Until recently, when a company received a hard copy printed invoice or in digital format and wanted to include it in a corporate tool, it had to be done manually. With OCR technology, written texts will automatically be converted into a digital format to be easily managed. This post tells you what this technology consists of, how it can be used, and its benefits.

What is OCR?

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. It is a technology that recognizes images, symbols, numbers or characters of an alphabet stored as data to be edited with a text editing program or similar.

What is OCR used for?

OCR technology is used for various actions such as:

Conversion of handwriting into digital text. Although paper is being used less, many companies continue to receive documents written manually or on paper; therefore, to file them, it  is essential to digitize them in a way that are easily found

Translation of words. OCR technology also allows you to translate texts from one language to another or translate words even if they are within an image.

Document scanning.  Invoices, contracts, letters etc. It helps organizations going paperless and being more sustainable. OCR technology allows massive scanning of structured and unstructured documents and contributes to being catalogued with the metadata obtained and filed in digital format. Document scanning technology is also used with IDs cards and passports at airports, for example.

– Automatic recognition of licence plates by the police or at car parks. Traffic police radars must be able to recognize a vehicle licence plate regardless of light, weather or environmental conditions

Image searches. Currently, many contents are published in different formats on the internet, among others, images. One of the most common ways to search for images is through the metadata that users enter manually. Thus, images are easily found.

– Capture of  Spanish CUPS Codes (Meter Point Administration  Number (MPAN). The API CUPS of Lleida.net guarantees that the CUPS code of the clients of electricity and gas supply companies or marketers is correctly transmitted.

What are the benefits of OCR?

Following are the benefits of OCR:

– No need to manually input data,  saving time. Those procedures done manually are now automatically and in a short space of time. So, for example, in a company, you can manage letters received from clients or in a university or study centre to correct hand-made exams quickly.

– Reduction or elimination of errors. Manual work intends to be error-prone; therefore, time and effort are needed for practical management activities.

Streamlining of procedures. Registrations, cancellations, changes of owner or tariff or increases or reductions in contracted power will be made more efficiently to suppliers.

– Avoid penalties. An error when entering the CUPS code by a client led to the National Commission of Markets and Competition’s imposition of 75,000 euros for Holaluz for a severe infraction of the Electricity Sector Law. – OCR technology avoids mistakes that can be costly.

– Speed in payment processes. Invoices can be processed with OCR technology more quickly to pay on time, and there are no delays.

– Reducing storage space. Reducing the use of paper means reducing the area that companies need to store documents.

Increasing productivity. Employees of organizations will spend their time on tasks of greater value for the company instead of manually scanning documents or entering data manually in a system.

– It’s cheaper. All the above translates into a reduction in companies’ operating costs and, therefore, in greater cash and profits.

In Lleida.net know that the advantages of OCR technology are numerous, as we have seen. Moreover, over time, they will increase due to the new applications that may arise in the future, increasing the precision of the aforementioned technology and combining it with artificial intelligence. In short, optical character recognition is one of the elements of the digital transformation of companies to be more competitive and dynamic in an environment that changes every day.

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