Is Document Variation Getting You Down?
by Ben Cornforth, on June 11, 2020 9:30:00 AM PDT
5 Tips for Beating the Bottleneck
Document complexity can be a drag if you’re unable to address it with the technology and the people you have working with you. The systems you have in place may not be optimized to extract data from unstructured documents. That leaves your internal, back-end processes lacking, and has everyone working exponentially harder to try and dig out the data your system can’t see. Improving your accuracy and throughput is critical, however, to make sure document variation doesn’t stop the show.
Here are five ways to address the bottleneck document variation can cause, including tips for using these variations to make your company more competitive in today’s incredibly nuanced business environment.
1. Pick a Process
Select a process that has people holding it together, but that you’d like to make a straight-through process with technology. Maybe it’s a process with multiple documents, that requires training and skill to execute. Fully automating it would address speed, cost, and consumer experience deficiencies. Make sure you pick a process that also has the volume to make automation a worthwhile project, where the results will have a big business impact. That’s a good place to start.
2. Consider the Problem
- Complexity: If you have lots of documents holding lots of relevant information, you need to be able to get that data out and organized, regardless of how much variation there is in how the information is presented. If there’s not a template pattern to follow, then technologies such as OCR won’t know where to look.
- Speed/Cost: Figure out how much it costs you to process a document, and how many documents you’re processing a day. Try and see what your human touchpoints are, and how you could rejigger them to reduce employees’ workloads as much as possible. That’ll help you optimize your business process, and codify it in a repeatable business solution that lets you process documents using the best capabilities of all of your people. Even better, it’s sustainable.
3. Choose the Right Partner
Cut your costs and cut your risks with the right solution for you. Make sure you find a partner willing to put skin in the game and to spend the time to make sure they’re aligned with your goals. If the outcome is the most important thing to you, make sure you find a vendor willing to invest in that shared outcome. And remember – it’s not one size fits all, so we suggest exploring all of your options, but with safety in mind. That comes from knowing you have a partner committed to providing the accuracy you’re seeking.
4. Build Your Knowledge Base
Make sure you can use your solution to retain knowledge. That’s all of the unspoken expertise that comes with keeping everything running smoothly. It includes rules of thumb, tricks, and workarounds for when you need them -- stuff you won’t learn in training. Don’t let it walk out the door with your workers. Rather, you’ll want to transfer this knowledge to a machine.
With any luck, it’ll be a machine that can process as well as your best employee. This can increase your throughput and reduce training time, not to mention that it will spotlight your team’s best and brightest capabilities. Your process will certainly be able to scale faster this way.
5. Plan for the Future
Make sure you zoom out enough to think not just about where you are, but also where you’re headed. You’ll want to make sure you have a solution that will grow with you, to help avoid bottlenecks now, and ones you haven’t even thought of yet. A partner that can work with you on today’s problem is good, but one that can also help you solve others is even better. That takes care of your most pressing problem now, and tangential ones later.
You can work faster and more efficiently if you can turn document complexity into an asset and harness the full value of your documents. Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) can help. It’s the next-level solution, built to handle complex documents. And it handles variation like a champ.
Want to learn more about how?