The need for speed in forms processing

For a business process outsourcer (BPO), growth can present a dilemma. A successful BPO is one that provides value to its customers by meeting their service level agreements (SLA) regarding turnaround time and performance goals. Success means more customers, and with more customers comes the challenge of continuing to meet these SLAs. With an increasing workload, you run the risk of failing at the very things that made you successful in the first place. What to do?

BPOs in the business of processing their customers’ forms and extracting the data from them understand this dynamic all too well. It’s a dynamic made even stickier by this fact: not all data is created equal. Some may be a higher priority than others. Think of the dozens of pages where you’ve put your signature when you bought your last car.

All those papers need to be archived digitally, but it can go through a normal queue. The deal is already done. Now think about the papers you filled out when you applied for the loan for that vehicle. The lending bank needs to see data from those documents immediately in order to make a decision in near-real time speed—while you wait in an office at the dealership. That data can’t wait.

Some documents need VIP treatment = Very Important Processing

Some documents are more important/time sensitive, and simply cannot wait in a queue of standard processing times. To solve this problem, BPOs often set up a dedicated processing queue specifically for these kinds of very important documents. It sidesteps the larger, less urgent stack of documents queued up for processing—and sometimes even that isn’t fast enough.

OCR software has done wonders for the speed at which data can be extracted from forms, and AI can step in and increase the accuracy of that extraction. Still, even with a dedicated infrastructure and clearly defined process to dictate forms processing, extraction often goes slower than expected due to lack of computing power or human resources for exception handling.

These delays can be circumstantial, meaning that software isn’t even the issue. It could be a process-related delay, like requiring a security clearance for sensitive data. Sometimes the priority queue doesn’t even involve a tech solution at all: it’s just people manually entering the data. Assuming all these operational processes go smoothly and there is some kind of advanced OCR that will extract the data, there are still other possible slowdowns:

  • Handwritten forms that are illegible
  • Low-quality images, such as from low-resolution scanners or fax machines
  • New document formats, which require the software to be “trained” to recognize them

In even the best conditions, OCR software can’t achieve 100% automation and accuracy, and so any of these glitches listed above are only going to slow down an already imperfect process with even more error correction. Still, for many BPOs, what they’ve got is working just fine for them; not every situation calls for ripping out your existing infrastructure and replacing it with another solution.

Only a small percentage of what they process could be considered “VIP” documents, and they’ve figured out ways to jump through hoops to meet tight deadlines. But that’s not scalable; there’s a cap on how much more they can take on, and installing a dedicated “fast lane” for this small subset of data may not make economic sense. However, a managed service addressing exactly these challenges opens up a lot of potential in terms of scalability, speed and accuracy – all while ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations.

ScaleHub’s managed service ensures speed and accuracy

The good news is: No hardware needs to be installed. There’s no software to maintain. The only thing that would change is the process itself. But process is a BPO’s specialty, and with ScaleHub’s solution, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Certain forms/data sets would be headed for the VIP queue, and there would be some distribution plan based on priority levels and SLAs for the different forms. But beyond that?

ScaleHub’s managed service takes it from there. When you scan documents, our service classifies the documents (if needed), breaks up recognized fields for capture, and distributes these pieces—called snippets—to the crowd of more than 2.3 million contributors, available 24/7 and capable of handling more than 160 languages. They, in turn, will enter and validate the contextless, single piece of information they are provided.

The software puts all the pieces back together again, sending the data back to you. This guarantees what’s returned to you is >99.x% accurate, and processed in as little as one hour. Anything that isn’t considered “VIP” can continue to be processed as usual using your original systems with zero disruption. Meanwhile, the important data is getting the white glove treatment with no investment in new infrastructure, easing the pressure everywhere, while at the same time ensuring business success and happy customers.

Learn more

Curious about how it works? Our automated forms processing solution has been used around the world to quickly gather data. Watch the short video below to see how it works. Have a question? Get in touch with us.


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