TODAY-The Journal of Work Process - Nov/Dec 2006 - Snowbound Software - (Page 1)

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2006 VOL. 29 NO. 6 ® The The Journal of Work Process Improvement PRODUCT FOCUS Finding the Sweet Spot in Document Imaging Image Quality and Its Effect on Productivity By Simon Wieczner he increasing need for businesses to streamline workflows and manage document assets more efficiently has pushed companies to digitally capture, view and store corporate information. Decreased reliance on paper-based systems has increased efficiency and reduced errors, and the use of automated systems to scan, process and archive documents has improved productivity across every industry to ultimately lower transaction and processing costs for business and consumers. Image quality is an important but often overlooked aspect of document imaging that holds the potential to boost productivity and profitability. Establishing standards for optimum image quality in document capture, viewing and archiving enables companies to find the “sweet spot” of maximum performance with minimal complication throughout the entire workflow. T working with high resolution images must be balanced against the challenges they can present, including the following: • Additional processing each time the document is accessed by content recognition and management software • Image degradation over time that can jeopardize regulatory compliance status if using lossy formats such as JPEG • System bandwidth requirements for document transfer Data capture needs can also be met by extracting text from documents that are already in electronic i.e., Microsoft® Office Suite, PDF, or PCL formats before converting to highly compressible, static image formats such as TIFF or JPEG for viewing or archiving. The Big Picture on Document Viewing Fundamentally, any activity after capture requiring interaction with a document falls under viewing. Speed to access content is the critical factor during the viewing stage of the workflow process. Implementing a universal viewing application provides numerous opportunities for organizations to increase productivity, including: • Providing user access to multiple file types without having to open multiple applications, saving time and system bandwidth • Retains documents in original format with ‘read-only’ restriction • Decreasing per-document processing time • Enabling Web-based viewing of all document types across multiple departments, business units, or physical locations Companies with document verification policies that require visual confirmation of document content to verify accuracy or to transcribe data from images to a database spend the bulk of their time on document viewing. The ability to process documents through a front-end, universal viewing application will raise productivity during this stage of the document lifecycle by processing larger quantities of documents each day. Viewing applications can also leverage document repositories and enterprise content management systems for greater productivity. Server-based viewing applications can improve productivity by: Examining the Workflow Process – Document Capture As paper documents are converted to electronic format, the most important consideration is accuracy. In the case of data capture, where information extracted from documents will trigger other actions, special care must be taken to ensure that detail from the original document is legible to the recognition software such as with remittance processing , so that images can be accurately reproduced and meet legal and other compliance standards. Arthur Gehring, director of marketing for document capture and forms processing software solutions provider Datacap Inc., explains, “Document capture is the beginning of a process that requires images to be repeatedly compressed, decompressed, viewed, and sometimes edited or enhanced. It is crucial in the capture-flow environment that these processes are very fast and reliable. It is also important that when images are being transmitted, for example in the case of remote capture applications, that they are effectively compressed before transmission.” Accuracy is best achieved by creating high resolution images. However, using color or print-quality images significantly increases file size particularly if using lossless file formats such as TIFF during document capture and at other points in the workflow. The advantages of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of TODAY-The Journal of Work Process - Nov/Dec 2006 - Snowbound Software

TODAY-The Journal of Work Process - Nov/Dec 2006 - Snowbound Software

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