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How to Manage Paper Forms along with Electronic Forms Processing

Baum, Dan

Bridge the paper-to-digital divide with 2D barcode-enabled, tillable PDF forms

Adobe Systems Incorporated is the world's leading provider of software solutions to create, manage and deliver high-impact, reliable digital content. Adobe" LiveCycle" Barcoded Forms combines proven two-dimensional barcode technology and interactive Adobe PDF forms to automate the processing of paper forms with complete accuracy. For more information, visit

Is your organization still struggling with the costs and hassle of processing paper forms? You're not alone. Did you know:

* U.S. organizations spend $15-$20 billion annually on manually keying data from paper documents*

* Average data entry labor cost per form: $0.50 - $5.00**

* Manual data entry results in 2-4% inaccurate data**

Isn't there a better way to process paper forms? Is there a single system that can handle both paper and electronic forms? Is it possible to:

* Reduce the costs, errors and time associated with manual data entry and OCR-based forms processing;

* Support electronic and paper forms workflows in a single, unified environment;

* Use a forms processing system as a competitive advantage that increases time-to-revenue and improves customer service?

Despite a trend towards the adoption of fully electronic processes, many key business workflows continue to rely on information that is manually captured from paper forms. Paper forms persist for a variety of reasons. For instance, many processes still require handwritten signatures, multiple signatures, supplemental paper attachments, or review by third parties, such as attorneys or CPAs, prior to form submission.

Paper forms are not only less efficient and more error-prone than their electronic counterparts, but they also typically require entirely separate IT infrastructure and data integration. While an IT department typically oversees electronic forms systems, Operations personnel handle the processing of paper and faxed forms. Balancing these disparate processes involves spending money, time, and effort on tasks such as correcting manual data entry errors and managing and integrating data from disconnected systems. The result is that your operation's information capture efficiency and customer service isn't what it should be. Not to mention the negative impact on your organization's ability to capitalize on revenue opportunities in a timely manner.

Integrate Paper Form Data Into Core Systems

Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms can help. This solution was designed to bridge the deep divide between paper and digital forms systems. Although the concept is relatively simple, the results of using the technology can be quite profound.

LiveCycle Barcoded Forms combines proven two-dimensional barcode technology with tillable Adobe PDF forms to automate the capture of user-supplied information from fill-and-print paper forms. In other words, information that your customer enters into an Adobe barcoded, tillable PDF form can be automatically captured with 100% accuracy, whether that form is submitted electronically, or by paper or fax. And once you've captured the user-supplied form information, it can be efficiently integrated into your organization's core IT systems. By eliminating costly and error-prone manual data entry and the need for human oversight for data verification, the Adobe solution enables your organization to realize the benefits of an electronic forms workflow, even when digital processes revert to paper.

The Solution At Work: Financial Services

Financial services companies are under more pressure than ever to reduce operational expenses while finding new and innovative ways to retain valuable customers and acquire new ones. Despite the industry's technological sophistication, certain financial processes still require ink signatures on physical paper for regulatory or historical reasons. These mandates present unique challenges to banking, securities, and insurance firms looking to streamline critical processes by integrating data derived from forms into their core content management, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management systems. Overcoming these obstacles is easy with Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms.

* Account applications: 2D barcode-enabled account applications can reduce processing time and expense, improve customer service, and speed time-to-revenue.

* Faxed funds transfer: With 2D barcode capabilities, you can reduce re-keying and costly inaccuracies common to faxed or manually initiated funds transfer processes.

* Insurance policy applications: The forms-intensive insurance industry can streamline the process of capturing data from paper forms - when forms are faxed from independent agents to affiliated insurance companies, for example.

The Solution At Work: Government

Governments the world over are striving to improve constituent services by implementing processes that are more responsive, convenient, customer oriented, and cost-effective.

To achieve these goals, agencies must find an efficient process for capturing user-supplied data from paper documents and returning it to core systems.

By deploying Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms, agencies can lower costs, improve service quality, and increase responsiveness to constituent requests. For example:

* Citizen tax forms: Using the Adobe solution, agencies can reduce data entry time and effort, improve accuracy, and speed processing of completed tax returns and other forms. As a result, tax agencies can reduce costs associated with paper forms processing and improve citizen service.

* Motor vehicles forms: Barcode-enabled forms allow Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to eliminate manual re-keying and decrease the time and cost of processing applications, renewals, and registrations. By tying paper-based constituent form data directly into back-end systems, the DMV can also streamline the automation of ongoing services, such as renewal reminders.

* Voter registration: With 2D barcode capabilities, governments can produce registration forms that not only reduce expenses, but also minimize pre-election waiting periods.

Adobe provides everything you need to turn expensive, labor-intensive paper form processes into a streamlined workflow that's easy on both you and your customers or constituents. To extract more from your paper forms with Adobe solutions, visit, or stop by booth #1111 at the TAWPI 35th Annual Forum & Expo in Baltimore.


*Pacific Crest securities, Harvey Spencer Associates

**TAWPI, Forms Processing & Image Capture Study, 2000

Dan Baum is the VP and General Manager of the Paper-to-Digital business unit at Adobe. He can be reached via e-mail at

Copyright Association for Work Process Improvement Aug 2005
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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