OCR Software and Solution for Architecture Industry


1. Web-based DIM for a Homebuilder Company

ExperVision developed a web-based DIM system for AT &A, Inc., an American carpet, ceramic, and vinyl company. By leveraging ExperVision’s proprietary OCR technology, the system can scan, convert and administrate all working documents for the client. With this system, the client has improved their productivity by about 60% and saved a significant amount of time and money, which would otherwise be consumed in paper document handling and retrieving.

The Client

AT&A has more than 20 years experience in the final decorative material business for new home construction. They have been providing their customers with a large variety of products such as carpet, ceramic tile, vinyl as well as onsite design and installment services.

Project Background

AT&A used large amounts of paper documents to record its service process information for construction companies inlcuding details, product manufacturers and customers’ orders, some of which need customers’ signatures. All the paper documents had to be stored for future retrieval. It took lots of time and money to handle the paper documents manually. To save the operational costs and focus on its core competence, AT&A needed to implement a document management system using the latest leading edge IT technologies.

As the world leader of OCR technology, ExperVision has accumulated extensive experience in DIM (Document Imaging Management) system design and development, including web-based applications. In a short period of time, we proposed a well thought-out solution for AT&A, giving AT&A the confidence that we fully understood their requirements and were able to provide them a solution.The client accepted our proposal and outsourced the project to ExperVision after evaluating our technology, experience and service process.

The Solution

After conduting a research of AT&A’s existing business process, ExperVision proposed to modify the workflow so that scanning and OCR technology can be employed to resolve their document management issues. The newly designed workflow, as shown in the following figure, was approved by AT&A.

Feature List

Based on the modified workflow, we designed a web-based DIM system, which has the following features:

  • Document Scanning and Storing — Sales and service staff can scan documents in single or batch, classify the images and store them in respective Job Areas of a Document Base, each under a corresponding customer ID. Every document is associated with the index, key words and cross document links so that future retrieval is made easy, fast and informative.
  • Material and Service Support — The staff can print various work sheets including manufacturer, supplier and price of each type of building materials for customer comparison. The system supports all necessary document management functions for the client’s core businesses, with which the staff can essentially accomplish all administrative work.
  • Customer Information — The staff can print various pre-designed html forms to cover the homeowner’s basic information, to discuss with the customer and accomplish design work based on these forms.
  • Workflow Functionality for Business Management — ExperVision’s consultants had discussions with the client’s staff on the existing workflow and proposed modification suggestions to accommodate the DIM solution. A powerful workflow module was included in the system to manage the working documents generated in various phases of the service process. The system also provides a workflow display function for each separate job, so that the users can view clearly and intuitively all work steps with corresponding documents. The work is fully organized by the system ensuring faults or errors are nearly obsolete, and the client improved its service quality, while reducing its management cost.
  • Document Management for a Job Lifecycle — The service jobs required by the construction company has a complete lifecycle from job creation, material selection, through work sheet printing to the end of the job. In every phase of a service lifecycle,various documents are generated. In addition to managment all of these files, the system is able to automatically identify  which phase of service lifecycle the file belongs to.
  • Powerful Search — All the documents are stored and indexed in a SQL server database for future retrieval. Sophisticated searching is provided, allowing the client to set the parameters ensuring convenient and accurate search ability.
  • Integration with the Material System and the Accounting System — The client needs to contact and manage the suppliers or distributors for every material, which previously was the function of the Material System together with third-party accounting software. The DIM system was seamlessly integrated with the two existing systems and the material information can be transferred among the systems to improve productivity.
  • Document Addition to a Job — The client may correlate some additional documents to an existing job, e.g. the drawings or payment information. This can now be done in the system by a few clicks.
  • Supplier Management Information — The system maintains records of distributors and provides functions to manage information such as editing, deleting and adding.

System Architecture

The DIM System consists of three parts.

  • Documents Database on SQL Server: This is a large database, which stores all necessary and scanned document images, well organized for convenient and efficient operation.
  • Scan Monitoring and OCR: This is an administration level document scanning and OCR software, which monitors the scanned image area, calls OCR to recognize found documents, and stores the processed documents into the right place in the database. The Monitor as the core of the DIM system was developed by VC++, to employ ExperVision’s world champion OCR technology.
  • Web-based Lifecycle Management: With this web-based system and through a Web browser, the staff can manage all kinds of documents generated the service project life cycle, the workflow, the suppliers and all related information handling. It was developed with ASP.NET and VB.NET technology, and tightly connects with the existing Accounting System and Inventory System.

Technical Challenges

To develop such a DIM system, the following technical problems had to be resolved:

  • Automatic classification and recognition of the service documents — The client uses a large amount and various types of documents for many service jobs. It became a technology challenge to automatically handle all these image documents at an administrative level. In addition to batch scanning, ExperVision developed an administration level to supervise and control the document classification and recognition process, which gave a simple but effective solution.
  • Html forms printing for various customers– Every homeowner is special and the html forms printing require a high level of customization. ExperVision’s engineers developed a smart tool for sales and service staff to automatically generate printable html forms, by extracting owner information from the document database.


Since the web-based DIM system has been installed, the client has enjoyed the following benefits:

  • Great saving of time and labor in paper document handling
  • More efficient document management, reducing faults and errors, and enhancing client’s service quality

2. Check Processing

It is a common and daily operational task to accept and process checks as a form of payment in any company, especially in retail, utility, online and offline merchant industries, etc., which we call merchants collectively. Typical check processing consists of many tedious, costly and error prone steps. These include converting paper-based checks into electronic transactions, processing transactions through the ACH network or Check 21 image exchange network, automating returned check re-presentment, generating real-time reports and supporting proactive risk management.

ExperVision® has been helping various merchants meet their challenges in check processing through our innovative solution.

ExperVision® ‘s check processing system helps a company complete the process from check image capture, recognition, storing, proofing, passing to various payment gateways for transaction, to archiving for analysis and other purposes. Following is a description of how the check processing system works with the Payment Processor, ACH Network and Check 21 Image Exchange Network all together to help the merchant collect payments.

3. Invoice & Shipping Receipt Processing

A company receives large amount of invoices from various third parties including vendors, service providers, contract engineering providers, etc. These invoices need timely processing and many departments are involved in the verification and approval process. Statistics show that, 96% of the invoices are on paper and have to be processed manually, which makes the cost as high as $10.15 per invoice. With manual processing, mistakes such as incorrect calculation, duplicate payments, inability to transfer to correct department and even the loss of some invoices can occur.

ExperVision® ‘s invoice and receipt processing system completes the process from invoice scanning, recognition, storing, passing to various departments for verification and approval, to archiving for analysis and other purposes. The invoice recognition module employs ExperVision® ‘s world champion OCR to process data such as vendor information, product items and prices, account number, amount, date, etc.

4. Resume Processing

ExperVision® ‘s invoice and receipt processing system completes the process from invoice scanning, recognition, storing, passing to various departments for verification and approval, to archiving for analysis and other purposes. The invoice recognition module employs ExperVision® ‘s world champion OCR to process data such as vendor information, product items and prices, account number, amount, date, etc.

ExperVision® ‘s Resume Processing Solution (RPS) is a suite of intelligent and enterprise level resume capturing & processing tools, which can automatically process resumes from any e-mail & attachment, job board, corporate web site, fax and paper, enabling the HR department to efficiently attract and hire qualified job applicants. The Resume Recognition module in the system employs ExperVision® ‘s world champion OCR to process data such as contact, location, skills summary, education history, work experience, etc.

5. Paper Based Workflow Management

In many industries, the company sends their staff outside of the office to provide complicated services, including on-site measurement, customized design, material preparation, on-site installation, maintenance and/or other activities. The traditional way to manage out-of-office activities is to use paper work-orders and worksheets, which leads to many problems such as difficult to track the workflow information, misreading information on paper, and unable to quickly search and index wanted information on worksheets. These problems generally degrade workflow efficiency, waste resources and destroy customer satisfaction.

ExperVision® ‘s paper based workflow management system provides whole workflow management by including the traditional paper work-order and worksheet in the control loop, while allowing the staff to work exactly the way they were working before.