Mobile is the driver of changing customer behaviour and many digital innovations. As everything is becoming more mobile, so is document and data capture. As we see business apps growing more and more, we also see that organisations start requiring the need to capture on the move while at the same time maintaining the same workflow. The demand for document capture that can be used by an increasingly mobile workforce in a decentralised and agile working context is growing. However, businesses want more than just hardware. So software applications making mobile capture a reality are equally in demand, says Emma Isichei, Worldwide Category Director, Capture Solutions at Kodak Alaris.
Considerations when planning to use mobile document capture
The first thing an organisation needs to consider when planning on using apps to capture data from mobile devices is understanding what data they want to capture. If you take the ‘garbage in garbage out’ approach, you can capture just about everything, and this does not help the business as it just gets swamped by data and is unable to decipher between what is business critical and what is just “noise”. It’s essential to understand exactly what you are capturing with mobile data.
Another important element is the context of the customer/user such as where the capture will happen. It needs to be easy and efficient, and should route information directly into the business flow in a clean and consistent manner. Keeping it easy also means that organisations don’t need to invest in a lot of training if people are using an intuitive app that is the same on a mobile and a desktop.
The third consideration is security and compliance issues. What security protocols do we have in place? How we are capturing data and moving it through a process which is secure and traceable, so the relevant data hits the right place at the right time in a safe way.
Let’s take an insurance agent who is out in the field and is assessing a high value claim. This claim will have a lot of paperwork and possibly, photographs that need to accompany the claim. The claimant is anxious as they are looking for a fast and easy settlement. If the assessor has to ask the claimant for paperwork and request that it is sent somewhere and then maybe returned for a signature, then the claimant becomes unhappy as this causes unnecessary delays and stress. The assessor has to make multiple trips and may also lose some of the paper work in the process. However, if that assessor can complete the paperwork by instantly capturing the information on a mobile phone, with no more effort than selecting the particular workflow within an app on the phone screen, taking a picture and letting the application save it in the right format – how easy and fast does this make it? Ensuring that a high quality and quick service is offered will most likely result in the claimant staying with the current insurer. This also means that for an insurer, there is less processing cost, less chance of mistakes and loss of documentation as capture is happening at the point of need.
Let’s look at another application – a logistics company has owner drivers delivering goods. This involves the drivers having to submit paperwork to the local branch, after which the driver’s payments are activated based upon the number and distances of the deliveries and the customers in turn are invoiced for such deliveries. The paperwork submission is vital, as it ensures that the company can track what goods are delivered and where (SLA compliance). If the driver has to work with paper delivery notes, they either have to return to base at the end of the shift, or else submit paperwork when they first start work. However the driver may not always be starting from the same point. The delay in filing paper work will mean that drivers do not get paid and the logistics company cannot get paid by customers. It is equally important in logistics that the company has the right data at all times to be able to answer any customer queries with regards to deliveries. In the past drivers were perhaps given PDAs but there was still the regulatory need to have paper copies. The use of mobile capture via the drivers’ mobile phones now means that the logistics company can control the workflow and ensure that data is easily collected at the point of need.
Both cases are similar, and are about capturing data at point of need, minimising loss and speeding up a process.