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Businesses’ love-hate relationship with paper

Cássio Vaquero, Regional Director, Information Management division, for APAC and Latin America, Kodak Alaris | Jan. 13, 2016
With the increase of digital information and conveniences, the need for paper seems to be waning, but is it really? Have we fully made the leap to a paperless society?

3. Digital data indigestion
It is not that businesses are not receptive to new technology, old habits just die hard. Taking notes on a printout and authorized signatories on physical documents give individuals greater assurance, and people and organizations will continue to do so for quite a while.

The problem lies not in the digital media itself - how it's processed or stored, or any other of its qualities. The problem lies in how we consume it and interact with it. The problem is the interface. It is a personal preference.

Whether the 'paperless office' will become a reality is a hot topic, but until there is a 100 percent shift to digital records, data from multiple physical and digital sources need to be merged and placed in the cloud for ease of access, categorisation and information management.

How can we cope? 

1. Know your paper policy
Organisations need to understand legislations and optimize work executed within legal boundaries. The information from these paper documentations tend to be essential and confidential and need to be accurately scanned, to be properly reflected in digital copies for categorisation and management. 

Having a centralised information management system further improves traceability and compliance. Improved data capture quality incorporated into downstream processes further facilitates process standardization, regulatory compliance and security by creating the same transactional audit trails and controlling access only to authorised personal.

2. Ensure high quality capture
Poor data quality as a result of incorrect, missing, or duplicate data costs businesses on average $14.2 million annually. One way to ensure the accuracy of data is to leverage optical character recognition (OCR) technology that can capture, index and eliminate data entry fails from the start. This transforms scanned material into fully searchable electronic documents.

To achieve the full benefits of distributed capture, additional browser-based capture applications can further simplify and increase efficiency of information management. A browser-based interface allows every workstation in the office to be connected to scanning solutions.

3. Cut to the chase
Real-time response is the norm and expected of organizations across banks, retail outlets, healthcare services, and even within the government sector. A common thread across these organisations, is that customer information sits both in physical forms and digitally through online systems. Organizations need to find the fastest most efficient route to optimize the processing of data and smoothen information management workflow.

Accurate scanning with OCR technology is a start, minimizing time required for rescanning errors. Automated categorisation of information through machine learning is another key technology that saves organisations huge amounts of time and further minimizes entry errors that are common with manual entry.

Once information is on a centralized system, staff need to be able to readily and easily access information in order to provide real-time response and enhance customer service levels.


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