Optical character recognition, or OCR, transformed the way companies conduct business. The ability to turn hard documents, PDFs and images into searchable, translatable, editable text eased processes and improved customer and client interactions.
But businesses at large don’t have to be the only ones that profit from using the technology. On a smaller scale, you can also begin leveraging OCR to improve your team’s workflow. Applying the same tools companies use to optimize business, teams also stand to gain from incorporating the tech into their own systems.
No employee looks forward to digging through piles of paperwork, journals or company files to find the information they need. It’s a tedious task that can take hours depending on what you’re searching for and how organized the pile is. A popular use of OCR for teams of all types is file management and organization.
Physical files take up a ton of space and no matter how organized, they aren’t easy to navigate. OCR scanning removes the office clutter and the hassle of flipping through stacks of files by turning scanned documents and images into searchable items. This saves huge amounts of time for any team that handles a lot of paperwork or performs a lot of research, such as a legal team.
Legal teams save time with OCR powered file management. When things like case files and law journals are scanned with OCR the text is transformed into searchable content. Even handwritten text or testimonies and text found in evidence photos is analyzed and indexed and made discoverable using a simple keyword search.
When a physical document or photo is scanned using OCR, the contents of the article scanned becomes searchable and editable text. Turning scanned documents and images into editable files promotes teamwork by making it possible to collaborate on otherwise uneditable files.
A marketing team for example would put such a tool to good use. Marketing teams are tasked with creating different types of promotional material including items like pamphlets, brochures, flyers and billboards. Editing usually stops after printing, but OCR scanning and editing allows the team to make changes once a physical document or image is scanned. Say there’s a print ad from which the marketing team is drawing inspiration. Scanning the ad with OCR turns the contents of it into editable text so the team can work straight off the ad and make the changes they want.
Editable OCR scans help other day-to-day tasks as well like notetaking. Instead of having to type up handwritten notes from a meeting, OCR can scan the handwritten notes and digitize them for you. Then, if shorthand was used to take the notes, OCR editing will let you edit the scanned notes and elaborate where need be so anyone can understand them.
The most common use of optical character recognition is digitization. The ability to turn hard copies of documents into searchable digital copies allows paperwork heavy industries to streamline their workflows. We’ve seen how using OCR to digitize documents lowers labor costs for companies in general, but it also helps teams better manage their day-to-day tasks and improve their productivity allowing you to start leveraging OCR to improve your team’s workflow.
Look at an accounting team for instance. Every invoice, service bill and check they issue or receive must be entered into their accounting database. While the accounting team isn’t hired specifically to do the data entry, it’s still a job requirement for everyone on the team. And considering how much paperwork is involved in accounting, it’s a pretty big part of it.
Using OCR scanning and data entry tools removes the need for manual digitization, freeing up employees time to work on other more meaningful tasks. As those invoices, service bills and checks are scanned or issued, OCR captures and indexes the information on the documents as they scan then enters it into the necessary data fields. Meanwhile, the accounting team not only has more time to work on higher value assignments, they also have all of the information they need digitized and accessible for things like cost comparisons and reports.
OCR translation tools make the world a smaller place. With the ability to recognize non-roman characters, OCR translation technology makes it easier to talk to clients and coworkers across the globe. This not only helps businesses expand into new markets, it helps teams working in new markets to conduct business and exchange information.
Consider, for example, the sales team of a new multinational company. Each region where the company operates has its own local sales team with its own literature and workflow in the region’s native language. Before using OCR, in order to share this information, translators for each regional language would be hired to translate the documents. With OCR translation technology, the documents can be scanned and automatically translated regardless of the language or characters used.
It’s easier to connect international teams using OCR. Information requiring translation is more readily and easily available so employees can move forward with their work instead of waiting for translation services to deliver. Sales teams wishing to share departmental information like pitches and presentations can do so without worrying about language barriers or delays.
Incorporating OCR powered tools into your team’s day-to-day work eliminates time consuming tasks that bottleneck the workflow. Leveraging OCR to improve your team’s workflow assists by digitizing files and automating data entry. Using OCR to collaborate, your team will work more efficiently, have more time to focus on skilled tasks and better connect with each other. Together these improved aspects will lead to a better performing team, making OCR not just a resource for your team’s workflow but for its productivity overall.
Empowering your team to be more focused, decisive and productive is no easy task. Managers and team leads need clear metrics to manage their teams efficiently, but all of the data can be overwhelming. Teramind fills the missing gap in existing employee monitoring solutions by translating raw tracking data into meaningful metrics that can help you make data-driven decisions.
But don’t just take our word for it…