Today, we will be discussing how logistics can benefit from the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Before we dive into the application and benefit, let’s start with the definition of OCR.
What is OCR?
Optical character recognition (OCR) technology is a business solution for automating data extraction from printed or written text from a scanned document, image file and then converting the text into a machine-readable form to be used for data processing like editing or searching.
How can logistics benefit from OCR technology?
1. Automate the data entry by data extraction
The logistics industry has struggled to input the data from bills of lading manually, accounts payable invoices, commercial invoices and packing lists documents. They have faced many bottlenecks at all levels. With OCR technology in place, it enables automation in data entry by data extraction and ensures faster processing of documents.
2. Remove human error
Since there is automation in data entry, OCR has proven to reduce human error. It also enables the authority to identify any inaccuracies in the submitted documents. People are more prone to make typos and mistyping a number in a postal code; these mistakes can ruin a proper delivery. As a result of these small mistakes, it could cause countless hours and dollars to get them fixed.
3. Streamline storage and sharing of data
Currently, the logistical industry employees spend a lot of their time taking documents out of an inbox, processing the information in a software system, and forwarding the documents to their colleagues. All of these tasks are repetitive and not value-adding to the company. With OCR software solutions, they sort the logistics documents, classify them into different categories and extract the required data. Many logistics operation staff are doing manual data entry and handling in very traditional ways. Grab Haulier believes these staff should spend quality time doing more creative and high-value tasks.
How do we incorporate OCR technology in Grab Haulier?
We integrate the Google Cloud Vision technology into the Grab Haulier Driver Apps. With the OCR technology, its text detection feature helps detect and extract container number data from the images taken.
How does our driver benefit from the application of OCR?
While using our Grab Haulier Driver app, the driver uses the app to scan the container number when picking up an empty container at the depot. With the image captured, the container number is auto-populated in the Driver App. We have an automated validation algorithm backend to validate the container number. This technology strives to reduce human error and save a significant amount of time for the drivers.
Grab Haulier believes that OCR will replace manual data entry in the future. OCR technology will remain important in assisting logistics players in improving their processes and workflow and reducing common or human mistakes.