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Document automation has it’s obvious value: to decrease the cost of running a paper base business, but there are some other areas to gain value from document automation technology which is not always monetary and some companies are finding it to be even more important.

Improved Employee Efficiency
Very often organizations have salaried employees who’s job description is not data-entry but are doing data-entry work. It’s often overlooked because the data-entry portion of their job is ad-hoc and not at tremendous volume. When the data-entry task is removed from these employees plate they are able to dedicate more time to their job responsibilities and increase their efficiency. This is most often seen with accounts payable clerks. The value of this is that the salary paid to these employees is now used on more critical thinking tasks.

eDiscovery Ready
No one wants to be involved in a lawsuit, but they happen. When they happen, being ready is critical. Courts will expect you to produce data that is accurate and produce it quickly. You will want to be able to produce that data at a low cost, and at the same time, not produce more information than you have to. Document automation and OCR technologies are a critical part of this. Paper in file cabinets are very costly to review and collect for a case, but OCRd documents that are properly filed are easy to search and retrieve. This makes you eDiscovery ready at a lower cost and greater efficiency. The value is a reduced cost and risk when and if a lawsuit happens.

Compliance
Regulation can come from government or industry. Companies who are not compliant risk penalties or even worse. Document automation technologies help companies become compliant faster and more accurately. Instead of having a large staff to manage compliance, they can dedicate computer time to do the data-entry work on documents having compliance risk, and a small staff to maintain their presence. Similar to eDiscovery, this preparedness mitigates potential risk and cost of not being ready.

Reduced Workers Comp Claims
The lesser thought about value of document automation is workers compensation claims associated with document handling and entry. Companies with large data-entry staff can dramatically reduce claims associated with data-entry especially cases such as carpal tunnel, back pains, and eye strain. The staff’s duties will shift to more body friendlily activities that are less redundant. Every year companies are spending a lot of money on workers compensation claims, and the administration of them. This reduces that cost and risk.

As you can see, there are many areas where document automation can help companies and there are even a few more that are industry specific. Often companies find that the ROI is secondary to the above benefits of document automation.

Chris Riley – Sr. Solutions Architect

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