3 ways automated data capture solves your biggest workflow problems

If any part of your workflow requires someone on your team to manually read documents and enter data, then you know: The process is slow, tedious and error-prone.

This bottleneck results in rising costs and lost hours, as employees are held up doing menial tasks that, while necessary, are low in business value.

However, there is a solution. Automated data capture tools and technology — which automatically read printed or handwritten documents, extract required data and sync with your existing workflows — free employees to focus on higher-value tasks and projects.

It’s the critical first step in an end-to-end automation strategy, going beyond basic data extraction and classification. It validates the data, speeds process completion, cuts costs, reduces human error and allows for a truly paperless workplace.

3 benefits of automated data capture

1. Improve employee productivity

Incorporating automated capture into your workflow results in three major benefits:

Reduce the handling of physical paper

A data capture solution cuts down the amount of paper you need to handle as well as the document preparation you need to do. Best of all, you’ll no longer need to transport piles of documents around the office and between buildings. Or pay for costs like storage, couriers and destruction.

Meanwhile, paperwork gets easier because you capture documents where they originate, on a wide variety of devices, without the need to manually sort or insert separator pages prior to the scanning stage. Intelligent data capture tools automatically sort and identify documents — plus, you can configure them to automatically determine to whom the document should be sent, then notify that individual and deliver it electronically.

Speed the capture of electronic documents

Using tools like intelligent capture technology results in an even faster and easier capture process.

This is because intelligent capture:

  • Reads machine- and hand-printed characters, barcodes and marks like check boxes and filled circles
  • Captures all file formats automatically from email inboxes and file-sharing services (e.g., Word, Excel and image files)
  • Imports documents directly from most applications, further streamlining workflows

Intelligent capture also empowers you to classify documents regardless of type or where information is located on documents. In fact, some solutions even include tools to ensure files are optimized for data extraction.

Eliminate manual data entry

The solutions dramatically reduce errors as well as the most tedious aspects of paperwork processing. Employees won’t have to manually process business checks or go through mail to extract the information they need.

Even for a small team, reducing the manual data entry effort surrounding document processing lowers labor costs, accelerates business processes and improves customer service by ensuring employees have up-to-date information at their fingertips. Scaling a solution across a larger department or organization yields even better results.

2. Reduce errors and increase speed for greater efficiency

The more quickly and accurately you acquire the data you need, the more successful your department and more profitable your organization will become. You’ll be able to handle current and increasing workloads with existing staff, help meet overall strategic efficiency goals and meet internal or external service-level agreements more easily.

Improve accuracy

When you catch errors and resolve them on the front end, fewer people need to handle and resolve the issues later, potentially saving time and money. Automated data capture software is also configurable to validate business rules, ensuring all information is complete and correct before moving further downstream.

An automated solution can:

  • Efficiently process documents in different file types, in different languages, across different departments
  • Validate and repair data according to information that exists in other systems
  • Allow staff to easily verify and correct data wherever it can’t be done automatically
  • Seamlessly pass content along to your core business applications
  • Perform error-free calculations on numerical information for financial and budget purposes
  • Eliminate indexing errors such as duplicate data entry by pulling information from other systems
  • Automatically deliver data and documents to the right departments and individuals

Speed processes

Automated data capture technology with intelligent capture speeds invoice processing from days or weeks to mere hours through accounts payable automation. It also reconciles accounts receivables remittances in seconds. And with faster workflows, your department or organization can better meet current and increasing business demands.

Some ways automated capture helps you adapt:

  • Immediately updates other business systems with the most recent and accurate data
  • Integrates with all back-office systems and repositories to ensure employees have instant access to the documents and information they need
  • Saves time spent correcting inaccurate data further into the decision-making process
  • Reports related analytics in real time

3. Customize your solution for a competitive edge

Yankee Candle’s Fundraising division leveraged Hyland’s automated data capture technology to automate the scanning of order forms. And with about 70% of its business coming from the education sector — groups of grade school through high school students — the solution’s sophisticated handprint recognition functionality worked wonders. It sped the process of getting this information into a single, central location for staff to quickly access as needed.

The solution provided immediate benefits by taking paper storage out of the equation and giving the organization visibility and easy access to electronic documents. Other benefits include:

  • Improved customer service
  • Increased productivity
  • Optimized processes that automatically keep order forms moving forward

As another example, Bentall Kennedy, a Canadian real estate development firm, needed to solve the problems that naturally result from a large multi-office accounts payable process. With an automated data capture solution, the company streamlined invoice processing from start to finish, trimming weeks from the payment cycle.

“The biggest benefit of Hyland solutions is that they allow us to save a million dollars annually through creating efficiencies and streamlining our AP processes,” said Bentall Kennedy’s director of business processes.

Automated data capture use cases

Advanced data capture solutions — also referred to as intelligent capture — meet a variety of business-process needs across departments and industries.

Department of industry Process
Accounts payable Invoices
Accounts receivable Remittance and checks
Human resources Payroll and benefits changes
Higher education Applications and transcripts
Government State income tax refunds
Financial services Loan documents
Insurance Claims
Healthcare Explanation of Benefits processing, claims, payment reconciliation and patient record classification

Successfully mitigating risks

Data capture solutions have the flexibility and scalability to meet your business needs, now and into the future. The right solution provides ROI from day one — and from page one — giving your company a competitive business edge.

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What do you get when you mix a certified Microsoft trainer, five years of experience at a large banking institution and an MBA in Information Systems? The answer – you get Sam Mazzola, Hyland Software's director of financial services solutions. He's been a part Hyland’s team for ten years, specifically focused on financial services. If you have a question about PCI compliance, the latest FDIC regulation or how to battle a seven-footer in the post, contact him at [email protected]
Sam Mazzola

Sam Mazzola

What do you get when you mix a certified Microsoft trainer, five years of experience at a large banking institution and an MBA in Information Systems? The answer – you... read more about: Sam Mazzola