DocsCorp Sales Director and legal technology veteran, Ted Kukorowski, explains.
Setting all the Multi-Function Devices (MFDs) in the firm to OCR scanned documents by default isn’t enough to stop non-searchable files ending up in your systems. While it goes a long way in helping to minimize the risk, just having OCR on at the point of scanning means missing massive amounts of documents that come into the business other ways – like email attachments and ingested files.
A scanner, for example, would never touch co-counsel ingests that have already been digitized and that knowledge is lost because staff can’t find it. What’s more is that these MFDs with OCR may be relatively new and would not have processed the backlog of files already in a document management system (DMS) or Windows file system. As much as 30% of these files will almost certainly be non-searchable.
Firms have already tried and failed using Multi-Function Devices to prevent invisible files
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin is a leading US civil defense litigation firm with more than 470 attorneys. They realized there was non-searchable content in their DMS and, according to Manager of Application Services, Lisa Ruane, the root of the problem was documents received from outside the business. “We [could] control the OCR workflow on documents generated internally,” Lisa said, “but there was no tool or workflow to automatically capture and convert image-based documents from outside sources.”
European firm Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira initially addressed the problem of missing documents by investing in high-powered scanners with OCR’ing capability. This approach meant additional training for staff in the scanning department and resulted in enormous file sizes since documents were sent to the scanning room without separators. “It was at this point that we realized our approach was wrong,” explained Pascual Boil, Applications Director at the firm.
Switching to a new approach: back-end OCR
Both firms moved from front-end (OCR’ing at the point of scanning) to back-end OCR to solve the problem of non-searchable files. Image-based files like scanned documents would be converted to text-searchable PDFs in the file system or DMS, meaning MFDs or scanning staff weren’t relied on to catch every document before profiling. OCR’ing automatically in the back-end ensured no impact on staff workflows and safeguarded newly profiled documents from becoming lost – no matter the source.
Worried you aren’t finding every document? An audit of your systems can show you what your missing. Learn how it could help you make better business decisions.
Ted Kukorowski is a Sales Director for DocsCorp across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Ted has more than 40 years' experience in the computer software industry specializing in enterprise software, customer relationship management, and strategic partnerships. Ted has been serving the Legal industry for the last 20 years. When he's not on the road, Ted can be found on the Chesapeake Bay fishing. He also spends a lot of his free time in Philadelphia with his daughter, Alexandra, who is attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.