At IPS, “good enough” just isn’t good enough. Unfortunately, that’s not the case everywhere in the imaging industry.
The old expression is that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” And that’s especially true when it comes to complex document scanning and imaging jobs. The technology, techniques and best practices used by the leading companies in the field have progressed so fast that many clients find it hard to believe what they’re capable of.
Take, for instance, two recent presentations on the use of intelligent capture and digital mailroom processes to digitize accounts payable at health care facilities. Both decided to go it on their own, rather than use an outsourced expert.
One AP manager described, at length, how difficult the process was for him. He talked about extra work, wasted time and extreme effort. But in the end, the in-house system his facility purchased was performing largely as expected – 86 percent field-level data extraction and 25 percent straight-through processing for combined PO/non-PO invoices.
The other facility was getting 90-95 percent field-level data extraction and 45-50 percent straight-through processing from the complex system it bought.
To the layperson, those numbers probably seem pretty impressive. Eighty-six, 90 or 95 percent extraction is good, right? Heck, that’s barely any errors! And some work is to be expected, whether it’s on the front end setting up the system or actually running invoices through … right?
But that layperson doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. As nice as those stats seem, they’re woefully behind the curve when compared to what a world-class imaging vendor like IPS can offer. Here, 86 percent data extraction is considered terrible – we offer 99 percent, guaranteed. And our minimum standard for acceptable straight-through processing is 80 percent – nearly double the best those facilities were getting from in-house systems.
And here’s the kicker: Using IPS would have been cheaper on a per-invoice basis.
Why the difference? Simple: We’re experts. Imaging and scanning is all we do. In many cases, we literally wrote the book on it. We have the most advanced equipment and people to do the job right, and the economies of scale to do it inexpensively.
Imagine a hospital that needs to order an extremely specialized blood test once or twice a month. They probably don’t have anyone on staff specifically trained in the procedure. Does it make more sense for the hospital to outsource the testing to a lab with experts that do it all the time, or for them to build an expensive on-site lab staffed by a professional from a different field? The answer is obvious: Outsource. The single facility will never have the expertise – or the economies of scale – to make doing it themselves worthwhile.
It’s the same with invoice processing. If the process is difficult, costly and error-prone, you’re doing it wrong. There’s a better way out there. And once you know, there’s no reason not to take advantage.