Why and how OCR improves sustainability
In today’s post I’ll explore the topic of OCR and sustainability – are you ready for my findings? There are a lot of reasons, which have a positive impact on the environment. I focused on 4 reasons, in particular paper, transportation, production of electric devices and personnel expenses.
Why the hell do I think OCR improves sustainability?
When you think of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or mobile text recognition, sustainability is not the first thing that comes to your mind. If you take a closer look, you will see that these two things have more in common than you think. Sustainability has a wide range of meaning. In this case it’s about saving resources in terms of process optimization.
Through OCR it’s possible to optimize processes enormously and reduce the amount of material, transport and production!
How to reduce the paper consumption & print costs?
We live in a world where almost everything is digitalized – are you kidding? When I think of my insurance or my energy provider almost every contract or onboarding is still written on paper. In the last decades there was no other way of processing important information than putting it on paper. Paper was almost the only material, on which important information could be transferred. Nowadays, by using mobile text recognition the process is not just optimized in terms of time, but in the terms of sustainability as well.
With OCR you are able to scan important information from different materials in different environments and transfer it with one click in your mobile app.
To give you a short example: For a check-in at a hotel you still have to fill out a form about your personal information. The hotel employee has to type it in the system. So the paper was just used for a few minutes and will be thrown away – this is really not sustainable. With the Anyline MRZ Scanner the employee just has to scan the MRZ (Machine Readable Zone) of your passport and gets all the information on his screen within seconds – fast, secure and in the most sustainable way possible!
How to reduce device costs & production?
No, we are not talking about smartphones, we are talking about mobile reading devices produced for special use cases. A few years ago, smartphones and the technology weren’t developed enough to recognize text just via a smartphone. Therefore, special mobile reading devices were produced and, as we know, every device uses a lot of resources.
Today, it’s possible to handle the whole process on the smartphone. Mobile text recognition, for example with the Anyline® SDK, easily allows you to scan serial numbers right on your phone. You don’t need a special device – which means not just a cost reduction, but less resources consumption too.
How to reduce transportation costs?
As I already mentioned, with mobile text recognition it’s possible to scan text from different materials in different environments. So any sheet of paper, any device which is shipped or transported to a customer or company isn’t necessary anymore!
How to reduce personnel expenses?
Depending on your use case, OCR helps you reduce the costs of your employees and customers. It’s a simple but effective process optimization. Typing in information always brings typing errors with it. Therefore, using mobile text recognition, typing errors will be eliminated and the data input will be almost 20x faster than typing it in by hand. And most important: some of the processes can now be handled by the customers themselves and you need no, or at least less, employees.
A real life example, please!
Here you go. For a better understanding, I chose meter reading as a real use case.
Twenty years ago every single household got a letter from its energy provider at least once a year for the annual meter reading update. So, you had to write down your meter reading and send it back to your provider. If you didn’t? They sent you another letter, and another letter. If there was a writing error, they had to send it again… Nowadays, in most cases it’s still the same process but it doesn’t have to be. With mobile text recognition it’s the easiest and most sustainable way to just scan the meter reading with your smartphone and send it to your energy provider via the app.
You don’t need any paper, no extra devices, because you use your private phone, no transportation of any letter and no working hours to put the data into your system – because it’s already there. And in matter of sustainability the whole process just takes a few seconds instead of days to get the information.
So to sum up, with mobile text recognition you optimize your process not just in terms of time but in terms of:
- reducing material consumption
- reducing transportation costs
- need no extra devices
- reducing personnel expenses.