- Many businesses now use OCR technology to handle any paperwork while creating a smart business environment to ease document exchange and make time savings.
- Since many businesses are moving towards the mobile workplace, moving important files to the cloud is one way of making these files 100% accessible from any location in the world.
- Thanks to OCR technology, the human factor associated costs have been greatly cut down.
You are essentially able to read and understand this by simply using your eyes and brain. You can tell the difference between words, characters and sentences and letters too. Basically, this is optical character recognition (OCR). The way you can perceive all these things and process them is the same way a computer can read and process handwriting, paper documents and any other files that are unreadable. This is what is referred to as OCR technology.
What is OCR software?
An OCR software is an electronic or mechanical tool that is used to convert any scanned, faxed, printed, typed or handwritten text files into editable, searchable and machine-encoded documents in any format.
Since its inception in the 1990s, OCR technology has made major milestones and has improved to understanding a host of languages and symbols. That is why many businesses today choose to use OCR software with c# to read text and barcodes from scanned images and PDFs. Such information is then transitioned into databases for storage.
OCR in businesses
Many businesses now use OCR technology to handle any paperwork while creating a smart business environment to ease document exchange and make time savings. They can come in different forms and sizes including desktop applications, smartphone scanning devices, server-based solutions or advanced business platforms with the ability to transform several with little to no human interaction. It works through pattern recognition, feature detection, intelligent character recognition, and reCAPTCHA.
How to use OCR for your business
There are a number of ways you can use OCR in your business to boost operations. Some of the significant ones are as below.
1. Cloud storage
Since many businesses are moving towards the mobile workplace, moving important files to the cloud is one way of making these files 100% accessible from any location in the world. The technology can help you to collaborate with your colleagues, access your business’s repository, make edits using versioning features or synchronise folders to use them offline.
2. Invoice and form automation
When using OCR technology, you can easily import any sort of electronic document or scan any size of paper invoices into your system. The data you have scanned or imported will be automatically validated to ensure that it is both accurate and can be categorised. Afterwards, the document can be fed into any financial or accounting system for accounting purposes.
You can also scan paper forms and import them to the digital file system automatically once it is validated. They can then be exported to a document management system (DSM) for storage or future tracking.
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3. Information retrieval
One of the most important benefits of OCR technology is that it is incorporated with a searchable PDF format. You can easily convert all your image-only PDF files and paper documents into searchable files. A searchable PDF file is similar to the typical PDF file with an addition of an overlay that contains searchable text together with the scanned bitmap image. Therefore, as a business owner, you can search through your digital file system using keywords, phrases, and names to locate the files you need.
4. Mailroom automation
If you have a massive business, you can use OCR technology to automate your mailrooms. All the incoming documents will be analysed automatically, sorted then forwarded to the intended recipients. Any data that is considered as important will be extracted and indeed to allow your business’s systems to be populated. This will grant easier access to your employees when they need to.
Benefits of OCR technology
Some of the benefits of using OCR technology in your business include:
- Saving time because of the ease of information retrieval.
- It creates a better work management system since it improves efficiency.
- It cuts down on the associated business costs like labour costs.
- It improves business processes by eradicating cases of misunderstandings, slow business process cycles or wrong orders among other things.
- Improved document security because vital data can be securely stored digitally using the latest encryption technologies.
Thanks to OCR technology, the human factor associated costs have been greatly cut down since many businesses are automating all their operations to enable quick access of vital information while saving time.