In the paper-based days before document capture software, companies would hire file clerks, who typically were entry-level employees doing one of the most important jobs of the organization: safely filing, protecting and retrieving documents.
Paper documents were both the lifeblood and the product of all business transactions. The backup systems were the copies the typist made with the help of carbon paper and flimsy copies. So one document replicated itself and added girth and heft to increasingly overburdened file folders in file drawers of file cabinets that took up the space of at least one human being.
The human custodians of all that paper were subject to making errors – commonly referred to as "misfiling." A document placed in the wrong file, or a file shoved into the wrong cabinet location essentially – like horseshoes and hand grenades, where close-enough always counts – meant the document was near enough to being permanently lost. The often panic-stricken hunt for that one document or file folder was frequently a baffling exercise of in the realm of bad luck, where lack of preparation met opportunity for failure.
Even if the document is not misfiled, how often does our short-term memory fail us just a few days after we do the work and file away the records? We ask ourselves, "What was the name of that customer who sent us that nice letter of appreciation last week?" or, "How many other happy customers sent us positive feedback on how our widget really improved their lives? We could use that for testimonials in our company literature."
Today's high-speed document scanners and reliable document capture software are to file clerks and cabinets as modern databases are to the old card-based Dewey Decimal library book file locating and inventory systems. Misfile or misplace one book reference card, and the book ceases to "exist" in the inventory. Try to delete a document image from your document capture software, and you will at least get an "Are you sure?" inquiry; that is, if you are authorized to delete it in the first place.
Scanners take a crisp image of the document and the software renders its contents into both searchable text, both within the document itself and for global keyword searches among all document images. In the example of looking up customers who sent thank-you notes, the searcher could use searches like "thank you letters" for quick batch results right at the computer workstation.
Document Capture Software, after converting the document into the robust Adobe .PDF file format, takes advantage of what databases do best: indexing for lightning-fast retrieval and saving past inquiries for future use. Say you have a quarterly statistical report to do, and that report is based on invoices produced between certain dates. Do your first search until you get what you're seeking, then save the successful search with updated parameters for next time.
There are far more advantages and features to document scanning software. Want to learn more? Visit our overview brief on electronic filing solution that can take the paper monkey off your back, or contact us. One of your specialists will get back to your and go over our scalable solution that will transition your business to the e-filing solution that will end your dependence on the material world of paper, cardboard files and metal file cabinets.
Does your company utilize a Document Management Software? How has it benefited your organization?