Before choosing the right scanner, it is crucial to understand the basics about OCR. Optical Character Recognition is software that allows a program to scan text that is in picture format then convert it into editable or electronic characters. So basically, you take a picture of a book, then an OCR scanner converts that picture into digital text. And this text is editable in a program such as Microsoft Word and in many cases can just populate fields in your database or customized software.
The OCR market is expanding, which means there are more options than ever before. Some are devices with existing features while others offer add-on options. Discover how to choose a scanner for your unique business needs.
Consider the Pricing
Document scanning services and machines vary a lot based on the project size. The average cost of software varies as well depending on your specific needs. Keep in mind, this is only software and may not include the hardware. Many companies offer subscription packages. Such project-based pricing models allow a company to be flexible in managing documentation costs.
On top of these costs, you also need to consider the time it will take for the vendor to install the system. Installation may require an extra fee. Remember to think about what you need to pay for training your administrator and users. On top of that, you may need to pay for IT infrastructure and other computer maintenance costs.
A service bureau offers your company services for a fee. This is usually a technology-based service but in the imaging world it is scanning documents and inputting their data. Service bureaus in general scan a document present it to a data entry operator who inputs the information in the client’s database. This is a very manual intensive service but can be greatly enhanced using an OCR data capture system. This software greatly reduces the error rate of data input, can assist with comparing data between company database and captured data, resolves entry of low confidence characters and even classifies each document. Service bureaus that have incorporated an OCR system have been able to triple or quadruple their workload due the the efficiency and ROI or an OCR System.
Check Data Security
Some scanning devices or services might not be entirely safe. Once you scan and transfer data to your computer, the scanned data is not encrypted, leaving your data vulnerable.
Some companies offer data encryption so if your documents get hacked. And there is no way anybody can read through your sensitive files. Other companies also provide advanced HIPAA compliance in the medical industry. And some offer biometric technology for even greater user authentication.
It Must Integrate with Your Billing System
Today, invoices are mostly electronic. Thus, invoices can be approved online. Then the company representative charges the customer and logs it into the system, making everything efficient. However, many businesses still issue some manual or paper invoices. When this happens, your personnel has to input this data into your system manually. The process is time-consuming and leaves room for errors. OCR resolves this problem. All your staff has to do is to take a picture, or scan, the paper invoice and then load it into the system.
But what happens if your scanner of choice is tied up with your overall invoicing and billing software? Solve this problem by choosing a scanner that integrates into your billing software. Most scanners today are TWAIN compliant and thus integrate with most software systems that support TWAIN scanners. When you integrate your scanner with your invoicing system, you can enjoy the following benefits.
- Increased efficiency in the absence of manual input
- Lesser occurrences of errors
- Improved billing experience for the customer
- Cost reduction on paper usage
- Computerized analysis of all your invoices
- Real-time financial insights on your invoices
Realize the Benefits of An OCR Scanner
Any organization that processes bills and a multitude of other documents can benefit from an OCR scanner. This processing technology saves you from the headache of losing data because of a fire, flood, or hurricane. All your information is kept online on a server and becomes accessible by other people in your organization, even if they are not in the same location.
Consider OCR Solutions invoice processing capabilities. Just set up your system and begin processing. And OCR Smart creates spur-of-the-moment templates automatically by using dynamic search data capture. As a result, users see lower costs in their A/P department, a more efficient workplace environment, and more accurate data.
An OCR system is justifiable if you process many documents or invoices on a monthly basis. Calculate the benefit by determining the cost of labor spent on invoicing and analyzing and then comparing it to the price and maintenance of an OCR scanner or system. Remember to factor in the cost of potential errors, by using an OCR scanning system.
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