Silver Spring, Md. — Insurers are recognizing the savings associated with installing distributed scanning and capture technologies, according to a July 2007 survey by AIIM, who specializes in disseminating information about enterprise content management.

For the study, “Distributed Capture: Moving Closer to Document Creation,” AIIM sampled 456 end users from its database as part of a worldwide online survey. Respondents, hailing predominantly from the United States, represented organizations of all sizes across various vertical industries, with the insurance industry being among the most prominent.

Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed indicated that distributed scanning and capture technologies were being utilized within their organization. Savings from reduced shipping and copying costs were cited most often to justify the investment in distributed capture systems, but experienced users called on “improved efficiency” (i.e. getting access to information immediately, eliminating “mail float”) and “automate processes” (i.e. improving processes by eliminating paper at the point of origin) as the top two benefits or potential benefits.

Finance and administration was listed as the process in which distributed capture is used most (59%). Invoice processing, document routing and approval, expense reports, billing and shipping consolidation and purchase requisitions were the processes noted as ripe for automation through the application of distributed scanning and capture systems within the finance and administration umbrella. Human resources (38%), along with product management and sales and marketing (both 23%) followed. Other data was collected in regard to trends for each of the other three process areas.

The study goes on to report how respondents noted that MFDs (defined in the survey as “network-attached devices that copy, print and scan”) are an integral part of the distributed scanning and capture equation, with 60% of end users identifying MFDs as being “important” or “very important” to their programs.

In the end, while not all respondents understood the value of purchasing distributed scanning and capture systems, a high degree of return on investment was noted when compared to other potential IT investments.

Source: AIIM

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