How OCR technology improves workplace productivity

How OCR Technology Improves Workplace Productivity

In recent years, the push for digital transformation in Australia has taken hold in many industries, including finance and accounting. This often includes digitising documents such as invoices, receipts, and other forms of paperwork. While delegating this task to administrative staff can seem like an efficient solution, it can also distract them from their daily responsibilities and add to their already extensive workload.

That’s why many companies are constantly looking for ways to increase productivity. One way to do this is by using optical character recognition (OCR) technology. This article will examine how OCR can automate manual data entry and discuss the advantages this technology can provide for businesses – big or small.

What is OCR technology and can it convert image to text?

Scanners compatible with optical character recognition (OCR) software allow you to convert scanned documents into editable text formats, making it possible to edit documents. Using data scanned from structured and unstructured documents can automate laborious tasks like data entry, improving accuracy and giving productive time back to your workforce.

Digitise your workflows with OCR-enabled Brother scanning devices.Digitise your workflows with OCR-enabled Brother scanning devices

7 ways OCR can transform your business

Whether you’re archiving or repurposing information, OCR software has many benefits throughout your workplace. Deploying devices like the Brother Professional Desktop Document Scanner ADS-3100 around the office allows you to take advantage of your OCR software in the following ways:

  1. Image to text: Once your critical documents are uploaded, your staff can easily search text by selecting keywords from the copy, as opposed to sorting through paper documents looking for specific information. Using full text search will return results of all documents that meet the requested text
  2. Secure storage: Your business will save on the storage space and costs once allocated to housing paper documents in rows of filing cabinets. You will also enjoy the increased security features of cloud-based platforms that prevent unauthorised personnel from viewing paper documents. From two-factor authentication to the monitoring of who accesses your files, there are a number of ways that digitisation protects your sensitive information
  3. Faster digitisation: Desktop documents scanners like the Brother ADS-4900W can process high volumes of paper-based data thanks to a 100-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). By automating your data entry, you’re saving valuable time for your staff and eliminating the risk of error associated with manual processing
  4. Optimised productivity: By uploading documents into editable PDFs, your workforce can amend or add to digital documents when needed. For example, this feature allows healthcare workers to add to patient charts without having to track down paper files. By turning paper into actionable data, your workforce is able to provide up-to-date information to a connected cloud-based platform from anywhere in the world once logging on to your shared network
  5. Reduced carbon footprint: The World Economic Forum has reported that embracing digital technology can help cut global emissions by 15%. Deploying a digital architecture for your business helps reduce cost on consumables and contributes to sustainability initiatives that Aussie consumers are increasingly searching for. Mastercard reports that 55% of Australian businesses are confident that deploying environmentally responsible business practices will increase their profitability
  6. Cost savings: By reducing your labour costs, storage needs and energy consumption, your business saves when you digitise your documents and data. While you’ll still need paper and office supplies, the volume of consumable items used throughout the calendar year will be greatly reduced, compounding the savings your business will enjoy after transitioning your paper-based workflows to digital architectures.
  7. Disaster recovery: Paper-based workflows are impacted by the loss or damage of your documents. Whether misplaced, stolen or destroyed, once your invoices, receipts or records are lost, the mission-critical information within them is purged forever. This potentially devastating risk is mitigated with a digital solution – once your data is uploaded to the cloud, a traceable record of your stored information is kept securely on a backed-up digital repository that can be accessed at any time
OCR scanning brings your mission-critical workflows to the cloud.OCR scanning brings your mission-critical workflows to the cloud

Who uses Optical Character Recognition in Australia?

OCR technology is utilised in a variety of industries in Australia. In the realm of administration, OCR allows for the efficient digitisation and storage of documents. Healthcare workers also benefit from OCR as it aids in the quick and accurate entry of patient information. Additionally, small business owners can use this technology to easily scan and track invoices, receipts, and other important documents. Overall, OCR offers numerous advantages in streamlining operations across multiple workplaces.

Are there challenges still facing OCR?

If you’re considering making the move to a digital platform, OCR technology is a fast and efficient way to facilitate the transition. However, it still has a few limitations.

OCR can’t quite interpret the data it is digitising – meaning some organisations pair hardware devices with software systems that harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to categorise their scanned data.

That’s why it’s important to consider what type of documents you’re digitising. If it’s structured like a form or application with consistent fields, then automating will be much easier as it’s simpler to interpret. However, semi-structured or unstructured documents may require more configuration before the OCR software can accurately capture the data and interpret it.

OCR also lacks the ability to understand context; for example, a misinterpretation of the word ‘fail’ could result in the word being processed as ‘fall’ within your scanned document. For these reasons, your human workforce is still a key component in facilitating your transition to the cloud.

Brother devices and OCR software solutions

To make the most of optical character recognition, you may want to consider the value of a comprehensive solution that provides a digital document management strategy. By deploying an online workflow that manages your scanning and sharing capabilities, you’ll streamline your business processes while arming your staff with the tools and information they need to be successful.

Brother can help you evaluate your current operational architecture in order to determine the scanning devices that can handle the specific needs of your business. Once you’ve settled on the hardware that suits your digitisation needs, Brother will help identify a cloud-based storage location and assist in establishing a hot folder system to ensure your documents are housed appropriately.

All of these services are part of our document management solution. To assess how Brother can facilitate a digital transformation that improves the productivity of your business, contact us today.


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