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New advancements in Intelligent Capture and RPA

With RPA set to supercharge productivity and efficiency across a range of businesses, interest in this field is developing almost as fast as the technology itself. Indeed, one study reported by Forrester predicted that RPA will represent a $2.9 billion industry by 2021.

Within such a dynamic environment it can be hard to keep on top of the latest developments. To make that simpler, we’ve summarized some of the most interesting trends in Intelligent Capture and RPA in recent months.

#1: Developing next-generation RPA

Early RPA was fairly limited in terms of its capabilities. Tasks like basic data entry, copying and pasting, and other processes that resembled simple macros were the mainstay of what was available.

Although perhaps not revolutionary, RPA of this type was nonetheless stunningly effective, allowing companies to achieve an output up to 15 times greater than what was possible with human workers alone, according to Deloitte.

RPA, however, is rapidly becoming an even more complex and useful technology. Although challenges remain in applying available machine learning and natural language processing to business needs, many companies are already adapting their processes and making ready for the “next step” towards a complete digital transformation. This may involve advanced robots capable of handling contracts, invoices and other complex documents, as well as end-to-end automation.

As cognitive processing develops, the role of RPA in business is only likely to grow.

#2: Intelligent Capture becoming prominent

Many businesses have their sights set on intelligent capture as the next technology that will streamline their business practice. It is undoubtedly a crucial part of task automation and one that will allow businesses to complete tasks in-house that previously would have required expensive outsourcing.

CapturePoint is just one example of a simple technology that automates a process that might otherwise require a significant amount of human time and attention.

Business process management is set to change dramatically in coming years. While previously this field was focused on the allocation of tasks among human resources, in the future it will likely look significantly different, with the deployment of intelligent machine resources taking prominence.

#3: Agility vs. cost-cutting

Intelligent data capture and RPA will, of course, reduce costs for many companies. Indeed, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) predicted a reduction in costs of 35-65 percent for onshore operations in companies that successfully implement RPA.

And that’s not to mention the other benefits inherent in automated data capture.

It’s interesting to note that the focus of many businesses looking to employ these technologies is efficiency rather than simple cost-cutting. The higher process efficiency afforded by the use of RPA and intelligent capture will make businesses in a range of spheres more agile, with shorter development cycles and more agility once on the market.

Conclusion

With these developments in RPA and intelligent capture, it’s no wonder more businesses than ever before are looking to implement these new technologies.

Doing so, of course, is not without potential pitfalls, but with an experienced team of experts on board, almost any business stands to reap the rewards of well-implemented RPA processes, from increased efficiency to a lower error rate to the freeing up valuable human resources.

3 ways data capture can make your office more efficient

Data—SMBs have a whole load of it when creating marketing campaigns and customer profiles. In fact, businesses collected more data in 2017 than in the previous 5,000 years combined. But how much of this data is actionable?

Capturing the right data can improve efficiency in the office—the complete prism from high value conversions to clear communication. Here are three ways data collection turbocharges productivity at work.

1. Data capture increases sales.

Data collection provides SMBs with valuable customer intelligence—the type of information that boosts sales across the board. The latest breed of data capture softwares collect data from a wide range of sources—website forms, mobile devices, social media, third parties etc.—and generate accurate insights into consumers’ behavior as they progress through the sales funnel. All of this information is available in one place, so marketers can make quick decisions and solve problems.

48% of sales and marketing teams use data collection for customer value analytics, where information influences market segmentation and predictive analytics. This can have a significant impact on sales. Marketers can discover which customers have the most value, for example, or which products are the most popular.

2. Enhance customer engagement.

Data capture also lets SMBs engage with customers on a more meaningful level. When consumers provide these companies with data—names, addresses, email addresses, etc.—marketers can build customer profiles and send targeted communications via email, social media and SMS. These personalized messages bridge the gap between companies and their customers and foster consumer relationships. SMBs can also forecast future trends by analyzing customers’ behaviors and interests.

Customers who don’t receive good service can take their business elsewhere. Data capture, however, provides SMBs with actionable insights into what consumers really want.

“Today, more and more companies are realizing that true competitive advantage lies in creating an engaging customer experience—one that is personal, fast, easy and useful,” says digital transformation analyst Daniel Newman, writing for Forbes magazine.

3. Improve mobile workforce productivity.

Research suggests that 3.7 million employees now work from home at least half of the time. With data capture, SMBs can monitor their mobile workforce through devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Managers can track time and attendance, manage absences, and assign work to telecommuters with the latest software, which instantly improves productivity in the office.

Many small and medium businesses lack the office space and resources to hire on-premise staff, resulting in an influx of mobile workers. The latest analytics provides these companies with useful information for decision-making and problem solving, such as staff members who have achieved the most sales or workers who have put in the most hours in a given time period.

Data capture also improves digital transformation, which allows managers to provide mobile workers with the right technology.

Data capture is a must-have for any SMB that wants to increase sales, enhance customer engagement and improve mobile workforce productivity. The amount of information that’s available to these companies is vast and far-reaching. As a result, companies can optimize efficiency and productivity in the office.

3 areas of business that robotic process automation is optimizing.

By 2035, artificial intelligence is expected to boost average business profitability by 38% and lead to an economic increase of $14 trillion dollars.

One component of artificial intelligence taking the business world by storm is robotic process automation (RPA).

Robotic process automation is a type of software meant to mimic human actions in performing smaller tasks within larger processes. RPA systems learn actions by watching an end user execute a task within a software application’s graphical user interface.

The goal of RPA is to perform repetitive tasks quickly and accurately using a robot. This lets employees focus on more important aspects of the business like customer interaction and strategy.

“RPA takes the robot out of the human.” — McKinsey

In the business world, there are 3 areas where robotic process automation is making a dramatic impact.

#1: Business process management.

Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach to streamlining processes, identifying areas that need improvement, and implementing best practices across all areas of an organization. It’s achieved through consultation with business strategists specializing in BPM.

One aspect of BPM is automation. That’s where RPA is changing the game.

RPA is the natural evolution of traditional automation. It’s easier to install onto existing software systems and extremely scalable. RPA software automates processes without changing, replacing, compromising, or adding maintenance expenses to existing applications. Thus, business consultants are increasingly using RPA in their optimization strategies.

Organizations can choose to incorporate RPA as a part of a complete business process management overhaul. Or they can simply automate individual tasks within their existing processes, achieving significant results with less time and investment.

“RPA projects save money, recoup the investment in just six to nine months, and don’t require major IT architecture changes or deep integration with underlying systems.” — Everest Group

#2: Data capture and transfer.

Instead of manually entering data into multiple databases, RPA is able to pull data from one application and push it into another according to the business needs. This is beneficial for form-driven and data-heavy processes like onboarding new accounts, fulfilling purchase orders or processing invoices.

Combined with machine learning capabilities, RPA learns from its mistakes and enters data more accurately over time, eventually eliminating the need for human supervision and error checking.

Related Blog: Harnessing Machine Learning’s Role in Data Capture

#3: Customer service.

Call centers use a variety of different systems and vendors to satisfy customer needs. When a customer calls in, a call center employee needs to pull up the appropriate account information, determine the reason for their call, switch between different systems and applications to retrieve the right details, and relay the best response back to the customer.

The longer this process takes, the more a customer’s frustration grows.

Using RPA, information can be captured, analyzed, cross-referenced, and shared across platforms. Thus, when a customer calls in, a tab with all of the right account details can automatically be opened on a representative’s desktop.

Robotic process automation also allows customer service representatives to avoid spending time entering the same data into different systems. Once a representative inputs data into one vendor system, the other systems automatically populate with that same information.

Each automation allows call center employees to successfully help more customers in less time with better results.

Harnessing the power of robotic process automation.

There are plenty of additional ways that RPA can have a dramatic impact on your business. A great place to start is looking at all of the processes within your company and identifying steps within them that can be automated. If you need help, be sure to reach out to an IT provider skilled in implementing artificial intelligence-based solutions.

Related Blog: Digital Transformation Trends to Watch in 2018

Harnessing Machine Learning’s Role in Data Capture

Picture this: you’re faced with a seemingly endless stack of paper documents and told to enter them into your database. By hand. Four hours tick by and you’ve barely made a dent in the pile.

You’ve got a meeting in 30 minutes and a critical project to complete after that, all before you’re out for a week on vacation. But Janet from accounting needs these documents by the end of the day. When is this going to get done?

Let’s face it. Manual data entry is the stuff of nightmares. It’s the ultimate time-suck for you and your employees. And Heaven help you if you actually have to go back and find a singular piece of information amid the thousands of PDFs on your server. That’s enough to make a full-grown adult break down and cry. There’s got to be a better way.

Thankfully, there is.

Meet Data Capture

Essentially, data capture allows organizations to easily convert paper documents into digital, business-ready data. Digitally transformed documents are easily readable, editable, and searchable. Thus eliminating valuable man-hours spent sifting through and updating paper files.

What makes data capture possible? Machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence (AI), is the key. This division of AI focuses on creating programming systems that are able to make decisions like humans, operating on self-learning algorithms and improving their processes without being repeatedly programmed. The goal of an application using machine learning is to reduce human involvement and help predict future outcomes based on past data trends.

It’s the same technology responsible for advancements such as self-driving cars and voice recognition technology. And, it’s here now to help you avoid endless hours of document processing.

Here’s a brief look at how.

Machine Learning and Document Transformation

Possibly the biggest benefit of data capture is saving time, effort and errors by turning paper documents into easily accessible, classifiable, and searchable online files. How?   

Supervised Learning

Information extraction via supervised learning essentially infers an outcome based on a set of pre-programmed examples called “training datasets.” In human and animal psychology, this idea is called “concept learning” and allows us to distinguish different objects, events, and ideas from one another.

Through the use of supervised learning, machines are able to analyze documents and identify the type they are – PDF, image, text, spreadsheet, etc. They are then able to extract specific data and automatically index documents, linking to patients or projects based via language processing technologies.

Active Learning

While this document identification and processing can be done entirely without human intervention, active learning can be employed when resources for employing machine learning are limited.

Active learning is when a computer is only able to use a limited number of training datasets (usually due to budgetary restrictions). As the machine learns over time, these processes will eventually be completed without human intervention.

After documents are scanned, properly programmed machines have the ability to detect fraudulent information. The machine will analyze a document and ask the user if it classified the file and/or extracted the data correctly. Then, based on user feedback, it will refine its document processing rules until the task can be done without user assistance.

Next Steps

A whopping 72% of SMB decision-makers state that technology solutions can significantly improve business outcomes and/or help them run their business better. Machine learning is most certainly one of these technologies.

The scalability, customizable architecture, and easy integration of machine learning makes adopting this technology to improve company processes a no-brainer (machine learning joke, anyone?).

We specialize in making technology advancements easily accessible, helping businesses everywhere process documents faster and share them more securely. If you are interested in learning how your organization can harness machine learning to improve your business outcomes, reach out.

3 Ways Data Capture Helps With Digital Transformation

Humans are creatures of habit. Especially when it comes to how they do things. This is particularly true when we consider adopting new technology to improve workflow.  It can be hard for people to branch out and try a new process, especially when they see nothing wrong with their current approach. In fact, “47% of companies haven’t started to embark on digital transformation.” That means almost half of the businesses out there have yet to explore tech that has the potential to give them a competitive edge.

With new productivity technologies available every day, it makes sense to see how at least a few of them can help your company. A good place to start is a data capture solution. It’s easy to use, not ridiculously expensive, and a great way to increase results in the office. Here are a few more reasons your business should take a closer look at incorporating data capture into its processes:

Saving Resources

Fact is, printing is expensive. Of course, like just about anything else, you have to buy supplies to do it. There’s no such thing as a free lunch or, as it turns out, a ream of paper.  With 10 reams costing upwards of $50, keeping your office stocked year-round, year after year can add up. (Then there’s the ink, not to mention wear and tear on the machines…)

Not only is printing paper costly to do, it’s costly to file and store. Sifting through documents in order to categorize them takes time. Employees can spend minutes trying to file just one piece of paper. That might not seem like a lot of time, but if they’ve got a stack 50 sheets tall, all going different places, that’s over two hours of filing time. Time they could use to work on other more pressing projects.  

Using a data capture solution will help your business save time, money and even office space. For the equivalent of a cup of coffee per day, your employees can scan files in, convert them into Word or PDF documents, store them on a server,  and easily search them. And you won’t need to take up valuable space storing filing cabinets and boxes full of paper anymore. You can use the space you freed up going paperless for something more productive like another meeting space, or something fun like a ping-pong table. After all, happy employees who feel connected and engaged are more productive employees.

Boosting Productivity

Gone are the days of spending hours retyping up PDFs and scouring them for data. Data capture solutions allow you to spend less time manually reviewing, entering and filing data and more time working using the data for other critical projects.

Data capture ensures that information is being automatically identified, analyzed and applied so that it becomes useful information for customers, colleagues, and partners in your business. Your team reduces the time spent in administrative activity and increases their focus on providing knowledge and skill that results in more value for everyone.

In addition, “employees who believe their workplace effectively uses mobile tech are more creative, satisfied, and productive at work.” Essentially, when you’re employees feel like you’re making an effort to focus their talents on more meaningful work, they’ll work harder for you.

Reducing Human Error

If you’ve ever transcribed documents, you know how it goes. It starts out fine. It’s not so bad. Nine pages? No problem. After the first two, you go on autopilot. You’re plugging along. By page four, you’re starting to drag. You begin making silly errors. You catch them, but it’s a time-consuming pain to go back and fix them. Who needed that comma there, anyway?

Geez. By page eight, you’ve had it. You’re mistyping something every other section. Stick a fork in you, you’re done. There’s GOT to be a better way. Turns out, there is. In addition to saving time, scanning documents in will help you reduce human error by eliminating data entry mistakes and the costs that result down the line, from production to invoicing to payroll.  

Going Digital: What Next?

If your company is in need of some digital transformation, we can help. Our data capture solution allows you to easily process data and documents entirely online, saving time, money, and headaches. With CapturePoint, your one step closer to a faster, better, and more innovative way of doing business.

The Data Capture Revolution

December 1, 1913. That was the day Henry Ford introduced the world to the concept of the assembly line.

Ford was an innovative thinker committed to efficiency. He spent years tinkering with various ways to speed up the process of building a car without sacrificing quality. At one point, workers laid out all the parts for the Model N (the predecessor to the famed Model T) along the floor. They then pulled the car from one end of the work floor to the other, adding parts as they went. It made production faster, but he wasn’t satisfied.

In the end, his quest for streamlining paid off. Prior to the assembly line, it took skilled workers a full 12 hours to build a car. With the assembly line, Ford was able to reduce that time to 2.5 hours. It transformed the automotive industry.

Resounding Impact

Of course, car makers aren’t the only folks who benefited from Ford’s innovation. The assembly line is, to this day, the default setup for manufacturing. In fact, every smart business leader tries to walk in Ford’s footsteps, seeking out opportunities to streamline processes and capitalize on efficiency.

Here at Process Fusion, we know a thing or two about that.

One of our award-winning areas of specialization is data capture technology. Data capture comes in many different forms, from common standards like barcode readers to more complex use cases. The basic concept is the same across the board. Data capture is the collection and processing of data without direct, manual data input.

If you type a sentence using your keyboard, that’s manual input. If you scan a form and a piece of software captures the information, automatically transporting it to text on your screen, that’s data capture.

Four things make data capture compelling.

Data Capture Is Fast

Manual data entry is time consuming. That’s true if you only have a single document to transcribe. If you have hundreds or thousands of paper records, moving that data from analog to digital by transcription could easily take months.

By comparison, data capture is lightning-fast. It takes a fraction of the time to scan a document.

Data Capture Is Accurate

Faster data processing is no good if the integrity of the data is affected. Given the relative newness of the technology, some wonder if data capture is trustworthy.

It is.

In fact, our data capture solution is extremely accurate. Not only is it capable of transcribing paper forms to a digital format, but it can even perform more complex operations, like sorting, categorizing and filing that information based on the nature of the data.

Data Capture Is Easy

The technology behind our data capture solution is incredibly complex. But there’s good news. You don’t have to mess with the back end. The Process Fusion team will take care of that for you.

Your experience with our data capture tool won’t require any technical expertise at all. That’s our job.

Data Capture Is Cost-Effective

When you harness the power of automation, you can almost always see it in your bottom line. As processes get smoother and faster, productivity increases without additional resources. That means you can do more without an increase in costs.

That in turn translates to some serious ROI.

Advanced Data Capture

Here at Process Fusion, we call our data capture solution “Advanced Data Capture” – and that’s exactly what it is. We’re confident our data capture tool can make a powerful difference in how you do business.

If that sounds interesting to you, give us a call. We’ll be happy to give you more information.