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Transform everyday business processes with intelligent OCR software

Make work more flexible and efficient. Transform and automate everyday business processes with intelligent scanning and OCR software.

05.05.2022
6 minutes 6 minutes
Table of Contents
Make work more flexible and efficient. Free up your staff to focus on value-added tasks. Be more responsive to customers. Improve your bottom line. Whatever your ambitions, digitising and automating core document-based workflows with intelligent scanning technology and OCR software can help, by enabling everyone to get more done, every day.

As your business grows, the manual document-based processes you’ve relied on in the past may prove too labour-intensive, error-prone and expensive. In short, they’ll risk holding your business back.

Think, for example, about how inbound mail — both physical and digital — is managed. Does it seem to take ages for mail to get stamped on arrival, sorted, and delivered? How (and how soon) does someone who’s working from home or travelling for business receive their post? Is there a reliable process for scanning time-sensitive items like invoices and requests for proposals (RFPs) into your business systems?
93% of people have been unable to find a document because it was wrongly named or incorrectly tagged when it was filed

Source: M-Files: 100 information management stats that will blow your mind

Businesses need to gain control over their paper and digital documents to improve and accelerate their processes, reduce processing costs, and release their people for higher-value tasks.
 

Transform and optimise the everyday


Intelligent scanning services that incorporate optical character recognition (OCR) can help you gain control over your everyday document-based processes, such as inbound mail handling and invoice processing.

What is optical character recognition (OCR)?

When you scan and convert a document to PDF without OCR, you can’t access or work with the content. In contrast, using an OCR solution for image processing means the digitised content is editable, and can be searched and used in machine processes.

Documents that you scan and convert with an OCR solution can be:
  • Easily read and searched; and their data can be accessed and used by business systems
  • Automatically named and filed in the correct folder in your cloud storage or other solution
  • Automatically routed to the right person, team, business system or work process to help speed up the handling of time-sensitive items like invoices, delivery notes, and requests for proposal (RFPs)
  • Seamlessly integrated into your existing enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other business systems to enhance downstream processes


What does a digitised, automated mailroom process look like?

Among the many use cases for OCR software, digitising and automating the incoming mail process can make a real difference to your organisation’s efficiency. It can also help to ensure that people working remotely or on the go have quick and easy access to their incoming mail items.

If you already have Konica Minolta multifunctional printers (MFPs), then you already have scanner capability. You just need to add intelligent software, such as our Dispatcher Phoenix or Document Navigator solutions, to capture, process and distribute all your incoming documents — both physical and digital — in a harmonised way.


Incoming paper documents


When paper-based mail arrives, your mailroom staff simply open it, sort it by employee, and insert employee-specific barcode separation slips. They then start the scanning process, during which the documents are:
• Captured digitally with OCR text recognition
• Automatically stamped as received (if required)
• Automatically classified
• Forwarded as PDF files by email to the relevant recipients

Recipients are notified that new mail items have arrived, and can access them on any device, in any location.


Incoming emails


For incoming emails, Dispatcher Phoenix or Document Navigator takes over and automates the forwarding process. The software looks for predefined keywords (such as enquiry, order or delivery reminder) and uses postcode recognition to automatically route the incoming email to the appropriate person, team or regional office. If required, the software can additionally stamp digital documents as received.

Vista Bank Romania

To stay ahead in the competitive financial services market, Vista Bank has adopted an accelerated growth strategy and a new customer-centric business model. In parallel, it has invested in digitalisation technology, including M-Files and Document Navigator from Konica Minolta for digital mailroom and document management.

These solutions have transformed the document-intensive processes that underpin everyday banking operations and previously cost a lot in terms of money, time and resources. Now the bank has cut document processing time by 50%, reduced the cost of document creation and management, and enabled secure and easy remote information access based on user access rights.

Izabel Niță, the bank’s Administrative Director, says: ‘The traceability of the new records, the identification of responsible persons and the deadlines are easier to manage. Now we have more time to focus on the most important things: the requirements of our customers.’

What does a digitised, automated invoice process look like?

If you already manually scan and store incoming invoices, you’ll know it’s all too easy to make mistakes in the naming or filing of the scanned PDF documents. Coupling intelligent OCR software, like Dispatcher Phoenix or Document Navigator, with your Konica Minolta MFPs makes light work of scanning and does away with those risks.

Employees simply need to start the scan: Dispatcher Phoenix or Document Navigator then automates the naming and filing of the scanned invoices. The OCR software automatically:
  • Recognises the order number, the supplier and the invoice number
  • Renames the scanned document according to those attributes
  • Files it in the correct supplier folder
If an invoice arrives from a new supplier, the software goes ahead and creates a new folder based on the supplier name on the invoice.

If some of your suppliers already submit invoices digitally, Dispatcher Phoenix or Document Navigator can automatically rename the digital invoices according to the schema described above, and file them in the correct folders.

Add a digitised approval workflow

Once you start digitising invoices, you can also transition from manual to digitised approvals. Using a solution like Dispatcher Phoenix or Document Navigator, you start the approval process within a workflow by automatically submitting digitised invoices to a supervisor for initial approval or rejection, before they continue through the process. In this way, you empower mobile and remote signatories, which helps ensure prompt approvals. So you can more easily take advantage of suppliers’ early payment discounts — or avoid late payment penalties — and so improve your business’s bottom line.

Digitising invoice approvals also makes it quick and easy to check the status of an invoice at any time. The process is also transparent, traceable and audit-proof: every step is logged in full, which allows it to be reconstructed if need be.

Tupperware Austria speeds up invoice approvals anywhere

Working with Konica Minolta, Tupperware Austria rolled out an electronic invoice-processing system with a legally compliant digital archive. Suppliers send electronic invoices to a general email address; paper invoices are scanned on receipt, ready for electronic processing.

The built-in workflow automatically forwards an invoice to the next person in the processing and approvals workflow, no matter where they’re based — avoiding the delays associated with putting hard copies in the post.

As well as processing efficiency gains, the company also benefits from increased invoice status transparency. ‘You can now see at the touch of a button which invoices have been received, processed, approved and paid, and which are ready for archiving,’ says Peter Moser, Operations Manager at Tupperware Austria.

Benefits of digitising core document-based processes

When you use intelligent OCR software to digitise and distribute incoming mail as PDF files, you make the process more efficient and cost-effective. Employees receive their incoming items promptly, no matter where they are, which gives them more flexibility and supports remote and mobile working.

You also reduce the risk of errors in PDF naming and filing. By increasing accuracy and consistency in this area, you make future document retrieval faster and more reliable, which reduces employee frustration and wasted time. Digitising your information also helps you protect it, by giving you more control over who can access what.

If you transition to digital invoice processing, you can reduce the cost and time involved. Shorter processing times can help you become more responsive — improving supplier relationships and enhancing customer satisfaction. The transparency and traceability inherent in digital processes, including e-signature, allow you to establish audit-proof, compliant archives, simplify contractual relationships, and handle any disputes with confidence.

Your starting point for digital transformation

If you’re looking to improve everyday document-based routines, digitising inbound mail handling or invoice processing is a great place to start.

Transforming these processes with OCR solutions does away with a raft of manual steps and tasks, as well as the risk of human error. At the same time, you can integrate digital information directly into your business systems, enhancing downstream processes and generating additional efficiencies.

Electronic signatures: make them part of your digital processes

Take your document digitisation agenda to the next logical step by switching from handwritten to electronic signatures. Discover the different types of e-signature, when each type is valid, and how you can use them.

DB Schenker success story

Higher efficiency in logistics documents reduces the processing time of one load up to 5 times and reduces the error rate in shipments to zero.

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