Innovations in document and data capture technology are changing the way we do business. Distributed capture using common multifunction printers (MFPs) is helping to extend the value of capture to the edges of the organization; speeding the pace of business, increase collaboration and workflow, and reduce the expensive burden of paper in many key business processes. Indeed, new capture technologies and approaches are propelling important process improvements. But how are real-world organizations making the most of these capabilities? Here are four important applications to consider.
Financial Services: Loan Origination
The banking industry is undergoing a huge transformation. For most customers the very idea of visiting a branch is becoming an old-fashioned notion – most of us opt for the drive-up ATM instead, or more likely, do our banking online. There is little reason to enter a branch, unless it is to do something like apply for a mortgage, a line of credit or a car loan. This inevitably leads to a trip to a bank to supply a variety of account paperwork and supporting documents.
MFPs are helping bank branches increase profitability and service by automating the loan origination process. Rather than collecting stacks of paper and shipping them to a centralized facility to be scanned and entered, loan officers instead capture documents using an MFP and then insert that information into the process directly at the point of origin. Often working directly with a customer, agents can be provided with a series of automated prompts that guide the collection of the right documents and information.
Healthcare: Medical Claims
Fierce debate continues to surround the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but most agree that it has changed the business of healthcare. The pressure for cost containment is intense as insurers react, often without a great deal of clarity, to the new demands in the marketplace.
One way to meet those demands is by using capture to streamline and improve the medical claims process. Next-generation tools can scan, extract and validate data from medical claim forms, automate the process and eliminate manual data entry. Most are pre-configured to quickly identify and capture important and requisite fields. In systems where data formatting for electronic data interchange is standardized and fully compliant with HIPAA[, organizations can feel confident that the automated capture tools are ensuring compliance as well as efficiency and cost savings.
It is a challenge for all government agencies to efficiently and accurately capture letters, documentation and other important correspondence. An even bigger challenge is building an automated workflow that ensures that once that information is captured it is then routed to the correct department or individual for further action. The burden of paper makes it difficult for agencies to follow federal policies and guidelines and ensure that permanently valuable records become part of the National Archives.
More and more, government agencies are relying on intelligent capture techniques using MFPs to scan and capture correspondence and then automate the retention and routing of the information. Not only does this help to eliminate paper and improve the process, it can provide a much more reliable platform from which to manage sensitive data. Classification techniques “understand” the type of document and correspondence, and optical character recognition (OCR) extracts key data required for the department or agency. Strict controls help monitor access to the document and easy-to-apply redaction features keep information secure and compliant. Trackable routing and detailed reports help ensure complete security and transparency, as well as appropriate custody of the correspondence.
All Industries: Accounts Payable
Accounts Payable, or AP, is a fundamental activity for nearly all businesses. The trouble is that as other areas of business and commerce have become increasingly paperless, the accounts payable process in most organizations remains mired in paper copies and manual workflow. The result is an often costly and people-intensive process that can leave companies vulnerable to competitors and financial executives with a growing unease over the inherent inefficiencies.
One way organizations from all vertical industries are boosting the efficiency of AP is to capture and automate invoices, statements and other AP documentation using MFPs linked with the next generation of intelligent capture software. Many systems are designed to integrate with existing MFPs and link the scanning and capture process directly to any enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with no manual data entry. This works to mitigate the burden of paper in legacy AP processes for any business. Advanced OCR accurately captures all critical invoice data. This may include vendor ID, date, line item and total amounts, for example. Overall, the built-in capabilities reduce invoice processing costs, improve accuracy and help accounts payable staff be more productive.
Whatever your industry, it is almost guaranteed that you are seeking ever more efficient and automated workflow, and yet are bound by regulations and compliance issues. Just as certain is the availability of solutions for your industry, and the need for one or many MFPs to take advantage of those solutions. Regardless of the vertical, industry or market, process optimization through advance capture can help reduce the burden of paper, bringing increased value to your organization.