PDF Morph: Estimates of Time and Resource Savings

By G.N. Shah, Nellaiappan L, Selvakumar Ganesan, Ronald Mueller

This is the third paper in the series describing Macrosoft’s new CCM Migration tool, PDF Morph (v 1.0). PDF Morph is an automation tool, intended to greatly accelerate the conversion from other CCM tools and templates to Quadient Inspire. It saves most of the manual work involved in such conversions and provides for much more accurate and consistent outputs.

In this paper, we provide estimates of the manual savings achievable with this application. We are currently using PDF Morph in our own CCM migration practice, so these estimates of time and resource savings are based on the actual migration work of our teams. 

We will be happy to show these savings first-hand in a real-life demo, in which we can take one or several different types of your current PDF document templates and convert them to input to Quadient Inspire during an online demo. Contact us to set up a demo.

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Feature Description

PDF Morph is a cloud-based tool that assists users to mark and extract data from their PDF files and create the WFD in Inspire Designer. You can extract data from any kind of PDF. The data are extracted based on X, Y coordinates. It can help users to extract Texts, Font, Barcodes, Image coordinates, etc. from the PDF, and create the corresponding information in Inspire Designer’s WFD. The tool can extract data from a single page PDF, multiple page PDF, and support a multi-layout PDF too.

The basic features of the application include the following. Users can extract text field data including font information. Users can extract image coordinates and Barcode information. The system then generates an Excel file from the marked PDF with data and coordinate information.

The automation comes in at this point. Once the Excel file is generated the Automation tool will run and read the Excel file, reading row by row and rendering the equivalent flow area in Inspire Designer. At the same time, it will apply the font information extracted from the PDF for the controls in Inspire designer. For image coordinates in Excel, the automation tool will create a container in Inspire Designer at these specific coordinates for the user to input the image into Designer.

The Automation tool can be run on any number of PDF files, creating the same number of excel files and rendering all the equivalents in Inspire Designer WFD’s. The system is thus fully scalable, allowing a user to quickly convert a whole set of PDF’s into Inspire Designer. This is the step where very significant savings in manual resources and time are achieved.

Time and Resource Savings

The chart below summarizes the manual effort (in minutes) and the automation tool time (in minutes) to convert a PDF document to input to Quadient Inspire Designer. There are three document cases shown:

  • Single page
  • Multipage
  • Multi-Layout

The first column in each of these three page types shows the time it took for one of our skilled developers to manually input the document directly into Quadient Inspire Designer.

PDF Morph Resource Chart

The second and third columns for each of the document types is the time it took to input the same type of document into Quadient Inspire Designer using our automation tool, PDF Morph – the second column is the manual time taken for that particular step and the third column is automation execution time.

Under the automation tool, the manual effort column is the time it took an analyst to input the document into Designer using PDF Morph. For the single page document, the analyst’s time was reduced to 10 minutes, which amounted to a savings of 20 minutes (67% savings) over the fully manual process.

The third column for each document type is the system time for the conversion, and for single page document it is 1.22 minutes. Effectively, the system time can be made even smaller since the application is cloud-based and we can scale resources to any level desired. At 1.22 minutes for this single page document, system time is essential, not relevant. Also note that our systems use a queueing approach on the cloud, so if your company has multiple concurrent users submitting documents for conversion there can be slight delays in system processing and the system times may be somewhat larger.

The savings in manual effort is even greater for the multi-page document, where we found savings to be 85% and for the multi-layout the savings was 76%. In effect, the amount of savings is related to the number of rows in the Excel sheet that is created from each of these documents. For the specific documents used in these time trails the number of rows is as follows:

  1. Single page – 12 rows
  2. Multipage – 45 rows
  3. Multi Layout – 16 rows

Process Components

The components in the process that we timed are in the table above and shown in the below table. For the manual process, the time to extract data from the pdf is not applicable, nor is the time to tweak the layout once the PDF Morph process has run and populated the Designer template.

Likewise, for the automated process there is obviously no analyst time needed to design the pdf in Designer since it is being done automatically with the PDF Morph tool. The ‘tweak’ time at the end of the automated process is the time to make minor corrections to the outputs from the PDF Morph tool that are put into Inspire Designer.

 Manual ProcessAutomated Process
Analyze PDF22
Extract data from PDF’s3
Connect to Input module33
Design/Run Automation Script25
Tweak layout design (Current)2

Summary

This paper has shown the results of trials to see the savings achievable with the PDF Morph tool. The results show very significant savings. We are hoping anyone in the midst of conversion of their CCM artifacts to Quadient Inspire (or contemplating such) consider this automation tool to perform their work.

PDF Morph is easy to learn and use, and you can have multiple analysts doing conversions at the same time. The net result will be much less manual effort overall and completion of the conversion project in much less calendar time. Please refer to our Roadmap document available on our web site to see the list of new features scheduled to be available in v 2.0. Contact us for a real-life demo of the PDF Morph tool working on one of your documents!

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By G.N. Shah, Nellaiappan L, Selvakumar Ganesan, Ronald Mueller | March 18th, 2021 | Quadient Inspire

About the Author

G. N. Shah Chief Technology Officer of Macrosoft

G.N. Shah

Shah is a forward thinking, institutional leader with eighteen years of experience. Throughout his tenure, Shah has delivered top notch customer solutions in large scale and enterprise environments. His proven abilities as a technology visionary and driver of strategic business systems development allow Macrosoft to deliver best in class software solutions. Shah currently holds a compiler patent with the US Patent Office.

Shah holds an MBA (Computer Science), in addition to 20+ professional and technical certifications. While he is proficient in a variety of development languages, his preferred language is Python. His areas of expertise include enterprise-wide architecture, application migration, IT transformation, mobile, and offshore development management. Shah’s ultimate goal, at Macrosoft, is to create a larger offering of product-based services while adopting new technologies.

In that rare instance when he has time for leisure, Shah is an avid cricket and football fan– as well as a weekly racquetball player.

Nellaiappan L Application Delivery Manager at Macrosoft

Nellaiappan L

Nellaiappan is the Application Delivery Manager for Macrosoft's .NET migration team. Subsequently, Nellai leads the Migration Service to migrate client legacy systems to the latest technologies such as .NET. As a PMP certified professional, he has received accolades from clients for his efficient leadership. Incidentally, during his first migration project, Nellai accelerated the migration resulting in a new service offering from Macrosoft. Later, Nellai worked on an array of proprietary migration tools that form the backbone of the Migrations Practice at Macrosoft.

Nellaiappan holds a Masters in Computer Applications (MCA) having an industry experience of 17+ years in developing and leading Windows based Applications using Microsoft Technologies.

Selva Profile Picture

Selvakumar Ganesan

Selvakumar is a CCM Lead supervising the Macrosoft CCM team by ensuring the quality of the projects to meet client expectations. He holds Inspire designer Basic and Advanced, Inspire Content management, Inspire Interactive Basic, Inspire Scalar Basic and Inspire designer scripting certifications and he professionally trained in Dot net technology.

Selvakumar is a hands-on technology professional accustomed to working in a complex applications. Additionally, he supervises the CCM team in developing and implementing the applications with industry standards.

Selvakumar holds a Master of Computer Applications (MCA).

Dr. Ronald Mueller CEO of Macrosoft

Ronald Mueller

Ron is CEO and Founder of Macrosoft, Inc. He heads up all company strategic activities and directs day-to-day work of the Leadership Team at Macrosoft. As Macrosoft’s Chief Scientist, Ron defines and structures Macrosoft’s path forward. Ron's focus on new technologies and products, such as Cloud, Big Data, and AI/ML/WFP. Ron has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from New York University and worked in physics for over a decade at Yale University, The Fusion Energy Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and at Argonne National Laboratory.

Ron also worked at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey., where he managed a group on Big Data. Ron's work focused around the early work on neural networks. Ron has a career-long passion in ultra-large-scale data processing and analysis including predictive analytics, data mining, machine learning and deep learning.

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