Ensure paperless e-office in the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 era with Intelligent Document Processing
by Rajesh Agarwal, on Jun 5, 2020 10:55:35 PM
Estimated reading time: 4 mins
In a densely populated society with similar kind of workplaces, remote operations are increasingly becoming the norm in the new world order pronounced by the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 scenario. Today, Digitalization is now being looked at with a new found enthusiasm and vigor. However, most of the businesses have just set foot on the Digitalization bandwagon, with most of those out there still dealing with paper alongside varying degrees of e-office maturity. Paper and similar such paper-based workflows are being increasingly looked at as possible sources of contamination. Though, all is not lost.
On the brighter side, innovators have already developed a technology, more specifically Intelligent Document Processing, which enables businesses to automate work scenarios even in a paper-based environment in a highly cost-efficient manner. Originally envisioned to reduce process latency due to paper-work, it allows the businesses across the spectrum, be they micro, small and medium entities or large enterprises, to be equally proficient on the Digitalization turf along with their born-digital counterparts, who are already using Digital Technologies.
How does Intelligent Document Processing enable a paperless office and remote work?
Intelligent Document Processing essentially executes from the data room, where all the snail mail and courier lands, is stored, and then routed to the various departments. It is here that professionals in protective gear now handle all the incoming email. After receiving the mail, instead of opening the envelopes and packets right away, the mail is allowed to stand for three days. After the moratorium, on the fourth day the mail is opened chronologically and scanned with pre-configured high resolution scanners and the digital copies are stored in scanned folders. The incoming documents can be also received from FTP folders or email in the form of PDFs, TIFF files or image files, Word, Excel spreadsheets, jpeg formats, etc. These digital versions can then be uploaded in digital workflows and cloud-based upstream / downstream systems as well as remotely accessed.
It is important to note here that Intelligent Document Processing is an elaborate yet a high speed process. It captures information, classifies it according to pre-defined categories (e.g. invoice, bill of lading, etc.), verifies and validates the information, formats it for data accuracy, and then only inputs the information in the downstream systems. This entire process is termed as Intelligent Document Processing. The term “Intelligent” denotes that the technology is able to capture data with high accuracy even from highly unstructured documents that too in a completely template-free mode! This intelligence is a direct function of Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning algorithms, Natural Language Processing, and fuzzy logic.
Benefits of Intelligent Document Processing
Intelligent Document Processing USPs
- Template-free model:
The in-built Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning and the fuzzy logic layers enable the technology to extract information from any part of the document “without any template”. The layers override the need to create a template for each and every incoming unstructured document.
- Pre-processing features for image quality enhancement:
The incoming documents can be very light or at times very dark. They could be noisy with a lot of blemishes, lines, watermark, etc., making it difficult to read the data. The pre-processing features take care of all these aspects and a lot more including the brightness, the hue and contrast, dot matrix format, etc. These pre-processing features are instrumental in enhancing the quality of the image, the data capture, and hence the accuracy of the overall solution.
- Post-processing features for data quality improvement:
The Intelligent Document Processing solution is well equipped with post-processing features, which take care of the data quality. These features enable auto-location of the information in the entire document without a template. The same features are instrumental in the auto-classification of the document based on the document title and the overall topography of the document. In addition, in-built logic, for example date near invoice number is invoice date, date near PO number is PO date, net amount is in numeric format and spelt out in word format and both should be equal, the 5th alphabet in the alpha numeric PAN number is the first letter of your last name, the right place for commas and decimals in the numerals, and much more., helps to auto-correct the captured information. Similarly, it takes care of common OCR errors such as S and 5, B and 8, etc.
- Artificial Intelligence enabled continuous learning:
Intelligent Document Processing is Artificial Intelligence enabled. It is much more than plain OCR and has the capability to improve the data quality that is getting ingested with pre-processing features as well as auto-correction of the captured information with post-processing features. With the ability of continuous learning, the technology is able to improve over time through exception handling so that ultimately there is a decrease in the instances of exception. The technology improves the overall efficiency of the solution through enhanced automation.
Sectors that have wide use of Intelligent Document Processing
The Intelligent Document Processing solutions can be used in all paper-heavy document workflows:
- Banking processes
- Insurance claim processing
- Manufacturing processes involving paper-based financial transactions
In the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 era, paperless transactions and remote operations are becoming a new normal. However, the paradigm cannot be changed overnight. Intermediary technologies, such as Intelligent Document Processing, enable micro, small, and medium entities as well as large enterprises to jump start a paperless e-office. The technology offers an adaptable solution that suits most business environments.