Simplifying Record-Keeping with a Decentralised Capture Solution

Before delving into the solution it’s essential to understand what decentralised record capture really is. Decentralised records capture is the registration of records at the source, as information assets are generated or enter the business, by individuals or teams working with them during normal course of business. This is in contrast to centralised records capture, where the records are gathered (some time later) to be registered by records professionals.

By its very nature, decentralisation of capture has its issues, and almost always leads to inconsistency from one person/department to the next, making it extremely difficult to reuse, track, action and share content effectively across the organisation. 

The core reason that most organisations introduce a digital capture process to their business is not just to improve record-keeping. They see many tangible benefits outside improved governance, compliance and risk mitigation. These may include high-speed information capture, faster distribution, better search, improved analytics and, most importantly, adding value to the business.

This thinking was behind Outback Imaging, the home of EzeScan, developing a range of Web Applications designed to take the hard work out of decentralised capture of both hard copy and digital born information.

Let’s accept that everybody is comfortable with walking up to a photocopier, scanning a document and sending it via email. If this process can be tied to an organisation’s business rules to allow for the scanned document to be digitally optimised, saved to the right place in a corporate EDRMS and initiate a business process, then you are on the way to information management nirvana.

There are plenty of solutions that allow documents to be scanned straight into an EDRMS but unfortunately if not done correctly this can end up as more of a hindrance than a help to an organisation’s record-keeping.

For example, if a 20-page contract or report is scanned on a photocopier and only 18 pages go through because a couple of pages got stuck together, at some point it actually becomes really, really important to see the whole 20 pages. That’s when you suddenly realise why QA is important.  And that’s why dedicated document scanners have image enhancement and multi-feed detection, but most MFDs don’t.

Information and Records Managers have for some time wanted to align the business rules associated with the capture of these documents so that metadata, naming conventions, file locations and workflows are automatically applied without the operator being aware of what is happening in the background.

Having documents captured at the source, by the very people that are intimately acquainted with the value of the information to the business, ultimately results in information not being overlooked, being actioned faster and allowing you to provide better customer service. Additionally, if decentralised records capture complies with regulatory record-keeping obligations, the hard copy original document can be disposed of immediately.  

This was the thinking behind the development of EzeScan Remote Indexing Assistant (RIA) Web App for Workgroup Capture. When a typical user walks up to an MFD and scans a document to their email, EzeScan intercepts the document and immediately converts it into a compliant searchable PDF/A document. It then sends an automated email notification to ask the user to QA the document and add or modify essential metadata via a simple Web form.

This can be simply accomplished on a smart phone, tablet or computer. EzeScan also grabs additional information based on an organisation’s business rules, creates the file name and files the document in the correct location.

This also means it’s not necessary to purchase an OCR kit for every MFD in the organisation. Once the user has completed the Web form the scanned document is submitted to the next stage of processing, which could include uploading to an EDRMS. In this way administrators can control static data, naming conventions, filing locations or EDRMS metadata for ad hoc scanning. 

Additional custom fields can be configured for users to input values via the application’s Web interface. EzeScan can also capture the serial number of the MFD where the document was scanned along with who scanned it and include this in the PDF/A metadata, which is becoming a necessary component of records compliance.

In addition to hard copy capture, users can register born digital information that they create or digital files that enter the business, including email, via a simple Web form, which is easily configured to allow users to input custom field-variable data. In the background, EzeScan maintains naming conventions, filing locations or EDRMS metadata.

Many records managers maintain a set of business rules that exist in a document sitting somewhere on their hard drive.  These rules dictate how files should be named, classified and where they should be saved as well as an applicable workflow.

Unfortunately, if your organisation has hundreds or thousands of users, they probably have no idea what the rules are or how to apply them. By identifying the user and requiring them to complete a simple Web form, EzeScan can now look up those rules each time a document is processed and apply them automatically.

In many cases, this may just require entering something as simple as a Matter number, in the case of a Lawyer, and perhaps the document type, whether it’s a Contract or a Client Brief. In this case, EzeScan can look up the relevant rules to apply classifications, metadata and file it without the user having to know or understand the record-keeping requirements and processes.

Organisations want their team members to be able to focus on the role they have been employed to do and not get bogged down in difficult processes or workflows. At the same time, the capture of information about documents is necessary and being able to put this to use faster is highly desirable.

Implementing a decentralised capture solution provides an organisation with the confidence that this information is being captured, registered and actioned while at the same time ensuring team members are not overwhelmed by the task at hand.

For further information contact EzeScan T: 1300 EZESCAN (1300 393 722) E: W: