Improving Lean Document Management With Data Extraction

Successful Results Graph

In this day and age, the success of a company relies heavily on efficiency and productivity. As such, systems and services have been developed in order to cut down on waste and reduce the effort in managing workflows and document management. When reassessing the effectiveness of their workflows, companies across all industries use systems like Strength-based Lean Six Sigma.

With the level of data finance and compensation service companies handle, Strength-Based Lean and Six Sigma can work to improve the business process and records management.

What is Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma?

Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma is a system that focuses on assessing and identifying practices used within a company in order to improve it through methodical and active modifications. After best practices (and problems) are identified, steps are then taken to start restructuring the workflow according to the company’s goals and ideals.  Companies are then evaluated periodically to ensure the changes made are consistently effective.

This on-going process can show business owners where there are weaknesses, bottlenecks, and wasted effort in their system. As you can imagine, workflows that handle high volumes of documents daily require such evaluation to ensure data processing keeps going smoothly, accurately, and efficiently.  If not, business owners can then make adjustments accordingly in regards to both time and activity.

But working to apply that system to clientele data requires more than just a records management system. Companies like CM Global Partners specialize in applying Strength based LEAN and Six Sigma to sales compensation (Lean Sales Compensation).  As a consulting company, they assist in strategically planning and creating accurate sales compensation plans for their clients.

The Only Setback In The Workflow

However, in order to create customized Lean compensation plans for companies, they need to deal with the client’s information that comes in the PDF format, a locked down file format that prevents editing of any kind.

Consequently, they would extract the data manually by retyping scanned PDFs into Excel. They had used different software in the past, but needed accuracy. In addition, they needed a way of exporting their clients’ PDF data into Excel that would work with their system, Compensation Master. Their process always required the data to be audited and identical to data in the PDF file.

CEO CM Global Partners“We had an industry leading service,” says David Cocks, CEO of CM Global Partners, “Now we just needed a more efficient way to extract the data.”

Creating the most effective plans possible is CM Global Partners’ priority. So the company decided to invest in Able2Extract to help speed up the data extraction process. 

Using Data Extraction To Help With Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma

A case study was done to get a closer look at how and where Able2Extract fit in with their goals and workflow. Some of the benefits that resulted from their move to Able2Extract include:

  • $15,000 saved on average
  • 80% of time saved on data extraction
  • Streamlined their work almost instantly
  • Converted large sets of data in a matter of hours with extreme accuracy
  • Increased the productivity of everyone on the team

Efficient workflows need efficient systems. However, as CM Global Partners knows, these systems alone aren’t enough if they can’t bridge the gap between their system and their clients’ data. 

Read the full CM Global Partners case study to learn how the company successfully integrated Able2Extract with their Lean Six Sigma methodology.

 

 

Personalized AutoCAD Workflows vs. Industry Trends

Industrial Technical Drawing

Believe it or not, as advanced and cutting edge as CAD industry workflows seem to be, they evolve and change slowly, if ever. And one thing that certainly never changes for CAD designers is time.

It becomes an even more precious commodity when it’s intertwined with a company’s productivity and deadlines are a priority. As you can imagine, to change up CAD workflows and systems costs not only time, but money and resources, as well.

One such work trend in the CAD industry, for instance, is cloud based technology. Though cloud based tech is heavily advocated in other industries, cloud based CAD is a highly debated topic in the CAD niche. CAD professionals, in fact, are generally resistant to it.

The Resistance To Cloud-Based CAD Workflow Trends

The resistance to cloud-based CAD technology is growing. Robert Green, Cadalyst.com  columnist and CAD consultant, sums up the issue of the resistance to Cloud-Based CAD that covers the growing trend in the industry.

In sum, there are key business trends that are keeping companies  from implementing them. This skepticism is for a few reasons, the overarching theme of them being data centralization on the cloud.

Online CAD tools and software flavours have only been coming out over the past few years. And, as with any industry, full adoption of it relies on many existing factors including: cost, software ownership, network security, and prioritizing risk reduction over cost reduction.

Other notable factors include the fact that the cloud is a slow internet-based platform, which will primarily affect the commonly bloated file transmissions the CAD industry is known for. And quite obviously, using such a platform puts users who don’t have the best connection or hardware at a disadvantage.

Naturally, the topic of Green’s article incited a number of comments and reactions from CAD readers. One significant point readers highlighted is that CAD users “don’t appreciate having their software choices dictated to them. The level of disdain for software companies forcing a cloud-based software model onto their customers is palpable.”

It’s also understandable.  How one designer works will always play a major role in deciding what new, more advanced workflows and software can be implemented. Not the other way around.

Freedom To Choose A PDF to DWG Converter

Flight Homes’ timber designer, Paul Erickson, is a real world example of this freedom of software choice in action. And in his case, his choice of software gave him the weekly advantage he needed for projects each week, something that wouldn’t have been possible if the software was chosen for him.

Flight Timber Products Ltd. is a leading construction company in the United Kingdom.  The Flight Timber team struggled with re-entering their PDF drawings manually into AutoCAD, the main productivity and time killer.

Flight Timber Designer

“As successful engineering service providers, the Flight Timber team regularly deals with a variety of PDF files,” says Paul Erickson, designer for Flight Timber Products. “Every employee in the company has their own document management workflow and preferred software.”

And as a CAD designer himself, he tested out a number of converters which never generated the results he needed. He finally discovered and chose Able2Extract as his preferred PDF conversion software.

Personalizing The CAD Workflow With Able2Extract

In this case study, we take a close look at exactly what the effect of choosing one’s own tools has on a personalized CAD workflow.  Paul Erickson cites benefits from using Able2Extract, which include:

  • 6 hours of time saved per week
  • Quick and accurate conversions
  • Interaction with knowledgeable customer service
  • Easier PDF management
  • Added bonus of converting PDF to Word for files issued for production

Read the full Flight Homes case study here and read about how one PDF tool became the data extraction solution for one CAD designer.

 

Meet Able2Extract 10: The Next Level of Data Extraction

We’re happy to announce today that Able2Extract 10 has just been released!

Continuing from the innovation and success of the last version, Able2Extract 10 comes with a number of great features. With PDF creation and editing you wouldn’t think that it could get any more advanced than it already is.  But it has!

Able2Extract 10 Boxshot

With this latest version, we’ve pulled out all the stops. You’ll find a lot of new PDF power features that will improve your PDF productivity and business intelligence workflow by more than half.

From PDF editing to improved Excel conversion, Able2Extract 10 has all the PDF capabilities you’ll ever need to keep up with your work. Get a good look at what the new Able2Extract 10 has to offer.

Convert Any Format Directly Into Excel

We’ve always known that highly valuable information can come in any format, not just PDF. So  to prevent you from missing out on accurate data assessments, we’ve included the ability for you to convert almost any format directly to Excel!

Able2Extract PowerPoint To Excel

 

Extracted Data In Excel

So whether you have a table in Word or information locked away in an XPS file, you can now get that data into an Excel spreadsheet and perform your analysis on complete data sets.

Just simply open your file and select your content as usual and choose the PDF to Excel conversion command from the toolbar.

Convert To PDF CSV Instantly

For those who work closely with raw data and text formats, you’ll be happy to know that Able2Extract 10 now has the ability to convert directly to CSV and TSV from the toolbar. In a nutshell, you can now integrate Able2Extract 10 directly into the analysis stage of your workflow.

Able2Extract PDF To CSV

This is especially handy for data extractions that are used in analytical software programs on the enterprise level. You can even copy to clipboard in RTF/CSV format. Your information analysis can be done more quickly as Able2Extract eliminates the need to convert to Excel and then export to CSV. 

Split And Merge PDFs Precisely Page-By-Page

For the first time, Able2Extract now has the ability to split and merge PDF files. We’ve made the process simple by allowing you to insert and extract the PDF pages themselves.

Split And Merge PDFs

Insert PDF pages from an already existing PDF on your computer or extract PDF pages from the currently opened PDF into a separate file.  Your original source PDF isn’t modified.  This makes assembling  and breaking up PDF documents for professional or personal use simple and hassle free.

Edit PDF Text On The Spot

Able2Extract 10 will finally let you edit the text directly within the PDF document. You can delete, add, and move existing text in a WYSIWYG editor, making instant corrections to PDF text.

Editing Text In PDF

As you can see you can match the font, text colour and size directly from the side editing panel, making seamless modifications to professional documents.  To boot, your changes are immediately visible, so you can see the edited content you’re converting.  

Resize PDF Pages To Meet Any Business Standard

Because the PDF is the standard used to communicate important content with companies from different industries, following each industry’s document requirements is important. For instance, print publishers, legal proceedings or marketing departments, will need specifically sized PDF pages. And this is why we’ve provided you with the ability to select your PDF page size from the start.

Resizing Pages With Able2Extract

Whether you need legal, letter or executive sized documents, you can adjust your PDF pages as easily as you can convert them. Resize your pages to paper sizes compatible with ANSI, ISO and ARCH specifications.  You can even graphically reposition the content of your page, if needed.  

This combination of page resizing options makes  it so that your PDF can work with any type of businesses, no matter which industry standards they follow.

Convert PDF To Excel More Accurately  

For even more precise and accurate data extraction into Excel, we’ve updated the PDF to Excel conversion engine. When you convert to Excel, Able2Extract now provides you with a variety of sub options to choose from.

Able2Extract Excel Conversion Settings

 

When you convert a PDF table, Able2Extract will better analyze how the source document  and its tables are  structured so you get even more refined PDF to Excel conversion results than before!

Improved OCR Technology For Highly Accurate Text Renditions

With Able2Extract Professional, we’ve also improved the OCR engine, providing you with more accurate renditions of broken text when converting scanned PDFs.  Professionals who need to use legacy information trapped in hard copy can now merge that data with digital data for complete and accurate business intelligence analysis.

Given everything this latest version has, you’ll be looking at your PDF work in a different–hopefully easier, light.  

Take it for a test drive yourself. Download the free 7 day trial and get your PDF productivity going!

 

Document Storage And Data Extraction Needs For Accountants

In the world of accounting, document handling and management are important. Everything is now highly digitized and it’s now necessary for accounting firms to adjust to an ever growing world of digital data.

To do so, there are many best practices and standards that all accounting firms are encouraged to follow for dealing with document and financial data.

Successful Document Storage Options For Accounting Firms

Major accounting resource sites like AccountingToday.com, for example, emphasizes the importance for document management in the accounting industry by outlining factors for one important area: document storage.

In addition to security and liability among other factors, they place emphasis on file type, and in particular, the PDF format for archival purposes, on their list of factors for successful document storage.

Floppy Disk Saved Files

And this is a great point that needs to be highlighted. As a PDF solutions company, we know the format’s excellent and effective capabilities for archiving. Whether clients decide to password protect the file or selectively lock down what users can do with the content, your clients’ financial data is faithfully and securely available to only you and your intended recipients.  

The Double Edged Sword: Archiving And Data Extraction

However, this also sheds light on one important point about the PDF format. The data that is accurately preserved can also be extracted just as faithfully. This is the PDF format’s main strength for accountants. 

Accountants will often find that PDF documents are not only used at the starting and end points of the process, but also at points in the workflow that come in between–during  the data analysis step.  But as you can imagine, this part of the process, which deals with data that’s already in archival format, can be the number one cause for backlogs in the workflow.

And accounting companies are highly aware of this. The accountants at JMPA (Jewell Muller Professional Accountants), who specialize in tax and accounting services in South Africa, for instance, struggled with the issue themselves.

PDF Bank Statements Need Editing

JMPA provides accounting solutions to small businesses. Being a technology dependent company, they rely on software tools to get their work done. However, they need to work with and edit the data stored in archival PDFs first.

CEO JMPA

“Almost all our documents are PDF bank statements that need to be imported to our accounting software,” explains JMPA CEO Cassie Muller. “Before we can do that, we have to edit them in Excel, which is where we had our first obstacle.”

Their search for a PDF converter solution led them to Able2Extract, which helped them speed up the management of PDF documents.

In our case study with JMPA, we took a close look at how data extraction played a factor in their document management process and what it meant for the company overall. JMPA highlighted some of the benefits of using Able2Extract:

  • Reduced processing time by 85%
  • Saved 80% of money on wages
  • Improved delivery time to clients by 90%
  • Converted 7 months’ worth of bank statements in minutes

In sum, knowing how your accounting company works with all kinds of documents is one of the keys to success. Because being efficient with your document process has an effect on the rest of your firm’s efficiency, be sure to explore all of your software options for storing and extracting document data. With JMPA, they were able to resolve the one factor holding them back with a single PDF converter tool.

Read the full JMPA case study and learn how they managed to improve their document management system in detail .

15 Best Online Free Resources For Mastering AutoCAD

Creating CAD Drawing

Learning how to use AutoCAD doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With free online learning tutorials, courses, videos and other totally free learning materials, it can be easy to find the help you need. The only problem lies in sifting through search results, doing your research, and picking the right resource.  

To help cut down on the search time, we went ahead and did the research for you. And from our findings, we created a list of top free AutoCAD tutorials and tips on the Web. We even listed the top AutoCAD blogs in the industry to follow if you want to become and stay  a top AutoCAD user and professional.

So, without further ado here are 15 best online free resources for mastering AutoCAD:

myCADsite

myCADsite offers free online AutoCAD tutorials for both new and experienced users with no registration needed. Tutorials are organized into 4 levels: beginner AutoCAD, intermediate AutoCAD, introduction to 3D and advanced topics. Each set of lessons is followed by a quiz to test your knowledge. You’ll also find sample CAD files and videos to accompany the HTML AutoCAD tutorials. To stay current with news and tutorials as they’re produced, you can follow myCADsite on Facebook or Twitter.

Cadalyst

Cadalyst provides a wide array of AutoCAD and other CAD software tutorials, tips and training resources. They also have an extensive CAD tips video gallery with clips that teach you how to perform specific tasks in AutoCAD. For example, you can find videos showcasing three different ways to put a frame around your text in AutoCAD, how to scale object with a reference, and many more.

CADTutor

CADTutor offers free tutorials, tips and articles for AutoCAD, 3ds Max and associated software applications. Not only that, but CADTutor can easily put you in touch with other CAD learners and professionals their AutoCAD forums, which are a great free learning resource you can’t afford to miss out on.

Tutorial 45

This is another must-visit AutoCAD site to have on your list. Why? Tutorial 45 provides a set of free AutoCAD tutorials including practice exercises, lists of AutoCAD commands, 3D projects and easy to follow how-to articles. It offers all the basics you’ll need!

Ellen Finkelstein

Ellen Finkelstein’s website is a huge repository of free AutoCAD tips, techniques and tutorials organized into sections that make it easy to navigate this rich AutoCAD resource. Sift through the number of categories that include: drawing, editing, text and dimensions, 3D, plotting and presentation, troubleshooting, AutoCAD customization, and layers. With the amount of resources available, you’re sure to find the help you need.

AutoCAD tutorial by Computer Aided Design Guide

Computer Aided Design Guide is actually a blog on all things CAD. Here you’ll find all AutoCAD related articles organized into a comprehensive list that makes for a good free AutoCAD tutorial resource you can bookmark.

The CAD Setter Out

The CAD Setter Out is another blog with all AutoCAD posts gathered under the AutoCAD tutorials category. To help readers and learners find the exact AutoCAD tutorial they need, their AutoCAD posts are further broken down with post tags like AutoCAD create, AutoCAD Edit, AutoCAD Productivity, AutoCAD Document, and AutoCAD Customization.

Draftperson.net

Draftsperson.net provides a set of free AutoCAD tutorials, tips and tricks, and articles. The resources don’t stop there though. You can find other free resources such as AutoCAD blocks, reference, and more.

CadOasis

CadOasis offers some free AutoCAD tutorials specifically designed to introduce AutoCAD functions to CAD users. So if you’re looking to get a good overview to the essentials on AutoCAD functions, this is the site to check out.

Blue Print Floor Plan

AutoCAD blogs

Lynn Allen

Lynn Allen’s blog is an extremely valuable AutoCAD learning and news resource adequate for both the beginners and experienced CAD users who want to stay current on industry news, events, and the latest on software updates and features. Lynn traditionally provides her blog followers with AutoCAD tips and tricks booklets you can download in PDF. From HTML how-to tips and tricks to videos that walk you through a new technique, you’re sure to learn your way around AutoCAD like a pro. Learn how to put a frame around your text, how to embed an image file in AutoCAD or even something as common as keeping track of your drawings. This site has it all.

AutoCAD Tips Blog

AutoCAD Tips is a blog that provides helpful AutoCAD tips for everyday users. Each tutorial is informative,  easy to follow, and with helpful screenshots to walk you through it, this blog is the perfect starting point for learning your way around both basic and advanced functionalities.

CADnotes

This blog is a treasure trove of AutoCAD learning material. CADnotes is a blog featuring AutoCAD tutorial series for beginners and other AutoCAD tutorials, articles and productivity tips.  

The CAD Geek

The CAD Geek aims to empower CAD professionals with informative and timely posts on AutoCAD and other CAD software. Owned by author and CAD thought leader, Donnie Gladfelter, this blog contains posts that go beyond the tutorial and software usage tips to give you a well rounded view of the CAD industry.

Through the Interface

Through the Interface is one of Autodesk’s blogs with over 900 articles on AutoCAD.  AutoCAD DevBlog is the number one go-to resource for software developers who work with AutoCAD and other Autodesk technologies. It abounds with information needed to quickly solve  programming problems and learn more about working with AutoCAD on a highly technical level.

Being Civil

Being Civil is one of AutoDesk’s blogs on AutoCAD Civil 3D. Its purpose is to provide value to users based on the support requests received every month from around the globe. This is a great blog to follow if you like staying in touch with the AutoCAD Civil 3D community or simply like learning how AutoCAD Civil 3D is being used. You’ll be able to find a ton of answers to user-submitted questions that you’ve probably had yourself!