Cost saving document management solutions for the public sector

Local authority and public sector organisations currently have  business transformation at the top of their agendas, with cost savings crucial in the current economy. Document management should be a key consideration for the business transformation process.  Paperless offices can bring significant costs savings to the public sector, through less manual processing, freeing up both staff time and valuable office space.

Scanning paper records combined with the latest mobile technology and software solutions can create efficient document management workflow, automate invoice processing,  give back office staff live access to field workers job information, intelligently capture data and back up key records.

What sort of records can be handled?  Any type of paper record can be scanned and indexed, for example:-

  • Personnel and HR records – staff information is sensitive and must be handled with care.  Digitising HR records can help organisations find employee records faster and help comply with the data protection act.   E.g. leavers records can be scanned and found quickly  if a reference is requested from a prospective employer, freeing up valuable office space.
  • Financial records – invoices and financial documents can be digitised on arrival, capturing and extracting key fields for direct important into existing finance systems.  Automated AP software can cut invoice processing time in half , reducing wasted staff time, improving accuracy and financial reporting information.
  • Paper Surveys – can be diverted to a virtual mail room, scanned and indexed on arrival and uploaded to an on-line hosted document management system.  Key fields can be extracted using intelligent capture software.
  • Paper Forms –  reporting customer call information e.g. health and social care, highways, environment or education,  can be a lengthy process, using up valuable staff time.   Digitally hosted forms can help reduce staff time recording details, increase accuracy and security and improve the overall customer experience.
  • Drawings and plans – large format drawings and plans can be scanned and indexed by record number and returned in digital format.  This can help protect old drawings, e.g. highway records and help find drawings faster, using a simple keyword search tool.
  • Claims management – claims forms can be handled and received via a digital mail room and uploaded to an on-line hosted document management system.

How scanning and document management solutions can help?

Cost savings – document management costs are often overlooked.  Examine how much is spent on document storage, office space, stationary, paper, telephone calls, printing and postage costs within your organisation.

Staff Time  - Consider how much time is spent by office and field based staff and clients completing paper forms and processing information?  How many paper records are lost and how much time do you spend searching through paper?

How secure is your data and who has access to your paper records –  Where are your paper records kept? Are you complying with the data protection act?

  • Once digitised, documents can be uploaded to a secure on-line hosted document management system, enabling flexible access from anywhere to authorised staff.
  • Only those with authorisation can view the documents, providing secure, compliant document management for your organisation.
  • A full document audit trail is provided, with staff able to upload documents in their native format, helping your business to be compliant.

 For further information visit or call 0800 046 8081.


Document scanning can help housing associations reduce costs, free office space and secure tenancy files

Document Scanning for Housing Associations

Document scanning and hosted document management helps housing associations reduce costs, secure and back up records, free up valuable office space and provide secure mobile access to field based staff.

Housing associations handle large amounts of paperwork including tenancy files and agreements, surveys, financial documents, personnel information and ASB files.  These files take up a lot of space, often in local, regional or head offices.  Housing officers and field based staff need regular access to these paper based records and always need to find information quickly and efficiently.

Manually processing paperwork can be costly for these organisations.  Just consider for a moment how much time your staff spend completing and processing data from paper forms.  Users often have to complete multiple forms, with duplicate information.  Manual data entry can also cause issues with data accuracy.  Errors may also occur e.g. translating incorrect information from handwritten notes.

So how can scanning and document management help?

Document Scanning Bureau’s like Cleardata have a wealth of experience in helping housing associations convert hard copy files into digital format.

  1. Digitising records helps reduce costs by freeing up valuable space at housing offices/sites and secure paper records.
  2. Tenancy records can be scanned, indexed by name, unique property record number, location reference  and output to any required format.  This helps improve data backup and security.
  3. The latest scanning technology uses clever software to extract key data and output into digital format, compatible with existing office systems.
  4. Existing forms can be re-designed for optimum scanning capture. For example, data such as name, address and location can be placed onto paper forms using a bar code, to prevent users completing duplicate information across multiple forms, increase accuracy and reduce processing costs.

On-line hosted document management solutions

Digital data can be uploaded to a secure on-line document management system.  Once uploaded, this provides secure, flexible access to records and agreements from any location using a web browser.  Hosted document management can help compliance with data protection laws, only allowing staff who require access to see relevant information.  The solutions also enables:

  1. Files to be easily searched and found using a simple keyword tool.
  2. Complaints letters, enquiries or documentation to be scanned by the housing associations or by the scanning bureau on arrival,  uploaded to the on-line system and associated with existing tenancy records, providing a full digital audit trail for tenancy records.
  3. Users to have the ability to assign tasks and messages to other users and associate with records.
  4. Staff no longer have to take out paper records, reducing the risk of paperwork or breaching data protection
For further details about Document Scanning for Housing Associations call 0800 046 8081 or visit



How can scanning help your office run smoothly?

It’s September already, the kids are back to school (phew) and it’s time to think Scanning Indexing 300x200 How can scanning help your office run smoothly?about tidying up your office. Everyone knows a tidy office can help your business run more smoothly and efficiently. Lets consider the options to get rid of some of that paperwork hanging around, back up your data,  improve customer service and reduce some costs.

Document Scanning

How much of your office space is used up by documents and files? 

Scanning can help free up a significant amount of office space, you may even be able to fit in extra desks and staff and avoid the dreaded office move.

How much time do your staff waste searching for paper records?

Lost documents and paperwork can cause massive amounts of time to be wasted and cause issues for your business. Digital documents can be indexed by field, e.g. date, document number or customer name and searched digitally using keyword search from your desktop.  Scanning your documents can help you deliver customer information and management reports faster and more efficiently.  Staff time can also be re-allocated to core business activities and improve productivity.

Are your paper records securely backed up?  How would your business be affected if you suffered a fire or flood?

Consider who currently has access to your paper records e.g. client, personnel and company information. As a company you should be compliant with the Data Protection Act and have business continuity plans for your information.  Scanning your records can provide a secure back up for your documents and secure accessibility to your information.

Do you need to access your records offsite?

Digital records can be uploaded to a secure on-line document management system.  This allows staff to have flexible access to information from any location, using a web browser.  Documents can also be uploaded and stored in their original format, e.g. word or excel.  Scanning Bureau’s like Cleardata offer a secure on-line document management system, with password protected access at a user level.  Users can also add notes and messages to documents and assign job tasks to other users in the system.

Would you like to go paperless?

Documents can be diverted to a digital mail room and scanned on arrival. Once scanned, information can be uploaded to an on-line solution or via a secure FTP site.  Taking away the paper from your company and improving efficiencies in your business.

For further information visit or call 0800 046 8081.




Can scanning and intelligent data capture help your annual reporting?

If your company publishes an annual, environmental or corporate social responsibility report, you’ll know the process of gathering and verifying all this information can be lengthy and time consuming.  Pulling together facts and figures from various departments, in multiple locations can be a difficult task and involve large amounts of manual paperwork processing.

Auditing your information can  involve mountains of paperwork being indexed in various manners to meet the multiple regulatory and reporting requirements by internal and external auditors.

Scanning, On-line Document Management and Intelligent Data Capture Can Help

Companies like Cleardata offer bulk document scanning services, combined with intelligent data capture and on-line hosted document management solutions.  This can help automate the data gathering process and give your corporate team access to the latest accurate information.

Documents and information can be scanned and uploaded to the on-line solution and indexed by any required field e.g. document type, name, and date.  Once uploaded they can be digitally searched from any location.   This can be done throughout the year, with users adding a simple tag  e.g. environment report evidence, together with an audit reference number, providing a digital audit trail for your reporting documentation.  No software is required, the system can be accessed via a simple web browser.  User permissions and passwords can be set by level.

Intelligent capture software can also be used to extract key information from documents to update facts and figures.  For example,  environmental reporting forms e.g. waste certificates, may contain the amount of waste recycled for a specific depot or location.  These forms can be scanned and the software can be set up to automatically detect areas on the form to intelligently recognise and extract key information.

Data can then be exported into any required output e.g. csv or excel.  This reduces staff time spent manually processing facts and information and can be processed throughout the year, making your annual reporting process easier.

Accounts payable solutions are also available to totally  automate  the entire AP process. Digitising invoices and financial documentation can help keep track of spend and provide up to date, compliant financial information for your business.

For further details, visit or call 0800 046 8081




How intelligent data capture can help reduce university and college document processing

It must a busy time now for universities and colleges processing thousands ofCleardata Dec2011 60 300x200 How intelligent data capture can help reduce university and college document processing  student applications and entries.  Manual data processing and capture from paper based forms can be a costly overhead for these organisations.

Many organisations use multiple paper based forms, often capturing similar information for various purposes, which can be frustrating for the users and people capturing the data.

Forms processing issues such as inaccuracy can also cause data management problems.  Data entry errors sometimes occur due to incorrect translation from handwritten forms or simple human error.

So how can scanning and intelligent data capture help?  

The latest scanners can work in conjunction with intelligent software to capture and automatically extract key fields from university application forms e.g. name, surname, date of birth, course name and reference number.  Once scanned, data can be extracted into any required format and indexed by field, making the data instantly searchable. It also provides a digital backup, protecting data from fire or flood.

Document Scanning companies like Cleardata can also help universities and colleges design their forms for optimum scanning capture. Similar to a passport application form, handwritten application forms can be designed to capture individual letters and optimised for ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition).

Applications can be diverted to a digital mail room, scanned on arrival, intelligently captured and processed using the latest document scanning and capture software.

Outsourcing and digitising manual forms processing provides multiple benefits for universities and colleges,  including significant cost reductions, reduced time spent processing and searching through paper records, increased data accuracy and improved data protection.

For further information, visit or call 0800 046 8081 and speak to one of our intelligent data capture specialists.


Achieve a paperless office with digital mail room services

Achieving a paperless office can help your business reduce costs and improveScanning Indexing 300x200 Achieve a paperless office with digital mail room services efficiencies.  Many businesses have started the digitisation process, scanning old archives and records,  but still receive large amounts of paper on a daily basis.

A digital mail room can help to make your office completely paperless. Document Scanning Bureaus like Cleardata, offer a complete business process outsourcing service for incoming mail.  Mail can be diverted via a PO Box to a secure scanning bureau and digitised on arrival.

Once digitised, documents can be found quickly and accessed from multiple locations, providing flexible and secure access to your information.

Clever technology is also available to recognise and capture key information from various document types. For example, Cleardata offers ReadSoft software which recognises, captures and extracts information such as invoice number, supplier name, amount and line item details from financial documents and invoices. Once extracted this data can be uploaded via a secure ftp site for you to import directly into your financial systems.  This sort of automated capture can significantly reduce manual processing costs and can also provide  up to date information for your existing systems.  Enabling faster processing and more accurate financial and management reporting information.

This software can help many different types of businesses who regularly receive large amounts of mail.   For example, a claims handling company may have letters for different types of claims, application forms and stages of documentation.   The software can recognise different documents, extract the data and automate the process and routing for the various documents e.g. claims letters can be recognised for different companies and automatically sent to different departments to be handled and processed.

For further information please visit or call 0800 046 8081 and speak to one of our paperless office specialists.


What is the correct resolution to use when scanning documents?

What is the correct resolution for document scanning?  Today we’ll be focusing on the basics of scanning resolution and the optimum resolution when scanning for OCR (optical character recognition) and  barcode reading software.

The basics about scanning resolution and dots per inch (DPI).

  • When you scan an image, the camera on the scanner recognises the information in the span or area of 1 inch (that’s 2.54 centimetres to all of you working in metric).
  • DPI, translates as dots per inch, the number of points the scanner’s camera can recognise in that space.  The average scanner normally captures scans at 200 DPI (here’s an illustration for you).
  • dots per inch What is the correct resolution to use when scanning documents?The higher the resolution the more dots per inch and detail captured.
  • The quality captured at 200 dpi  is much better on a high quality scanner compared to the same resolution on a no frills scanner.
  • If you haven’t got the right equipment, turn to a scanning bureau like Cleardata, who have invested in the latest Kodak technology.

Scanning for Barcode Reading and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Software

Before you start your scanning job, you need to set up a test on a sample of the images, to make sure you get the best results for your OCR or Barcode Reading Software.

These types of software can often confuse characters and provide inaccurate results. This can occur if your documents have lots of noise around the text, caused by photocopying, old documents, crumpled paper and unclean messy images.

Before running each job, Cleardata’s scanning team always tests every combination on the scanners to maximise performance, quality and accuracy.  These tests include trying various scanners, resolutions and settings and outputting the information to the OCR or barcode software, to gauge the best results for the job.

For example, when scanning for OCR or barcode, usually it’s a good idea to scan at 300 dpi. But, if you have unclean images it’s sometimes better to scan at a lower resolution e.g. 200 dpi.  This stops the scanner picking up too much detail and confusing the software and can ultimately provide better OCR results.

Cleardata’s scanning bureau uses highly sophisticated OCR software, with two to three built in OCR engines.  When each of these are applied it provides  the best quality capture results. This software is becoming increasingly advanced and is now able to recognise strings of text within documents, enabling sorting and classification by document type.

I hope you’ve found this useful, Cleardata provides professional document scanning services throughout the UK, for further information visit or call 0800 046 8081.


How HR departments can benefit from digitally storing documents

Document Scanning Company, Cleardata is helping to transform the way Human Scanning Indexing1 300x200 How HR departments can benefit from digitally storing documentsResources  (HR) departments work across the UK by scanning paper records and securing key records.

Cleardata can scan any size of HR document from holiday forms and time sheets, to employee application forms and appraisals.   Records can be uploaded to an online document management system, allowing staff to access them safely and securely from anywhere, saving precious time that would have been wasted wading through paperwork. The document management system allows users to search and find all related documents quickly and easily and saves time on manual data entry and paperwork administration.

The company, meets security compliance standards for the NHS, Local Government and blue chip businesses.  Accredited to ISO27001, the highest standard for Information Security, Cleardata helps ensure personnel records and information are kept safely and securely.

David Bryce Cleardata’s Managing Director said: “Cleardata aims to help companies cut costs by reducing time spent on manual tasks such as filing and retrieving paper records, we use state of the art scanning technology and clever software to help digitise information and automate manual processes. We are currently working with a number of HR departments to reduce paperwork and improve efficiencies. We can help companies design forms, designed for optimum scanning capture, to reduce time spent on data entry and thereby save them both time and money.”


To find out more  contact Cleardata on 0800 046 8081 or visit

Document management for the Construction industry

Are you looking to improve your Construction Project Management?  Construction Records Scanning 300x179 Document management for the Construction industryDocument scanning and online document management maybe the solution for your business. Construction project management can be challenging for large projects with multiple locations and staff working out in the field.

Digitising your documents can improve efficiencies for your team, protect your information and free up valuable office space.

Once scanned any type of document, including large format drawings and plans can be indexed by drawing number or unique reference, enabling them to be searched and retrieved using a simple keyword facility.

Plans and large format documents are scanned using the latest OCE technology, this picks up feint pencil markings, colour and black and white in a high quality. Linen, vellum and other drawing materials can be scanned or copied to your requirements.

Cleardata also offers an online document management solution, enabling construction documents to be stored in a secure system and retrieved in their original format from any location, using a web browser. This is ideal for staff working out and about, to access information and add the latest updates to your project.  Back office staff benefit from having access to updates and information for key projects.

Notes, tasks and messages, such as project updates or instructions can be added to plans or documents and assigned to users within your organisation, providing a full audit trail for your construction documentation.

For further details call 0800 046 8081 or email