Traditional Filing Cabinets

2. Filing, Indexing & OCR

Never lose a document ever again with indexing and OCR

You’ve scanned in your documents, and now you’re ready to file them. Unlike a filing cabinet, a document management system can not only file your documents in a ‘traditional filing structure’ but can also add additional information known as ‘metadata’ to help you retrieve them without knowing their filing location.

What’s more, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology can convert printed and handwritten text into readable text that you can search for using keywords, just like a search engine.

Virtual Filing Cabinets Document Management

Virtual Filing Cabinets

Like your existing filing cabinets but better

As you probably know, there are many ways to organise a traditional filing system, for example, you could file invoices by month received or by customer name. These are called classification schemes and they’re the traditional way to group documents that are alike together.

The problem is the traditional way of filing is very good at making it easy to find documents by browsing but it’s not great for searching. We usually have to leaf through a folder’s contents to find the document we need, which takes time and requires the user to know where to look in the first place.

All document management systems can mimic your existing filing structure as ‘virtual filing cabinets,’ providing familiarity and peace of mind for your traditionalists, but document management systems have the power to help your users find documents quicker and more easily using indexing and metadata.

Adding Meta Data Document Management

Indexing & Metadata

Pinpoint your documents in seconds!

Indexing & Metadata, ‘what is that’ I hear you cry. Don’t worry, these concepts are simple to understand and use and will transform how your company searches for documents.

Metadata is information you add about the document you’re going to store. It has been cleverly described as ‘data about data.’ Put simply, metadata describes the attributes of a document that you would naturally search for when trying to find it.

For example: if searching for an email, you might search for: date sent, sender name, recipient name or subject. Or if searching for an invoice: invoice number, date or supplier name. These would be ideal metadata fields to use for these documents.

Creating an index using metadata improves searches and provides better ways to organise your documents compared with the rigid classifications of traditional filing systems, helping you to find the documents you need more quickly and easily.

Rapid Indexing Document Management

Rapid indexing

Autocomplete index fields by linking to your other databases to save time and improve accuracy

The majority of filed documents are related to transactions, such as invoices, whose data may already be recorded by your accounts software, CRM or purchasing database.

Instead of having to re-key the same information that has been entered into your accounting system it’s possible to link your document management system and perform rapid indexing.

Rapid indexing autocompletes additional fields when populating a key field, such as invoice number. These could include fields such as the invoice date, supplier name and account number. Rapid indexing is not only quicker, but also potentially more accurate compared to manual indexing.

Zonal OCR Zones

Automatic Indexing

Zonal OCR – Index and file your documents automatically

For some, the Holy Grail of document management is fully automated indexing. This is possible with a technology called Zonal Optical Character Recognition that uses a pre-defined template to read specific areas of a document that contains the information that needs to be indexed.

Zonal OCR works brilliantly for companies who have a high volume of documents but with a very low level of variation, for example, a company with a handful of suppliers. Difficulties with Zonal OCR arise when a document’s format changes, this is because the words or numbers that need indexing may have moved position and therefore an error would occur.

If your documents are highly structured (e.g. invoices) and low in variation (e.g. internal documents) then Zonal OCR Indexing is the perfect solution for your document management needs. If not, then semi-automatic is probably more suitable

Rubber Band Indexing

Semi-Automatic Indexing

Speedy and accurate indexing

Organisations typically receive a large variation of documents that need indexing and filing. Even though filing in a document management system is already quicker than manually filing paper, any way to increase speed and accuracy is always desirable.

Rubber Band OCR Indexing: “Rubber Band” refers to the method of being able to drag a box around the text you wish to identify as the desired metadata. Although this might sound like a laborious process, in practise it is one of the quickest and most intuitive methods of indexing currently available. The text is automatically recognised using OCR for the operator to verify visually.
OCR Indexing: This method of indexing uses OCR recognition to make the text on the page readable by the document management system. The user simply selects the text or numbers required for the pre-determined metadata fields with one click, which are automatically entered into the index.

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Systems Technology is the bench that all companies should strive towards with Services, Support, Rapid Deployment and Reporting.

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Under their expert eye we were not only able to implement the new hardware but also update working practises.

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