Paper Puts the Brakes on Business Process Automation.

One of the biggest obstacles on the way to digitization is the fact that there are many companies where a lot of documents are only available in analog form. Moving such documents into the digital age is complex and can be costly. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to convert information on paper into digital data in order for it to be processed with existing IT infrastructure.

  #Digital Workplace   #Robotic Process Automation   #Business Automation  

Even in the digital age, the Swiss Federal Archives currently store about 60 linear kilometres(!) of archival material[i]- most of it consisting of paper documents according to official information. And although the digital age has been upon us for almost 40 years there are about 1.5 linear kilometres of paper being added each year. In most organizations the situation is not quite as challenging - not to say hopeless - but it is undisputed that in too many companies too many documents, such as invoices, are still processed in analogue formats without digital copies being made. 

 

OCR is the key

The times when digital text recognition was about as reliable as winning at roulette are fortunately over. However, even state of the art solutions are not one hundred percent accurate - the quality of the original document plays a decisive role - but recognition accuracy is usually impressive. A wide range of OCR solutions based on artificial intelligence is available today. Such applications recognize and capture text on printed documents with great accuracy and enable their extraction. Only by converting printed or handwritten texts into digital form in such a way, further use in digital systems becomes possible. Thus it is certain that OCR can make an important contribution to business process automation and specifically to robot-assisted process automation (RPA). It is equally certain that, in a digital process, it usually makes no sense to print documents in order to scan them again later. The best possible process quality can only be attained through consistent digitization.

 

What is OCR in RPA?

Robotic process automation (RPA) aims to replace human input with the work of robots. The aim is to achieve two long-term goals[ii]: On the one hand the elimination of errors and inefficiencies, on the other hand the shifting of resources from low value adding jobs to complex, effective tasks. OCR and RPA complement each other perfectly, enabling efficiency gains, which in the best case can be turned into a clear competitive advantage.

A modern OCR solution can be perfectly integrated into complex business process automation.  Users will even be able to switch between fully robotic and human-assisted input to check questionable results.  

 

UMB can advise and support you with regard to OCR

When it comes to the right solutions for your business automation, UMB is your best choice. We can advise and support you in the use of OCR technology. Simply contact us.

 

[i] https://www.bar.admin.ch/bar/en/home/archiving/analogue-documents.html

[ii] https://www.umb.ch/en/blog/news/detail/rpa-the-key-to-digital-transformation