paper form or as digital documents. Whether its paper or a digital document the challenge is to look at how your organisation is handling the lifecycle of the document from the point it arrives at the organisation to when it gets archived.  Whether you want to improve your current document scanning solution or planning a new document scanning or imaging solution, I recommend you to look at the overall lifecycle of the document. This usually help you navigate in the right direction and avoid costly mistakes.  Enjoy!


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