Companies of all types and sizes are confronted – to varying degrees – with challenges in the craft of information management. Even the average company produces an enormous volume of documents every year. This because quite often already only single customer or supplier needs to fill out various forms, create invoices, send e-mails and submit a variety of other papers to complete a process. And contrary to the expectations of many, digitization seems to lead to even higher document volumes. Fortunately, however, increasingly in digital form. So you can well imagine the «pile» of documents such companies accumulate over the years.
As a result, most companies have now realized how important it is to handle document data in a goal-oriented manner. And no, nobody wants to go through filing cabinets just to retrieve relevant details before a customer’s inquiry can be resolved. Nor does anyone want to spend hours typing up receipts and invoices. At least I wouldn’t know anyone who really does it with euphoria. And yet these documents have to be digitalized in some way or another in order to ensure that downstream processes run smoothly.
That’s why companies want to increasingly use document capture to convert hard copies into soft copies so that they can manage information more easily and, if necessary, exchange it efficiently with other business partners. As soon as a company decides to digitize or structure its physical and digital incoming documents in a machine-readable form, the question arises as to how exactly it wants to implement this.
One possibility is to design the scanning and extraction of documents as an internal process. The company procures some special equipment and software solutions and, if necessary, develops ad hoc solutions to meet the relevant requirements. In addition to the know-how to implement and operate the equipment, it is also a considerable investment to make such purchases. And it is very likely that additional resources will still have to be made available internally to validate the extraction of the documents and make corrections where needed. This simply, as extraction technologies are still in the process of maturing. The whole thing is therefore quite an undertaking, where most companies, at least as long as it is not somehow part of their core business, do not have in-depth expertise and thus usually cannot really operate efficiently.
Therefore, we believe that document capture including post-processing of machine extraction results should no longer be done in-house. To justify this statement, I describe below 5 reasons why you should outsource your document processing.
Focus on core business
The average company has numerous interactions with various stakeholders, which repeatedly result in the recording of events in the form of correspondence, contracts, invoices or other documents. In most cases, however, managing these documents is not one of the core tasks of the company. And many of these companies tend to underestimate the time and resources required to set up and manage an effective document capture workflow. In addition, many of them don’t realize how much of their resources could be saved and redirected today if capture was managed with an industry partner such as Parashift. For many, it is simply part of the habit that document capture is handled in-house. It’s a pity, considering the high opportunity costs. The resources tied up in this would be much better invested in a company’s actual core business.
The cost, to keep talking about the same subject, obviously plays a significant role in deciding which options an organization chooses to solve its problems. However, in some areas this decision variable is less weighted than in others. However, as technological progress increasingly leads to more cost savings, the pressure on possible irrational decisions is increased. This is exactly what we see more and more in the handling of documents. This is because the cost differences between make or buy in document extraction are becoming more and more significant. On the one hand this work is becoming more and more expensive and on the other hand the technology that can take over such work processes is becoming more and more powerful and cheaper. So when a company outsources its document capture processes to a specialized third party, it saves an enormous amount of money that would otherwise go into the procurement and operation of an expensive, modern and flexible system.
This also means that a company no longer has to worry about upgrading its software to at least the latest industry standards. These further developments and updates are taken care of by us. After all, as a technology provider, we see it as our most important task to extract your documents as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
For those of you who already have project experience with OCR providers, there is something to be noted here separately: The world, also in this regards, is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. In the past, OCR projects have not always been easy, let alone quickly cost-effective and economically attractive – in short, a “no brainer”. The topic was too complex and too much individual configuration was necessary. So it was not uncommon for such projects to swallow up a huge amount of money. But again … The world of OCR is also changing. Today there are offers where you can reach your desired goal with significantly less complexity. Offers that are also much simpler in pricing and offer much more flexibility. In concrete terms: high acquisition costs, license fees and expensive maintenance and support costs are being replaced by Pay-as-You-Go models. This makes OCR technologies like ours accessible not only to large companies, but also to smaller businesses. A game changer for the cost structures of many companies.
Another essential part, which is of course strongly related to the focus on the core business and cost savings, is process efficiency. It is quite obvious that if you take advantage of the technology and additional services we offer (i.e. the post-processing of extraction results), your documents will go through much more efficient processes than if you would organize them yourself. This is because our setup, both technologically and in the annotation of the extracted values, is extremely flexible and can therefore be scaled as required. This means that extraordinary document volumes can be handled quickly and cost-effectively within the official SLA regulations without any special planning or precautions on your part. The resources and capacities gained can be used alternatively and you can work on other important bottlenecks, so that further process efficiency can be gained and you can ultimately create more added value for your customers.
Advantages of top-notch software
By taking advantage of “Document Extraction-as-a-Service”, you as a customer also benefit from our technology and process expertise, as already briefly mentioned. This not only gives you access to performant software, but also to Parashift’s expertise in this area, which can ultimately be translated into better and more cost-effective software respectively document processing. And you do not even have to make any special investments yourself. Instead, you simply take advantage of the product and services we offer – transaction-based. Et voilà.
Another dimension associated with the outsourcing of document capture processes is the dimension of employee satisfaction. The study linked here is only anecdotal in this sense, but in our experience, it is also valid in regards to ti document capturing. Why don’t you give this topic some thought for yourself? You will soon realize that your employees will most likely find little to none satisfaction in the work related to the data extraction of documents. The work steps are too monotonous and repetitive. So it is not surprising that many employees of our customers have been positively influenced by the introduction of automated document extraction and as a result, their satisfaction has increased. You see, a win-win situation on various levels.
Enough words, let’s get down to business
If you are interested not only in words but also in actual substance, why don’t you register for a test account on our platform and upload a few dozen documents (ATTENTION: currently we only support the processing of documents relevant to the purchasing process). This will give you a more objective idea of what we do and how we can support you. We will be happy to provide you with specific advice for your use case afterwards. We look forward to getting to know you!