What is a "Capture Factory"?

By Bernard Chester posted 11-24-2013 18:19


As I plan to use this term frequently in my blog contributions, I really need to start things off by providing a definition.

What is a "Capture Factory"?

I first encountered this term when developing an AIIM Conference presentation with Arthur Gingrande ten years ago.  At the time, we were talking about balancing steps in an imaging solution to eliminate constraints.  Since then, I have integrated it into my ECM consulting and expanded the concept.

With many technology solutions, the implementation focuses on the technology, which makes for localized efforts, but does not necessarily address the business problem. The result is often sub-optimal for the business.  For example, a scanning solution that pushes error correction downstream to the ERP, where it is more expensive to resolve. “The operation was successful but the patient died.”

A better result for all is to look at the entire business problem – processing applications, paying bills, creating a digital archive, whatever – and design a solution that is both comprehensive and efficient.  This can not only avoid creating duplicate and incompatible components, but it also permits true business process optimization.  It also means looking at how people interact with the solution, not just the technology.

Please note that I use the term “Capture Factory”, and not “Imaging Factory”.  This is because in today’s world transactions are not limited to paper.  There are also email, facsimile, EDI and web portals to think about, and in fact, paper is declining in favor of electronic messages.  One often sees separate and inconsistent implementations for each mode of delivery.  Use of common code and processes minimizes development and maintenance.  For example, using a single validation rules engine for transaction data sets independent of their origin eliminates inconsistencies.

When you look at the entire process as a factory, it is possible to balance resources to prevent bottlenecks, and evaluate the comparative costs of alternative approaches.  In particular, the value of early detection of errors or planned enhancements can be measured.


#process #ScanningandCapture #Capture