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Before automation comes digitization

It is absolutely amazing what Applica Robotic Text Automation (RTA) and robotic process automation (RPA) can do for your business. Also – how quickly, especially when you choose a solution as nimble and versatile as Applica RTA. Templateless and able to tackle not just every type of form, but also unstructured documents, Applica’s layout-aware language modeling puts intelligent deep text automation to work for your business. We are talking error-proof extraction of data on par with nothing that humans can match for speed or accuracy. Scalable. Error-proof. COVID-proof. Paperless. Instantaneous. Hassle-free.

And yes, every document you want processed using our proprietary next-level automation must be in digital format.

So how do you get there from that stack of contracts or that roomful of boxes of paper? That’s a great question. No, we don’t deploy an army of humanoid bots that handle your paperwork physically. First of all, outfitting this sci-fi platoon with limbs and eyes would be a waste of your money. Second of all, in practice it’s still too soon for this kind of the-future-is-here theater. Dig deep enough and you’ll discover that robotic arms and scanner-retinas are prohibitively expensive to produce and maintain, and it’s still a challenge to get an anthropomorphic machine not to trip on a pen lying on the floor, let alone fumble with all those sheets of paper. AI designed for scrutiny and analysis of text-based documents is purely a software phenomenon. Getting paper files from point A to point B and feeding the scanners still relies on the human touch, though of course plenty of conventional machinery is involved. Same goes for shredding documents or preparing files for long-term storage.

In some cases, a company is already paperless or nearly so, either because it conducts all its business online, or because it has the flexibility to accommodate the vigilance required for exclusively digital recordkeeping. In most cases, a company combines paper and virtual documentation. But even then, all of the documents requiring scrutiny may already be digital, as in the case of records entered via apps and stored in online databases, or documents that have been diligently scanned upon receipt. Often, however, a partial set of files is digital, while another sits in a box. Or everything is in boxes, and to top it all off they’re a mess. In fact, this is not an unusual scenario: a company needs documents scrutinized, but it’s anybody’s guess which exact ones, how they were filed, or where the last person who looked at them left them.

Luckily, there are companies that handle paper files swiftly and make order out of any kind of chaos. These third-party providers of “office services” customarily pick up documents directly from the client, transport them to their specialized processing center, unbox and sort them by type and date, scan and/or digitize them as needed, and create informative and ergonomic filenames and folder structures as their product. Afterwards, files are either re-packed, in a more orderly way if needed, and returned to the client or kept for offsite storage. Alternately, documents can be destroyed, if a company chooses to unburden itself of paper going forward.

Such a service as described existed long before AI started looking for work, and it continues to benefit all kinds of companies and institutions that aren’t in a hurry to jump-start the future through intelligent automation. For those who are, however, it’s worth noting that Applica RTA can considerably simplify the digitizing process. How? By taking over the file sorting, file naming, and file organization. So yes, documents still need to be scanned, but they no longer need to be scrutinized in any way whatsoever by the people handling the scanning. Because that mess in those boxes? It’s not a mess for the right machine-based intelligence. In practice this translates to reduced cost and increased speed of taking paper digital, and it can lend AI an even more sweeping impact on your company’s newfound efficiency.

Unsurprisingly, the quality of the relationship between an AI solution like Applica and the right office systems service provider can impact the flow and quality of the automation, especially at the strategic first stage, while the machine is trained on those all-important demo data sets. That’s why Applica is partnering with one of Europe’s leading companies in the sector to develop the best solutions and workflows for our clients. Regardless of whether you need to outsource your scanning or plan to do it in-house or already keep a digital archive – Applica can help you sort through the mess and find the needle you need in every haystack.

To learn more about the ways Applica can propel your business into the future, connect with one of our experts today.