electronic files (lucadp/Shutterstock.com)


5 quick wins for digital transformation

In the ever-changing world of information management, one of the most consistent pain points is a lack of funding for digital transformation initiatives. This is especially true for government agencies, which spend a significant amount of time and money administering paper-based processes.

Thanks to the Managing Government Records directive, which aims to create a 21st century framework for the federal government to modernize records management policies and practices, every agency now has a core team responsible for driving digital transformation. Under the mandate, federal agencies are required to manage all permanent electronic records in a digital format by the end of 2019. With this clear deadline, the question for most organizations isn’t if they should invest in digital transformation initiatives, but where and how to begin.

Here are five quick wins for organizations looking to get started.

Accounts payable: Accelerating the process of paying invoices can result in significant cost savings. Every minute saved in the AP process represents a tangible return on investment opportunity. Intelligent document capture solutions automate the AP process while eliminating mistakes that occur during manual data entry. Not only does this increase the overall accuracy of critical payment information, it also speeds up approval processes and makes for faster retrieval of receipts when needed. 

Mailroom automation: Removing paper from internal mailrooms can yield tremendous opportunities to drive operational efficiency. In many organizations, hard copy mail is still manually delivered, which can be time consuming and inefficient.  Additionally, the General Services Administration requires agencies have a security policy for employees sending and receiving mail at alternative worksites like telework centers. Implementing a digital mailroom that scans and digitizes incoming mail enables a modern telework environment that doesn’t compromise security or chain of custody, while improving employee satisfaction.

Records management: One of the most important aspects of digital records management is making sure data always makes it into the correct workflow. It’s also important to minimize the manual sorting that often takes place before document scanning begins (removing staples, inserting header sheets and sorting documents by type or department) and after scanning is complete (indexing, correcting errors and removing exception pieces that need to be returned to their owners).

Agencies using modern scanners as part of their document capture workflow also benefit from improved barcode data extraction. When a barcode is read mid-scan, a high-resolution raw version is captured, which is more easily interpreted through barcode recognition engines. This results in fewer cases in which employees must manually enter data due to a blurry barcode that the software can’t read.

Forms processing: So much communication between citizens and government agencies still takes place via forms. Driver’s license applications, tax documents and benefits forms are just a few examples. Information from many of these forms is manually entered in an agency’s workflow. Agencies have a great opportunity to automate forms capture by using intelligent document recognition technology, which quickly routes information into the correct business workflow and integrates it with other systems, as necessary.

Customer onboarding: A customer’s first impression starts with onboarding, and a process that zigzags between paper and digital can be slow, inefficient and frustrating. When organizations digitize paper as early as possible in the customer acquisition process (sometimes referred to as “capturing at the edge”), customer satisfaction is significantly improved.

Delivering on the promise of digital transformation

The most successful organizations adopt an ecosystem approach to information capture, which includes:

  • Scanners that automate much of the work traditionally done by people.
  • An intelligent software package that offers batch and distributed capture and delivers information to databases and applications.
  • A flexible services program that goes beyond scanner maintenance to include analysis of imaging costs to drive sustainable savings.
  • A global network of partners and developers to create customized solutions based on unique customer requirements.

Digital transformation begins with information capture. The better job government agencies do of taking complexity out of information capture, the more equipped they’ll be to deliver real-world benefits to the constituents they serve.

About the Author

Joe Yankle is public sector strategic alliance manager for Kodak Alaris Information Management.

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