As painful as manual data entry can be, sometimes the biggest challenge is simply getting the document in the first place. When document originators/approvers are continually on the go, turnaround times can suffer, which has a pernicious trickle-down effect on customer service.
The problem of coordinating documents with mobile employees is at least three-fold:
- A lack of time (or internet access) to scan and upload documents
- A lack of consistent access to document scanners in the first place
- In certain environments, the difficulty of carrying and preserving paper documents
Even if none of these challenges were in play, someone would still be responsible for the actual data entry! That comes with its own problems of time, accuracy, and cost, which we won’t belabor here.
However, mobile OCR with ABBYY FlexiCapture can permanently solve the challenges of fast-moving employees and highly manual input–all while earning a rapid ROI.
How & Why Organizations Choose Mobile Data Capture
It’s almost as though smartphones were made for this sort of workflow.
Internet connectivity? Of course. Scanner? High-res camera built right in. Portability? Second to none. And better still, it’s a safe bet that employees already have them.
By equipping field employees with the ABBYY FlexiCapture app, or even building ABBYY’s OCR engine into your own solution, you can simultaneously:
- Get info from critical field docs more quickly and without burdening busy employees
- Stop ineffectively throwing costly labor at the age-old problem of manual data entry
We’ve found some of the largest and most sophisticated mobile capture use cases among shipping and logistics firms. After all, the ability to track multilingual shipping documents in real time confers a massive advantage over competitors that are still tied to scanners or fax machines.
That said, mobile OCR is seeing rapid adoption even outside this niche. To name just a couple other contexts:
- Field inspection roles that submit daily forms from multiple sites
- Manufacturing operations managers continually on the go within a single, large facility
- Rental/checkout staff that deal with high-volume but predictable insurance and ID papers
The Foundations Of Successful FlexiCapture Mobile Projects
Zooming out a bit, great candidate workflows for mobile capture usually fall in at least one of the following categories.
Intractable legacy workflows from a pre-digital era
In some cases, a process was born while paper was king, and for various business/compliance reasons, that just isn’t going to change. We’ve typically found that the best approach is to minimize the handling of paper, thereby reducing associating costs, by eliminating it at the very beginning of the workflow. Usually, that stage is whenever field employees first create or obtain a document.
Workflows that depend on other people’s/organizations’ documents
Going back to the example of rental/checkout staff, another common challenge is that the documents to capture actually belong to someone else. Replacing them with a digital alternative is therefore out of the question. With driver’s licenses and other personal IDs, for instance, FlexiCapture can lift a huge load off of front-line staff while mitigating behind-the-scenes challenges
Prohibitive digitization costs
In other instances, organizations really don’t need paper any longer, and might have thought about replacing paper with a web app or other natively digital interface. However, custom development and maintenance costs would be too high, especially since the end result–accurate, digital data–would be exactly what OCR software offers anyhow. FlexiCapture gives these clients faster and more affordable digitization (by a couple orders of magnitude!) that they can roll out as a readily scalable pilot.
In retrospect, we haven’t run into a single organization that would actually prefer paper. The vast majority are begrudgingly stuck with it, usually for one of the reasons above. The “FlexiCapture” name refers to technical flexibility with languages, documents, and workflows, but it applies equally to the business constraints that it overcomes.
Looking back at the hours and dollars you’ve probably lost due to the problem of paper documents, it seems hardest to justify not taking a step, today, to explore the alternatives.
When you’re ready to learn more, the Paperless Productivity® team is here to help. Contact us for a no-obligations workflow analysis, or even to set up a live demo with your own documents!