Document Capture software follows a set of rules to automatically identify and read incoming documents (eg. invoices, waybills, time sheets and just about any other kind of document) that may arrive in the enterprise as scanned documents, email attachments, incoming faxes, files stored in a folder as well as EDI. Once identified (classified) and read, document capture software again follows rules to locate and read field data on the single or multiple page documents. If for any reason the document capture software is not satisfied with the reliability of what it reads, the file and field information are passed to a verification station where the data is reviewed by a human for a decision. Once all the documents and fields have been read by the system and meet or exceed the systems confidence level, the data and images (usually TIF or PDF) are exported to the next step in a workflow – which could be output to any database, or document management system like MaxxVault or to an ERP system like Accumatica and many others.
On occasion and depending on the type of document capture system in use, verification station users may route or forward documents to specific reviewers that have business responsibilities and process knowledge to complete the capture processing. An example for this might where an invoice has been identified and read successfully, however some of the rows of invoice data must be assigned to an accounting systems GL code – this would be manually assigned by a person familiar with the GL codes.
Document capture software is valuable for companies that have to process large volumes of documents and don’t want to be burdened with the manual data entry otherwise required. Also document capture software is very different than what’s generally understood as OCR (optical character recognition) page recognition software. Document capture software is a highly accurate rules based system, complete with significant validation tools like database lookups and character and field lengths and operates on machine and hand print documents and provides significant controls for exporting content where and the way you’ll need it; where as OCR software simply applies best guess recognition and only works on machine print and will create a Word or PDF document and does not extract fielded data to your database. Document capture software captures specific targeted alphanumeric data that supports a business process when released for export.
Depending how you look at it, even electronic forms solutions or eform solutions are considered document capture solutions as they also employ constrained rules based logic to produce and read web based eforms that can also be routed to individuals for further down stream processing and finally releasing the captured data to one or more external databases.
As documents enter the organization the effort to minimize or virtually eliminate data entry is accomplished with document capture software aka data capture software. Capture solutions also reduce the time spent proof-reading, reduce the risks associated with human error , present full-text search data for document management solutions). Additional benefits include: time and financial savings due to decreased paper handling, document loading, storage, distribution, courier costs, postage/shipping, faxes, telephone, labour and more.
Pulling from sources such as high-end scanning devices, Multi-Function Peripherals (MFPs), file system folders, email servers, Microsoft SharePoint servers, and FTP sites, Capture Solution quickly and efficiently captures and digitizes documents, forms, and faxes. The goal for implementing a document capture solution is to reduce the amount of time spent in the scanning and capture process, and produce metadata along with an image file, and or OCR text. This information is then released to a Document Management, Enterprise Resource Planning or Enterprise Content Management. These systems often provide a search function, allowing search of the assets based on the produced metadata, and then viewed using document imaging software. For data capture, the solution extracts important information such as machine printed text, bar codes, hand printed words and even checked boxes.