The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) put forth an ideal scenario.
Your invoices are scanned at the door, the document type is automatically recognized and routed, the data is captured, it is verified against transactional content in the system, and the invoice is passed for payment in a hands-free or light-touch way.
Ah, but one can dream!
While most organizations use scanning at some point in this process, for the most part, paper still rules. Data may be extracted here and there, but in the majority of cases, it’s the paper (or at best, a flat, scanned image) that is routed through workflow. Even in the largest organizations, the level of full data capture is only 16 percent. These companies are most likely using paper-free data capture for basic financial operations, including the accounts payable and expense reimbursement processes.
The evolution of capture
AIIM mentions that centralized systems have become speedier and more capable in recent years, and prior bandwidth issues associated with connecting to distributed and remote scanners are more or less moot. Today’s discussion mostly centers on how we can efficiently and safely capture data from mobile phones, tablets, and home devices.
AIIM reports that about 25 percent of organizations have employees capturing data at home and while traveling – a process called mobile capture. Mobile capture includes content creation on the device and the use of electronic forms to directly capture data. Pen-stroking of signatures is also an important application, and can include the biometrics of how the signature is drawn rather than simply the bitmap of the result. Other ways data can be collected and stored by mobile devices include speech recognition and recording, photo capture and annotation, barcode scanning, GPS stamping, and RFID capture.
The obvious benefits of mobile capture are that the process kicks off immediately, and if the customer is doing the capture himself, errors can be spotted right away. On average, AIIM survey respondents reported an improvement in response time of 4.0X – reducing 1 day down to 2 hours, or 4 days to 1 day. As far as productivity increases go, the average across all respondents is 29.7 percent improvement. Finally, mobile capture applications allow usage of the same electronic forms across a wide variety of devices.
What about security?
More so than centralized and distributed capture, mobile capture opens a security can of worms. AIIM asked its survey respondents what they would consider to be the minimum acceptable level of technical security for mobile capture.
Forty-seven percent would ensure encapsulation and/or encryption on devices to avoid access from other on-device applications. End-to-end validation with “delete after sent” functionality are also important. Eighteen percent of respondents would be happy with an SSL connection over VPN, and 8 percent were just not that concerned about security.
If you are considering – or in the process of – making the move to mobile capture, you might want to think about first doing a mobile capture risk assessment and then carefully selecting the best solution. Check out AIIM’s how to guides before you jump in.
Register for this free AIIM webinar on June 24 and learn how you can improve your workflows and increase the productivity of your teams.