BPO Bulletin

Document Imaging and the Value of Outsourcing

by Ken Neal
April 8, 2015

While not extraordinarily difficult or complex, the first step or “front-end” of the document scanning process—document sorting and prepping—does requires experience and knowledge regarding technical aspects of the data capture function.

One consideration is that sorting documents prior to digitization requires an individual to read the contents, or a descriptor on the document, and sort it into a specific category. This may involve sorting documents by state, or dollar amount, or some other identifier. While this process is basically a hand-eye coordination activity, I have encountered sorting processes that were quite involved and intricate. However, the main factors in successfully sorting documents are reading the document and determining a logical sort category.

The same holds true for the function of document prepping. This is a manual process requiring the removal of various document fasteners, repairing tears and doing anything that prepares the document to pass through the scanner without issue. Up to the point of scanning, any skilled individual can manage the process of receiving and prepping hard copy documents. However, once you begin the digitization process, a greater level of expertise is required to create and maintain an optimal solution.

This is where the value of outsourcing becomes clear and it’s why many organizations tap an experienced service provider to handle the basic, labor intensive processes as well as the more technically complex document imaging activities. For example, the right provider can automate the sort process by using an appropriate software module. Software today can interpret fields and key words within a document image to properly route that document to its intended destination. However, not all capture products are created equal. As such, we recommend engaging a document management specialist to determine what application would work best to meet your organization’s needs.

As another example, a provider can also deploy recognition services designed to classify documents and extract data. This approach can allow organizations to better use the capabilities of their knowledge workers. Instead of employees spending time on manually-intensive document management functions, they can spend their time applying their knowledge and expertise to promote the company’s core business.

A business process outsourcing provider with in-depth experience can provide the people, process and technology that can help enterprises significantly improve their document management activities. Such a provider, like Canon Business Process Services, brings to the table certified experience in systems implementation, solution design and business performance management methodologies. With these and other credentials, a managed services provider can function as a true business partner.

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