How to grow the value of your data capture investment

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Over the last twenty years, organisations have invested heavily in OCR and EDI solutions. This investment in data capture technology has been rewarded with efficiency savings as automation has reduced costs and lowered error counts.

Whilst the initial investment in OCR was the correct choice at the time, the rapid evolution of technology in recent years has left some organisations lagging. OCR and EDI now fall short of modern data capture solutions.

The best businesses stay on their toes

This pattern is common across industries. Investment into any technology runs the risk of fast becoming a bad investment if the technology isn’t kept up to date. However, this shouldn’t put companies off making investments. By keeping pace with technology, forward-thinking organisations can find new ways of working, creating a dynamic operating model that enables positive transformation and drives continual efficiencies whilst promoting strong revenues and profits.

The pace of change can lead to legacy capture technology becoming out of date. OCR and EDI are examples of this. OCR is prevalent across a range of industries and, whilst it’s a solid method of capturing data, it’s far from perfect. As my colleague, Stewart Jacobsen, mentioned in his recent blog post on the state of the capture market,

I’ve seen data capture vendors using spin and semantics to try and hide the fact that they still use OCR. They use phrases such as cognitive capture, machine learning and robotic capture to wage war on each other, seeking one-upmanship rather than collaboration.

Alliance Director at CloudTrade, Stewart Jacobsen

For example, it often requires manual intervention to support accurate capture or undertake corrections. This makes it inefficient and when compared with technologies that have evolved in the last decade, expensive. Most pressingly, it’s also limited in the scope of data OCR can capture.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

EDI is similar in that the pace of technological evolution is now exposing its flaws. Whilst it offers the opportunity to accurately capture line level data, it can be frustrating and cumbersome for the vast majority of senders to configure, as suppliers have to make changes to their systems and infrastructure to support EDI. This takes time, effort and budget, as well as technical expertise.

Many of the shortcomings of OCR and EDI can be overcome by completing a process that requires limited investment. By undertaking a simple analysis of their senders, an organisation can learn to apply the right technology. In basic terms, EDI is suited to a small number of high volume senders, whereas OCR is suited to occasional suppliers. Finding this solution doesn’t take much time or capital. Rather, it’s common sense, a rational assessment of the situation and a practical solution put in place. Companies can then decide what technology to focus on.

Data capture of the future

However, there’s no need to be so prescriptive. CloudTrade’s technology allows organisations to service both types of clients by tackling inbound documents that fall between these two points. Our customers can use their current legacy technologies that they have invested in, adopting a digital strategy that gives them access to the ‘massive middle’, where so many suppliers sit.

By employing our technology, organisations are adopting a low-cost method that supports the step-change in transformation required. Our customers don’t need to make big investments in new technology. Rather, we help them to get the most of their existing capture technology in a low cost, efficient manner. This allows them to drive improve cash flow and customer experience.


Speak to a member of our team today and we can show you how our 100% data-accurate solution has helped businesses around the world reduce costs and increase revenue.

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