There are two primary reasons for capturing data from paper documents, the first is to supply index information about the document itself (meta-data), the second is to process the data contained on the form to feed another system or process.
When scanning paper documents for storage in an electronic document management system the single most important factor is selecting the optimum data to index by so that the documents can be found quickly and easily when searching. This index information can be contained on the document itself, on the file its in or even be derived from which cabinet, room or box it can be found in. When you choose PaperMountains to handle your document scanning our technical specialists will be able to advise you on what indexing scheme will work for your documents.
Paper Documents are probably the easiest way to capture and transfer data between individual entities, be they people or organisations. On the plus side, paper documents such as invoices or proof of delivery notes can be produced as the end point for a business process. In the case of forms, questionnaires or surveys they can be completed away from the computer altogether, requiring the user to only have a pen to complete them.
The downside comes when you want to use the information on the paper to feed into another system and start another business process, for example : When a company receives an invoice, one of the first tasks performed is to book the receipt of the invoice into its own accounts system. This will capture much of the information stored on the paper document, including header, line items and total and requires that the data is re keyed, which is a time consuming and costly exercise. Forms also require their content to be captured in order to provide input for data visualisation and analytical tools which is further complicated by their hand written nature.