Four Hundred Stuff:  Hardware, Software & Services

REPRINTED FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 37 – October 19, 2010

One of the great benefits of an electronic document management system is having a system that captures, indexes, and delivers or archives documents and reports in a single repository allowing greater organizational workflow and retrieval. Much of this work can be automated using standardized forms with numbers or bar codes that assist in indexing and filing. However, there are documents that are non-standard and require individual handling to place them in the correct files. That’s where Desktop Capture, a new product from S4i comes into play.

Let’s take an accounts payable process as an example. The typical documents that relate to paying an invoice are items such as the purchase order, the accounts payable invoice, and packing slips or bills of lading. A company with a document management system will store these electronically and those documents will be indexed using identifiers such as vendor numbers and purchase order numbers. All these standard documents will be kept in files sorted by vendor names. An important part of these standard documents is the location on the form of indexing numbers, which assist the automated scanning and filing process.

Desktop Capture was designed to organize all the non-standard document layouts where crucial index data may fall anywhere on the page of the miscellaneous and free-form documents that aren’t identified with a numbering sequence or any type of indexing method, for instance. These are important related documents such as digital or hard copy correspondence that could be an email or a word processing document, a photo or other graphic, and other ancillary information that can and should be kept in a single repository and indexed for easy retrieval.
Rather than having random documents floating around in numerous, unaccounted files, this process leads to greater organization through indexing and easier retrieval of all documents relating to a single customer, a single vendor, or a single employee (the human resources advantage).

This process can be accomplished from a variety of locations branch offices using a network scanner and sending the electronic files to a network folder, for instance or from a scanner attached to a single user’s PC. Understand that the speed of this process is directly affected by the speed of the scanner. A desktop scanner should be considered for relatively low volume, small business requirements.

The processing of scanned documents is simplified for those that have an ERP, CRM, SCM or other back office back end document management system with files indexed against a database.
In those instances, a user can drag scanned documents to a window where a vendor number, for instance, can trigger the automatic completion of additional information relating to name, address, and other identifiers that can help during subsequent alternative retrieval methods.

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