OCR technology, could this be the next wave of digital transformation?
Technology is advancing and companies are quickly adopting the innovative and creative tools evolving to help improve business processes. One such “evolution” is optical character recognition (OCR) technologies. Companies are using OCR that integrates with ERPs and other applications to help achieve significant results.
What is OCR?
OCR technology is a business solution for automating data extraction, it is the mechanical or electronic conversion of text. This text can be typed, handwritten or taken from a scanned document/image/graphic/photo. The OCR technology will quickly and accurately convert test into a format that can be easily edited, stored, searched or used in support of business applications.
Benefits of OCR Technology
There is a wide array of OCR use cases, with a multitude of benefits for each. Just a few are explored below.
Digitally-Secure Stored Data
The traditional way of storing documents and files has become outdated, particularly because it makes it very hard to quickly search for required documents. OCR technology has enabled businesses to store very large amounts of documents easily both digitally on drives and in the cloud. This also allows document files to be accessed in no time, reducing manual labour and improving cost-efficiency.
The digital revolution has meant most people now perform the majority of tasks online. The digital documents made by OCR technology acquires data quickly, and in real-time. This enables professionals to be more productive, quicker, and reliable – being able to access truthful data wherever and whenever.
Manual data processing has a much higher risk of errors, delays and misunderstandings. OCR technology can improve each of these with direct advantages. Searching, accessing and modifying documents becomes quicker and easier, with much lower risks of errors.
Business Process OCR Technology Can Improve
AI developments have, and will continue to, take OCR technology to new levels. Since OCR can identify both typed and handwritten text as well as different languages and symbols, its use in modern-day business has increased tremendously.
Below are just a few business processes where OCR technology can save a good deal of worktime and yield better results.
Historically, most businesses had their data stored as hard copies or a mix of hard and digital documents. If anyone wanted to retrieve data fast and accurately, it would be challenging.
As the world moves ever more digitally and more businesses adopt OCR, documents can be scanned and stored automatically. OCR technology systems will seamlessly index and sort digital documents and data.
As an example, medical records were historically stored as paper copies. If a doctor today wanted to compare recent test results with those taken years ago, they would need to find the relevant archive and file and physically copy the material to be able to compare it. If it was scanned using OCR, a computer would be able to locate and compare automatically.
The improvements to document management directly impacts efficiency across multiple business verticals including law, finance, logistics and pretty much any you can think of!
OCR allows data to be imported from hard-copy invoices and transform it into a digital format in a matter of seconds, rather than typing everything up by hand. This not only saves time for those working in expense management, but it also makes reconciliation of expenses to be easier and more automatic.
Scanning invoices centralises the data and makes it accessible in real-time as well as making it possible to search through large amounts of documents faster. This is a game changer for payment processing departments because data/invoices can be found in a matter of clicks, regardless of the original invoice form. OCR technology cuts down the workload, reduces errors and allows teams to work smarter not harder.
It has been touched on above, but another way OCR technology can help improve business processes is by simply improving employee productivity and satisfaction. OCR enables many processes to be automated, saving time and effort. Employees will have to spend less time on repetitive and tedious tasks and become more focused and productive at work.
Giving employees access to innovative tools will see performance improve.
Bringing our customers industry leading OCR technology
Elevate2 have partnered with Payhawk. Payhawk combines credit cards, payments, expenses and cash into one integrated experience. It helps you manage and automate everything between your bank and NetSuite in real-time.
Payhawk allows you to scan and take photos of expenses and purchase invoices with OCR technology, then automatically create matching transactions in NetSuite, to save you time and money.