David Zemann, Business Development and Channels Manager (APAC)
Managing the constant influx of documents is an on-going challenge for the legal industry, but one that can be better managed with automation. In fact, one of the biggest headaches for firms can be automating document routing and capturing processes from a scanner or copier.
Just think of all the times staff have received financial records or legal documents in the mail and made a digital copy using the office scanner or multifunction device. These digital files are then stored in a document repository but may not be found when running a search. The reason for this is that not all scanners and multifunction devices have Optical Character Recognition (OCR) processing capability.
Making documents searchable is a very important compliance workflow since firms are required to produce all documents relating to a case. And yet, the ILTA Tech Survey 2019 found nearly a third of respondents had not deployed any scanner workflow solution that converts image-based documents to text-searchable ones.
It is likely that firms have a manual process in place to convert these image-based files to searchable PDFs, but this approach is fraught with error and inefficiency. Here's why automation is the answer;
Automation lets staff focus on value-add tasks
Taking the manual work out of the process of converting scanned files to searchable ones means staff can get back to where they are needed. One less administrative process can increase productivity firmwide and contribute to big efficiency gains. Time is a limited resource and automation can help it be spent more wisely.
Automation eliminates human error
When software steps in to automate document scanning it removes the likelihood of human error. We aren't perfect, and staff will, from time-to-time, forget or not realize they need to manually run a file through the OCRing process. Setting up a watched folder where all scanned files are automatically checked for image documents and converted to searchable PDFs doesn't require any memory power from staff. It also increases efficiency, since files are processed faster using fewer resources, and reduces bottlenecks in internal systems.
Your PDF software is the fastest way to automation
The easiest way to automate the conversion of scanned files is to use PDF software that has in-built OCR capability. pdfDocs, for example, monitors folders in document repositories or local File Systems and automatically checks each new file for image-based documents to convert to a text-searchable PDF. These PDFs can be imported into existing projects or exported to a document repository, cloud site, or straight to email.
Processing that is available 24/7 means files won't slip through the cracks and become lost to search.