The role of Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) in sustainability initiatives

Sustainability initiatives and Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) – how do they fit together? Perfectly. An Intelligent Document Processing solution may not be the most obvious example for sustainability, but it supports it in multiple ways. For example, if you are looking to improve energy efficiency in your organization, integrating a powerful IDP platform is an excellent idea.

Papers and sustainability

The impact of paper on the environment

The term ESG (environmental, social and governance) usually follows in the same breath as the term sustainability. While ESG initiatives can clearly be understood as part of sustainability, there are still differences between the two terms: ESG is an external framework that helps evaluate a company’s performance and risk, while sustainability addresses an internal framework for investment. Thus, measures to improve efficiency in companies also fall into this second division. And so does software such as Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) for automating document processing.

Even though there is now a trend towards sustainability in the paper industry, these mills still contribute significantly to air, water and soil pollution. In addition to the high energy consumption for manufacturing, however, another factor of impact on the environment is that of paper consumption in everyday business. Paper consumption per se is not the only reason for the negative impact on the environment. Rather, it is also the handling in the entire document management of companies, which drives up the energy consumption, especially in large companies:

  • Documents are received physically. From there, they have to be digitized, i.e. either scanned or the data typed by employees into an ERP, DMS or similar system. The paper documents are then either physically archived or shredded and disposed of.
  • At the same time, documents are received through digital channels. Nevertheless, employees continue to print these documents, for example to complete information, attach commodities, or have supervisors sign off the forms.
  • Copiers and printers, toner and printer cartridges have an impact on energy consumption in companies and thus also on the environment.

The benefits of Intelligent Document Processing for sustainability initiatives

First, very briefly, what is Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)? IDP is a combination of various artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies, including machine learning (ML), computer vision (CV), and natural language processing (NLP). Thus, with the fusion of the technologies into one platform, the relevant data from complex documents can be automatically captured and extracted in numerous use cases. This creates clear advantages in terms of your company’s sustainability initiatives:

Remove expensive archives: With IDP, you not only digitize your ongoing document processing use cases, but also do the same with physical archives and gradually dissolve them. In this way, you not only save costs for archives, but also for electricity.

Automate workflows: Instead of printing documents and sharing them with colleagues, IDP automates workflows and gives employees access to the right data in the right place at any time. This saves a percentage of your printer cartridges and toner, as well as electricity costs.

Cloud instead of on-premises: With a modern IDP platform running as a SaaS solution in the cloud, you can finally say goodbye to expensive on-premises solutions. This not only saves you high costs, you also reduce your carbon footprint.

Optimize document processing: With a modern IDP solution, you optimize document processing and your operational efficiency in the long term. Cutting down on paper usage and using a cloud-based solution to automate document processing will help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Although you may feel these individual points make only a small difference on sustainability initiatives: In combination, and especially in medium to large companies, they may very well save you considerable amounts of energy (and money).

How to choose the right IDP solution

best solution

So the question that remains is which Intelligent Document Processing platform is right for your organization. Again, with sustainability initiatives in mind, it’s only logical to select the most comprehensive solution possible to automate your document processing. Depending on the industry your company is in, you may be able to rule out certain IDP systems right from the beginning. However, a modern, high-performance solution should be able to handle the realities of document diversity and the associated requirements – even across industries. For example, the following are some of the questions you may ask yourself when evaluating an Intelligent Document Processing solution:

  1. Can you run the IDP solution in the cloud? A crucial point with the sustainability initiative in mind is that the IDP platform does not need to be installed on premises, but rather runs in the cloud. A cloud-based SaaS solution from leading IDP vendors should be able to handle sensitive data, such as in banking and healthcare, securely and in a compliant manner.
  2. Can you easily integrate the IDP platform? Another important factor with sustainability in mind is that you can integrate the solution with your existing systems and ERP and DMS solutions, and that there is compatibility.
  3. Can you capture all necessary documents with the IDP solution? Also with the performance of the IDP solution, the focus is on sustainability. A powerful solution must be able to handle the complexity and variation of documents. This includes, thanks to AI-based technologies and Human in the Loop functionalities, the continuous improvement of the IDP solution.
  4. Can you add document types yourself, if necessary? With a modern IDP platform, you should be able to use it without being an IT specialist. This may include adding document types via drag & drop functions.
  5. What other added values does the IDP solution bring? Again looking at your sustainability initiatives, what additional value does the solution bring? Is the platform quickly and easily scalable? What is the IDP provider’s vision for the platform? Does the vendor continuously invest resources in improvements and new features?

The potential of an Intelligent Document Processing solution is therefore huge and supports your sustainability initiatives in many ways. Take your initiatives further with the Parashift Intelligent Document Processing platform. Contact us, we’d be happy to show you how.

Related Posts