Integration of Paper Documents to Digital Solutions
Vol.9 Issue 3

The Enterprise Services Center (ESC) has successfully met the Executive Records Management Mandate M-19-21 that the president enacted on June 28th, 2019, by institutionalizing the scanning and digitization of documents within their shared services solution, Enterprise Content Services (ECS).

Document Management System (DMS) being setup by IT consultant working on laptop computer in office.

The ESC, located at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, took on the challenge to meet this mandate through the initiation of a project, Enterprise Content Services, and assigned some of its brightest technical personnel to the team to assure success. In the time since the issuance of the mandate and the initiative put into place by the ESC, this project has progressed rapidly and is now available, not only for use within the ESC, but also available as a service offering for the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and other federal agencies.

During the development of the proof of concept, the ESC was able to realize significant success with the freeing of 500 cubic feet of physical space, the ingestion of over 1.4 million physical paper documents, and the sunset of two legacy systems of record with associated cost savings in administration, management, and security. However, during the proof-of-concept project, it became clear that an excessive level of effort and financial costs were being endured by the scanning, input, and analysis of stored paper documents. Thousands of labor hours were required to transition stored physical documents into the modernized system. The ECS technical team quickly realized that to make this service viable and affordable, a more modern approach was required. It was determined that an artificial intelligence component would be an ideal solution to solve this problem.

The ECS team worked diligently to accomplish the very complex task of selecting and implementing an artificial intelligence commercial off-the-shelf solution that had the capability to augment the very time consuming and resource intensive task of analyzing, categorizing, and generating document metadata as required by the mandate. Between the period of January 1st, 2022, and December 31st, 2022, the ECS team was able to implement an artificial intelligence solution that has the capability of reducing the time, effort and resource intensity required to examine, correct, and validate the content being brought into the system. This team has implemented a system that, once trained for each document type, should reduce the time and resources required to meet the core demands of the mandate by a significant percentage of time and cost, while at the same time increasing scanning and document recognition accuracy.

The ESC is ready to assist other organizations in achieving electronic content compliance, digital storage, and business process automation. In the coming months, ECS capabilities will increase with the addition of a records management component, providing a structured and transparent way to maintain and dispose of records, ensure regulatory compliance, and minimize the associated risks.

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