Even the Capture Process Needs Consistency

By Bob Larrivee posted 08-16-2010 16:26


One of the key elements in maintaining a state of compliance or even defensibility of your information management practices and processes is consistency. Capture is no exception and when you look at scanning, this is a multi-step process as shown in this diagram that I use when teaching the ECM class.

The process involves several steps:

  • Sorting and Preparation: sorting the originals into content types and removing paperclips, the process of feeding documents into the scanner will go much more quickly and smoothly
  • The act of scanning, using the scanner hardware to digitize paper and create a digital image
  • A quality step when images need to be examined to see if clean-up or enhancement are necessary
  • Indexing to apply appropriate metadata for storage in the ECM repository
  • Storing the electronic image before releasing it to the user
  • Distribution or making the image available to all who are authorized to see it

The actual process you use would vary depending on the type of scanning being done and the type of information to be captured. Perhaps you are capturing information in the mailroom, or from remote locations. In addition, volumes and types of paper documents to be scanned as well as the condition of the paper will dictate your capture process.

In my view the process of capture and in particular, scanning, is not something to take lightly and is often overlooked or over simplified. Many organizations I have spoken with have commented that scanning is the easy part of capture, referring to the loading of paper and speed of the scanner when in fact they should look at the entire process from end to end. This is also an area where risk resides for a company and potential for challenges in consistent capture practices as inconsistency in litigation will raise doubt and where there is doubt, there could be loss. Many Attorneys I have spoken with will often look for gaps and inconsistent practices rather than challenge technology and the capture process is one of those areas where they will focus.

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM


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