By Ken Congdon, editor-in-chief, ECM Connection
In a recent ECM Connection webinar titled Document Capture Rising: How To Handle Increased Processing Volumes & Complexity, Mark Brousseau, president of Brousseau & Associates shared the results of a document capture survey his organization conducted in conjunction with document automation solutions provider ibml. The survey consisted of 20 questions that were promoted to a pool of more than 10,000 individuals representing companies in several industries including banking/finance, healthcare, and insurance.
Among the survey's most compelling findings was the increase in document capture complexity being reported by organizations. 73% of survey respondents stated that their document capture requirements are more complex today than they were two years ago (58.5% stated they were slightly more complex, while 15.1% said they were significantly more complex). According to Brousseau, this trend illustrates a maturation in how businesses are leveraging document imaging technology.
"Scan-to-archive used to be the primary imaging technique, particularly for applications like AP [accounts payable]," he says. "Nowadays, front-end capture is becoming the norm. Organizations are demanding that data be captured from images and applied to downstream systems and workflows."
Similarly, more than 66% of respondents claimed that their scanning volumes are significantly higher today than they were two years ago (42.1% stated they were slightly higher, while 24.6% said they weresignificantly higher). Cost reduction and chain-of-custody data are the primary drivers behind this development according to Brousseau.
"Businesses are coming to the realization that they need to get out of the file cabinet business," he says. "It takes one FTE to manage 12 stand-up file cabinets. Organizations are looking to digitize the paper information stored in these file cabinets to gain FTE savings. Plus, document imaging provides these businesses with an electronic audit trail that helps eliminate occurrences of lost, stolen, and misplaced documents."
During the webinar, Brousseau stressed how many of today's document capture technologies — including document classification, in-line document intelligence, and scanning and capture analytics — can help organizations cope with increased processing volumes and complexity. However, according to his survey and supporting research, these tools are vastly underutilized.
For example, a recent study by AIIM indicates that 52% of organizations report that only 10% of their processes are capture-enabled. Similarly, the Brousseau & Associates study shows that 75% of businesses do not yet use document classification technology. This was particularly surprising to Brousseau.
"Document classification technology provides an opportunity for organizations to address a lot of low-hanging fruit by automatically identifying the document types that enter the business and then applying intelligent rules on how to process each document type," he says.
Brousseau also emphasized the important role centralized capture continues to play in today's document imaging ecosystem.
"A lot of folks believe centralized scanning is an outdated concept that is being replaced by distributed and remote capture processes," he says. "However, there is intrinsic value in capturing documents at a single point of entry or 'center or excellence.' These environments provide the trained personnel, highly controlled processes, and sophisticated hardware and software necessary to ensure you get good quality images in a timely manner."
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