Tag: Kaizen

Aug
2011

KAIZEN way of Digitization: Automated Technologies for Scanning & Content Capture

Organizations are now more concerned about greater efficiency with low cost of operations, a great composition for win-win scenario. Every organization uses paper documents in some way to run their day to day business and is also putting its best efforts to reduce paper usage without affecting its business while trying to improve the efficiency at same time.  The best method to achieve the said goal is digitization and automation of the complete business process. Automation through BPM (Business Process Management) solution and digitization through DMS (Document Management System) solutions will improve the process time drastically and eliminate the use of paper documents respectively, a win-win situation.

Basic input for any automation or digitization process is to scan the documents (to eliminate the dependency on paper documents) and capturing of contents on paper documents (to run the process based on the contents mentioned on the paper documents), but the cost of operations and wrong selection of software/ hardware results in dropping the great idea of progress through automation in about 60%-70% of the cases.

In my earlier articles like “Document Quality Analyzer: Automated Quality Checking without Operators “, “DIGITIZATION OUTPUT: Operator, Not Scanner, Defines Production”, “SaaS (Software as a Service) – Software on Subscription Based Model”, “DIGITIZATION – King Without Crown of Business Universe”, “DIGITIZATION REDEFINED – Digital Camera as Book Scanner”, “Data Capture/Entry without Operators (ICR Technology)”, we have shown the methods to bring down digitization cost, but the cost of content capture is still a cause of concern. The simple reason for this is the lack of awareness about great technologies such as ICR (for automated capturing of hand written contents), OMR (automated capturing of bubbles, check marks etc) and OCR (automated capturing of machine printed contents).

Availability of ICR technology has helped to capture content from documents for many years, but the basic requirement of this technology is, documents in structured format (fixed position of text on the documents), whereas about 90% of the documents are semi structured or unstructured, but the advancement in ICR technology has now shown the way to cater even semi/unstructured documents, now even running handwriting can also to captured by the software and saved as digital content. ICR technology is now so flexible that even floating text (if the position of text varies in every document) can also be captured and saved as structured digital content.

Now the full cycle of digitization i.e. “Scanning” and “Content Capture” is completely automated and completed with minimal expenditure, while resulting in huge improvements in efficiency of business processes. A true example of the “KAIZEN” method.

Name: Hemant

Web Site: http://www.newgensoft.com

Bio: Hemant is Senior Manager - Processing Services with Newgen Software Technologies Limited

Jul
2011

Is BPM Synonymous to Kaizen

Masaaki Imai introduced the Kaizen method for continuous incremental improvements to the corporate world, through his book, ‘Kaizen: The key to Japan’s success’, in 1986. The concept spread across industries like fire and became a fad the world over. The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen is about constant continual improvement at low cost, involving everyone at all levels in the organizational structure, and applying much common sense.

Assuming that every aspect of our life should be driven by constant improvement, Kaizen aims at elimination of waste (activities for which the input – output ratio is extremely low). It often refers to rearranging processes in a better and less complex workflow. The next step is standardization of this better process. The cycle of Kaizen activity also known as Shewhart cycle or Deming cycle has the following four steps that are repeated ad infinitum:

  1. Standardize operations
  2. Measure the standardized operation
  3. Gauge measurements against requirements
  4. Innovate to meet requirements

Manual coordination of activities in organizations leads to inefficiency and errors in the operational process and often obstructs process improvement itself. Business Process Management (BPM) was recognized by the academic world in the fifties and sixties as an effective tool for managing quality. Later, Hammer & Champy (1993) defined a process (business process) as “a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an output that is of value to the customer.” With their definition they highlighed the benefits of process management, process (re-) engineering, and workflow management to business managers. They established the importance of BPM to the success of modern enterprises. BPM leads to a continuous cycle of process improvement. Ideally it aims at saving money, saving time, improving compliance and adding value to an organizations workflow. The BPM lifecycle involves the following major steps:

  • Model - preparing a flowchart of the various steps in the process
  • Develop - defining the process and integrating the existing technology
  • Deploy and monitor - put to action and collect statistics to quantify improvements
  • Analyze and improve - identify bottlenecks and make changes to do away with them

Today, BPM in its capacity as a continually evolving set of technologies, to establish goals and strategies for the improvement of operational processes that affect an organization’s performance, to some extent is Kaizen.

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