How intelligent document processing can supercharge document output
Mar 09, 2022 by Automation Hero
The saying goes that nothing is certain but death and taxes. But in business, document processing is equally inescapable. For the entire history of office work, organizations have had to devote considerable resources to managing document workload.
Dedicated employees, and in some cases, entire departments, have been responsible for manually reviewing applications, forms, requests, and other documents, inputting missing data and routing to other employees for further processing. Document work can be incredibly tedious, time consuming, and prone to error.
Fortunately, the burden began to lift in the 2000s with the advent of robotic process automation (RPA). This technology claimed to create “digital workers” that could replicate human actions performed within the computer screen. Though vendors oversold on RPA’s capabilities, it did help automate many mundane, non-document centric tasks. Later, optical character recognition (OCR) enabled computers to read scanned documents to reduce the need for manual data entry, but accuracy was incredibly low.
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RPA vendors sold the dream of a digital workforce that could handle document understanding, but they delivered tools much too simple for the task. In the last decade, AI has advanced enough to begin delivering on these promises with a new type of automation: intelligent document processing (IDP). This enabled automation systems to not only extract data from documents but also contextualize and analyze it for further processing without the need for human attention.
IDP is ushering a new wave of automation — finally relegating the drudgery of document processing to the past.
A giant leap forward
Whereas RPA and IDP by themselves focused on automating specific parts of business processes or document lifecycles, intelligent process automation looks at business operations as one cohesive workflow — and deploys artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate as much of it as possible. When a program is billed as an intelligent process automation solution, it usually encompasses the full capabilities of OCR, RPA, and IDP.
Supercharge document processing
While this potential might sound lofty, intelligent process automation technology already offers relief from the detailed work of document processing. It improves efficiency so much that organizations achieve drastic savings in little time. In fact, Bain & Company, a global business consulting firm, reports average cost savings of 20% to 25% for finance organizations that leverage intelligent process automation.
Here’s how it helps:
AI-powered optical character recognition and data extraction
Business documents come in every format, including paper forms, PDFs, and emails. The AI-driven optical character recognition (OCR) deployed in intelligent document processing can read all of them. Context-aware OCR clearly understand every word with greater accuracy and speed than humans. This is even becoming the case with handwriting.
Automate any process
Intelligent process automation technology is designed to automate everything — even work that isn’t traditionally thought of as a candidate for automation. The customer service sector is seeing incredible benefit from AI that can read and detect the intent of emails. Previously, workers had to diligently read each message from customers, respond, and take action. Now AI with natural language processing can derive meaning to route requests to specific departments, response to quote requests, and other responses that traditionally required considerable energy and time.
Enables complete end-to-end automation
Previously, automation capabilities were siloed, with organizations piecing together workflows across a number of platforms and tools. Inevitably, this required a certain level of manual handling and skilled integration work to move data between systems. Intelligent process automation solutions such as intelligent document processing can integrate seamlessly with almost any type of software, eliminating the need for manual intervention.
Each decade brings incredible advancements in AI and automation technology, and we are quickly entering the era of AI taking over how we even implement automation. The business community is only beginning to realize the potential of intelligent document processing. Unlocking it begins with supercharging all document processing workflows.
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Learn how we helped Markerstudy reduce its claims processing time by 40%. Additionally, learn how we reduced total claim processing time by 80% for another multinational insurance partner — cutting down manual tasks from 10 minutes to just two minutes per claim.
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