Teleform: To Batch or Not to Batch

Oct 16, 2018 by Lanny Sparks

Regardless of the TeleForm version you are using, one of the significantdecisions to make in the scanning/verification arena is answering “To Batch, or Not to Batch. That is the question?” We should review the conditions for determining how processing paper forms – via scanner(local or remote), fax, the HP Connect Agent, emailed forms or through the Automated Batch Creation – occur. In an upcoming article, we lookin-depth at the process for batch-scanning forms.

When using one of the methods above, the amount of control over the paper, and preferences espoused by the Verifier operators should be the top concerns.

Non-batch 

Non-Batch scanning involves the processing of forms through the scanner without paper controls

Non-batch scanning

Frequently used for low volume applications, this can work in any situation where there is no question concerning image quality or in applications where the need to return to a previously scanned paper is not relevant.

With non-batch scanning, you have little control over the referencing and paper handling of scanned documents. It is harder to track the paper forms and make any comparisons or to refer to them later. There is no batch number for primary reference. One cannot use Job Configurations to manage scan quality, Template Sets, attachments and virtual fields. Of course, you can try manually to keep track of the paper and the forms, but it is easier to use batch scanning when paper control is of utmost importance

Note:  What is helpful, (and I use this all of the time) is that one can use this scanning method to scan documents into a folder structure for non-TeleForm use. It can replace the sometimes-confusing scanning software that comes with a scanner. 

Batch Scanning 

Batching allows the operator to exercise greater control over collections of forms that are

inputtedby all the sources listed earlier. Creating Job Configurations add features such as:

  • Page Counts
  • Quality Control Modes
  • Setting Template Sets
  • or specific form templates
  • handling attachments
  • creating custom fields
  • employing image preprocessing and blank page removal.
Batch Scanning

We suggest that you use a Batch Control sheet for each batch. It should be in a pastel color (to differentiate it from forms) and contain fields such as:

  • Date Scanned
  • Batch Number
  • Number of Pages
  • Scanner Operator
  • Verifier Operator
  • Notes

This hand-written form is bundled on top of the batched forms after scanning and is stored. This way it is much easier to find the form in question when necessary.

In the future, we will discuss exporting an image (if paper forms are NOT required) to a simple directory tree or to some of the 3rd party storage and retrieval products, such as M-Files.

When using batch processing, we strongly recommend that, on at least one form export (usually an export of all data fields if you are parsing out data to different tables), you add the following pre-defined virtual fields:

  • Time_Stamp
  • BatchNo
  • BatchPgNo

In the database table, these three fields help one locate a paper form much easier and faster.

Time_Stamprefers to the second Reader picks up the form and begins processing.

BatchNois the automatically assigned Batch Number when using Scan Station or Automated Batch Creation.

BatchPgNo assigns a number to each page of the batch, thereby creating a “page number of number of pages”. If you have to thumb through the sheaf of forms, you can simplycount to the page you need.

Well, we have covered some fundamental information about batches. We emphasize using batch processing to take advantage of all or some of the goodies offered for this mode. The vast majority of our clients use batching, and would not be without it.

If you are not using it, try it, or ask us for a demonstration. 

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