Capture: 3 ways to survive unpredictable seasons

Ah, winter in Cleveland. One week the temperature is in the single digits, a few weeks later, it’s in the 50s.

But as a long-time resident, I’m familiar with the chaos and unpredictability of our winter season. And as long as I set the Weather Channel on my TV and as my homepage on my internet browser, I know I will be prepared.

Business is no different. Although, unlike Cleveland weather, business is not only unpredictable and chaotic a few months out of the year – it can take rollercoaster-like twists and turns throughout the year, even multiple times a day.

However, like the weather, as long as we have the information we need to make the best decisions and be as prepared as we can for every turn, we can stand strong through the storms.

But is it as easy for your employees to find all the information they need as it is to set an internet home page or TV channel? Probably not.

In fact, your organization might be just like many others out there, storing the important information your employees need on paper in filing cabinets or as attachments and correspondences in their email inboxes and multiple electronic systems.

So, address the chaos by capturing all that content. Make it centrally accessible. Make it as easy as searching one place for all the information needed to keep business moving, growing and staying strong through even the most unpredictable turns.

How do you do that?

3 ways to improve information access

Here are three key concepts to keep in mind as you move forward:

1. Scan

Start optimizing your processes by creating electronic versions of what currently lives on paper – it is much easier to share and access electronic versions of documents. And electronic documentation reduces the risks of relying on paper: Loss, theft or damage. You also save money on shipping and storing all that paper.

As you receive documents from today on, skip the physical storage and immediately scan them in for better accessibility from day one – whether you use a central scanning operation in the mailroom or individual scanners set up at employees’ desks.

And don’t forget about those remote business locations too – give them the ability to scan documents as well. Because once all your business documents, no matter where or how you receive them, are scanned into the system – alongside your already electronic files such as PDFs and emails – you can easily make them accessible through an enterprise information platform.

2. Mobile capture

These days, it is very important that your employees who spend time out in the field are able to communicate the important information they gather back to the office. But the way paper-based businesses run, this happens at the end of the trip when that person has returned to the office.

Now you can use mobile content management to capture images and information directly on mobile devices and instantly provide the rest of your organization with controlled and secure access.

3. Data capture

Beyond importing documents – from scanners, electronic locations and mobile devices – and ingesting data in a variety of ways, your organization will be empowered to automatically extract data from incoming documents. This minimizes manual data entry, reduces errors and speeds processes from the point of origination.

Now your organization is empowered to capture all your documents and information electronically. And you have improved life for everyone by providing better accessibility.

But, in the case of the documents you have stored, even though you have better access, you still need to share the information with other systems your staff uses as well.

Now it’s time to take your capture solution to the next level and allow technology to automate that process too – automatically reading the documents and pulling the information and sending it to those other systems for you. Now, suddenly, you have freed those manual data entry clerks for decision-making, customer service or other tasks – bigger and better things that bring much more value to the business.

With capture technology, you conquer the chaos. Your business is prepared to survive any weather.

Just make sure you have a coat, hat and gloves handy.

Jaclyn Inglis Clark

Jaclyn Inglis Clark

Over the last few years working at Hyland, creator of OnBase, Jaclyn has definitely started to drink the Kool Aid – day and night enthusiastically discussing the wonderful benefits of... read more about: Jaclyn Inglis Clark