Set Your Processes Free

By Bob Larrivee posted 06-06-2014 16:16


Information creation has accelerated at an incredible rate and there is no sign this will slowdown. Think about the amount of information you are exposed to every day. We are in a state of information chaos - I am now a guilty party in your information chaos – and the task of sorting through it all to keep what is of value and dispose of the rest can seem intimidating.

One of the keys controlling this situation, is automating the capture process and getting the valued information into the business process as close to the first touch point as possible. In some cases, leading to a paper reduced and even paper-free business process. AIIM research shows that some of the best candidates for automated capture are those that are forms centric, like expense reports, timesheets, and invoices, though there are opportunities with non-form related content like customer correspondence as well. In some cases, as the research shows, the processes related to these content types can become paper-free.

Have you made any of the following processes capture-enabled or paper-free?

Capture early in the process
The sooner you can capture your information and bring it into the process, the better off you are in securely storing it, making it available to the organization, and using it as the trigger to launch your workflow. Capture the information at first touch point, for example, when an application is complete and returned by the applicant, that point of acceptance, whether a branch office or online interface, is when you want to bring it into the system and launch the related work processes to move it through the organization. In logistics, this could be a signed delivery receipt that triggers the invoicing process reducing the amount of time it takes to receive payment. Once the signed delivery receipt is captured and stored, which could be from the cab of a truck, the finance department receives notification with  link to the captured delivery receipt, and issues the invoice for payment. In this scenario, the processing time could be reduced to days rather than weeks.

In my view
Capture is a vital part of operational efficiency. The amount of information you deal with daily can seem overwhelming and the thought of having to sort through it all, daunting, but there is a way to handle it. The sooner you capture and secure information, the sooner you can take appropriate actions to process it. Automating and moving the capture process to the earliest touch point in the business process can increase operational efficiencies, and reduce operating costs. The decision is where to begin.

Look for opportunities in your organization where automated capture will be of benefit. Perhaps it is invoices, contracts, applications forms, or expense reports. Look at the associated business process and identify the first touch point and assess how automated capture could be used to streamline the process. Team with IT and the employees to select thee appropriate technology set and implement the changes. 

Paper-free processes are a reality, and automated capture is a key to set your processes free.

What say you?
Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know. If you are looking for some great research information from our industry, feel free to visit our research site and download some of our Industry Watch Reports today at

Bob Larrivee, Director of Custom Research – AIIM
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I will be speaking at the following events:

•   #Share2014, June 18-20, 2014 in Johannesburg, SA

•   #AIIMForumUK, June 25, 2014 in London UK

•   #NIRMA2014, August 10-13, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV

#automation #infochaos #BPM #paperfree #process #BusinessProcessManagement #ScanningandCapture #paperless