By Andy Morley

Data entry is one of those business tasks than be classified as essential, if a little repetitive and time-consuming. Of course this process cannot really be automated at every step of the way so requires a member of staff to take time out of their day to at least initiate proceedings.

Outsourcing is rapidly becoming an ever popular solution however with more and more businesses now turning their heads towards deploying offsite data input. There are a number of reasons and advantages to this method that suggest that outsourced services are a genuine substitute for manual entry.

The Unexpected Costs of Manual Input

On the surface, manual data entry appears to almost free of charge – it’s just a case of sitting there and completing the task. As we know, not many things are ever as good as they seem and there is a range of associated costs to take into account.

First and foremost, there’s the cost of labor. Whilst you would probably delegate this task to somebody who is already being paid, taking them away from their usual role could end up in missed opportunities and financial loss. This can sometimes be a major downfall for emerging small businesses who need just a few extra leads to make the next step.

Then you have to factor in the price of machinery and infrastructure setup and running outlay. This includes expenditure for physical units, maintenance and increased electricity usage, which over the course of a year can reach hundreds of pounds.

Allows for Focus on Core Business Activities

As briefly mentioned, manual input can be carried out using a member of staff already within your company. The problem being however, whilst not technically increasing outgoings, incoming capital may be at risk through potential lost leads and opportunities. This can sometimes be a major downfall for emerging small businesses who need just a few extra leads to make the next step.

Outsourcing eliminates this risk as a dedicated offsite team will be handling everything that needs to be taken care of, allowing your staff to focus on business-specific activities without being distracted.

Advanced Technology and Accuracy

Possibly the area that highlights the biggest advantage for outsourcing over in-house data entry is the fact that companies devoted to input make use of technology you probably wouldn’t have access to. Many small businesses may have a standard scanner but quality will vary from device to device.

On top of state of the art scanning equipment, outsourcing bureaus usually make use of a number of features that streamline processes and improve accuracy.Possessing the ability to convert formats, such as typed documents to PDF, and extract key information making it searchable by any number of pre-specified fields or parameters, your documents can be easily accessed from any point. You can also add security controls to ensure that nobody who shouldn’t be viewing files has no option to do so.

Optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent character recognition (ICR) cleverly interpret information and can recognize and digitize even handwritten notes, making filing and searching easier than ever. These processes allow for levels of precision that can’t be found through other means. Most outsourcing service providers will manually review end results to ensure an almost 200% quality and accuracy check.

Benefits of Working with Accredited Companies

Whilst many data entry companies may profess to be able to handle information is a responsible manner, some may rank higher than others; especially those that are fully accredited by relevant governing bodies.

Companies who hold such accreditations are likely to securely process and distribute your data within legal and moral guidelines. Staff will be fully trained to deal with any scenarios that may occur and may even have a better understanding than your employees when it comes to input.

With all of these benefits available, it may not be as hard to realize why many small businesses are taking advantage of outsourced data entry as initially thought.

Savings can be made in the time, money, efficiency and productivity areas of your business, streamlining processes and helping you rest easier at the same time. All of this can potentially add up to freeing up the time and resources for your fledgling company to make a big impact in the near future.