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document processing services
Gurpreet Singh Arora
Gurpreet Singh Arora Updated on Feb 16, 2024  |  5 Min Read

Companies generate and process huge volumes of data in diverse formats and across various types of documents. From invoices and contracts to purchase orders and customer records, these documents are essential for running a successful business. However, manually handling and processing the ever-increasing volumes of digital documents to achieve the desired business, functional, and operational/tactical outcomes has become time-consuming, error-prone, and costly.

For companies where processes are document-heavy, such as insurance, real estate, banking, lending, and healthcare, inefficient document management can hamper productivity, and profits. Thus, a smarter way to address these challenges is via intelligent document processing services.

intelligent document processing services

Intelligent Document Processing at Glance

Machine Learning algorithms powered by Artificial Intelligence have the ability to process repetitive tasks without the cognitive limitations of humans. That said, the use of automation and AI tools for data extraction and capture adds the ‘intelligent’ factor to document processing.

Intelligent Data Processing (IDP) fundamentally differs from manual document processing by leveraging advanced technologies to automate document handling, extraction, and processing tasks.IDP solutions transform unstructured and semi-structured information into usable business data which becomes the heart of digital transformation. Unlike manual processing, IDP incorporates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and optical character recognition (OCR) to analyze, interpret, and extract data from various document types efficiently.

Such ‘intelligent’ solutions are key to modernizing and streamlining the often archaic, manual, and slow processes associated with document processing. As per the reports, the global intelligent document processing market size was estimated to be US $ 1.45 billion in 2022. Given the huge demand for such smart solutions, it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 30.1% from 2023 to 2030. This growth is propelled by the organizations’ demand for smart, cost-effective, and efficient ways to process their documents.

Limitations of Manual Document Processing

Listed below are some of the significant challenges that organizations, whether big or small, old or new, B2B or B2C, face while managing and processing vast amounts of their business-critical documents:

  • Inefficiency and Time-Consuming Processes

    Manual processing of documents is time-consuming and may lead to errors in output. Tasks such as physically sorting, organizing, and inputting data take significantly more time compared to automated methods. Employees spend a substantial amount of time searching for documents, physically moving them from one place to another, and entering data into systems manually. This inefficiency impacts productivity and can lead to delays in decision-making and customer service. As document volumes grow, the time and effort required also increase, resulting in backlogs and slower operational processes.

  • Security and Compliance Risks

    Manual document processing often involves a lack of proper security measures. Documents can easily get lost, damaged, or stolen, leading to confidentiality breaches or non-compliance with data protection regulations. There’s a higher risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information, as physical documents are more susceptible to theft or mishandling. Compliance with regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, or other industry-specific standards becomes more challenging without proper tracking and security measures in place.

  • Limited Accessibility and Collaboration

    Accessibility and collaboration are hindered in manual document processing. Physical documents can’t be accessed simultaneously by multiple individuals, and sharing or collaborating on these documents becomes complex. This limitation can impact teamwork, decision-making, and the ability to work remotely or across different locations. Moreover, remote access to physical documents can be challenging, especially in situations where immediate access is necessary.

Document Processing: Automated v/s Manual

IDP leverages automation to expedite tasks that are conventionally done manually. For instance, consider the process of invoice handling. In manual processing, employees are responsible for manually inputting invoice data into the system, which is time-consuming and prone to human error. On the contrary, with IDP, the software can autonomously extract relevant information from invoices, such as billing details, due dates, and amounts, significantly reducing processing time and minimizing errors.

Another example lies in contract management. In manual processing, employees might spend extensive hours sorting through contracts to extract specific clauses or terms, a process susceptible to oversight and delays. IDP, however, enables the automatic identification and extraction of key information from contracts, ensuring that essential terms or expiration dates are identified swiftly, streamlining contract management processes.

Furthermore, IDP’s capability to handle various document formats—fully structured, semi-structured, or unstructured—distinguishes it from manual processing. Unlike manual methods, which require distinct approaches for different document types, IDP can efficiently manage and extract data from a range of document formats, such as reports, forms, and handwritten documents.

The Perks of Intelligent Document Processing

From uplifted data accuracy and substantial cost savings to increased employee productivity and novel capabilities, IDP is a catalyst for a seamless bottom line and accelerated decision-making. As organizations of all kinds and settings embrace this technology, they position themselves to thrive in an environment characterized by accuracy, efficiency, streamlined operations and enhanced organizational dynamics. Some specific benefits include:

  • Lowered Document Processing Costs: For limited and short-term requirements, businesses can choose to outsource document processing tasks to professionals. For ongoing requirements like invoice processing, they can implement IDP solutions, often totaling thousands of work hours annually through a single application, like invoice processing. This translates to tangible reductions in operational expenses. Moreover, savings stem from the eradication of errors in document data processing.
  • Enhanced Data Accuracy: IDP users circumvent the limitations of manual document data entry, sidestepping the numerous errors typically linked to human input. Apart from mitigating these errors, this method prevents potential issues arising from inaccuracies, thereby shielding downstream business processes from disruptions. The precision achieved through IDP strengthens the foundation of reliable and precise data management.
  • Boosted Employee Productivity: Businesses can relieve their employees by automating labor-intensive tasks that are often less preferred and offer minimal value. Their bandwidth can be used for more valuable tasks that significantly contribute to the company’s objectives. This not only enhances departmental efficiency but also boosts overall employee morale, fostering a more motivated and engaged workforce.
  • Improved Operational Efficiency: Deploying IDP software amplifies operational efficiency, not just within specific departments but across the entire organization. The cascading effect of streamlined processes contributes to overall operational fluidity and effectiveness.

Choosing the Right IDP Solution for Your Business

Selecting the right solution involves careful assessment of specific business needs and the capabilities of intelligent document processing companies. Consider the following factors:

  • Accuracy and Scalability – Ensure the solution is accurate in data extraction and possesses the scalability to accommodate your business’s growth.
  • Integration Capabilities – Look for a solution that seamlessly integrates with your existing systems for a smooth transition and improved workflow.
  • Security Measures – Prioritize solutions that guarantee robust data security and compliance with industry standards.
  • Customization and Support – Evaluate the provider’s ability to customize solutions according to your unique requirements and the quality of ongoing technical support.
  • Cost-Efficiency – Balance the costs of implementation against the potential savings and productivity gains.

Wrapping Up

Given the continually evolving landscape of business operations, the shift towards digital transformation is no longer a choice but a necessity. Thus, the transition to intelligent solutions for processing documents marks a significant leap forward in the realm of digital transformation. Whether performed in-house or through outsourced document processing companies, intelligent document processing (IDP) stands at the forefront of revolutionizing data handling, promising unparalleled efficiency, accuracy, and security.

Embracing it not only overcomes the challenges posed by manual data processing but also unlocks a plethora of benefits, ranging from boosted employee productivity to improved compliance. Remember, the choice to embrace intelligent document processing is not just an option; it’s a strategic imperative for businesses to thrive and lead in their respective industries.

Unlock Efficiency and Accuracy with Intelligent Document Processing Services