5 Trends that Still Drive Document Scanning Services
This is an updated article. Document Scanning Services are just as crucial to business organizations today as they were in 2014 when this article was first published. But things have changed!
Today, businesses recognize the costs and inefficiencies associated with paper documents. In 2014, they were still coming to terms with the facts. Today's customers are more sophisticated. They realize that maximizing the costs of document scanning means improving business processes at the same time.
Today, business process improvement solutions are every bit as important as expert scanning services, and award-winning document management companies offer the best of both. How does this change affect our trends?
Trend #1: In-house scanning doesn’t produce the desired results -- STILL TRUE!
There are several factors that contribute to a general lack of efficiency and that reduce the overall cost savings when companies attempt to scan and convert their documents in-house:
Lack of dedicated scanning personnel – often, in-house scanning projects are treated as an “add-on” job for employees who already have their time filled performing their normal job responsibilities. Therefore the scanning activity is relegated to secondary importance, and with little incentive to get the job done, it doesn’t get done.
Lack of scanning expertise – archival scanning encompasses far more than just feeding paper documents through a scanner. The scanner itself must be bundled with sufficient software intelligence to improve image quality, eliminate exceptions and accelerate turnaround, and the scanner operator must be trained and sufficiently familiar with the scanning processes to use both the hardware and the software to its fullest capacity.
Lack of planning -- converting documents from paper to digital encompasses much more than just scanning. For the project to be successful, the organization must first decide who has access to which documents and how access is controlled; whether or not version control is required; how new documents coming into the system will be handled; and a plethora of other decisions to make the project a success. Document scanning services that specialize in improving business processes are familiar with the questions that need to be asked to ensure proper planning.
Trend #2: The need for mobile access for documents -- MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER!
Storage and access -- Before scanning begins, a plan (and a solution) needs to be in place to enable safe digital storage and access to the information. With the lines blurred between office and home, desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet and smart phone, today's organizations no longer can rely on an in-house server and network. A cloud solution has become a necessity.
Image capture -- Additionally, image capture from any device and from anywhere is essential.
Moving from In-house to cloud -- This is where a knowledgeable document scanning service can provide expert guidance and advice by helping you to sort through the array of Cloud Electronic Document Management (EDM) available in today’s market. Choosing the right solution is crucial for tax purposes, capital expenditure planning, ongoing operating budgets, compliance, security and more...so there is far more at stake in this decision than just providing mobile access for your data.
Trend # 3: Access for multiple applications -- APPLICATIONS ABOUND, SO THIS IS A MUST!
All types of documents and data -- Just as your employees need to access documents from many different locations, they have many different types of documents and data to access. Therefore, it’s necessary to ensure that whatever cloud solution you choose, it must allow access for all types of documents, and all types of data, including video and audio.
Multiple applications - This is another reason why the expertise of a document scanning/process improvement service can prove invaluable. Typical offices have a plethora of applications: doctors scanning patient records to share with other providers; loan documents scanned for sharing between processors; simple word documents and power points shared between sales and marketing.
Digital mail-rooms are more popular than ever -- Eliminate paper at its source! Organizations that remove paper and its inefficiencies from the organization as soon as possible increase their digital ROI substantially. Many organizations find that an outsourced mail-room reduces operating costs, provides faster workflows and reduces document loss and errors. A professional document scanning/process improvement service can set up an external mail-room for you, where all scanning is performed and digital mail is automatically directed to the correct department/person and assigned a workflow.
Trend #4 – The drive for process automation -- PROCESS AUTOMATION IS HERE, NOW!
Business process automation --accelerates workflow by capturing, digitizing and routing documents where they need to go. Process automation pushes work to employee queues, saving the time that would have been spent pulling paper files and delivering them to the next stage in the process. Process automation can even tie together multiple business systems to eliminate the need for moving back and forth between application interfaces.
Workflow -- Once a workflow is automated, it can be defined, analyzed and changed, if necessary to become more cost effective and efficient.
Audit trails -- Process automation can also provide audit trails—who did what and when to aide in management oversight, or in regulated industries, to ensure compliance. Document scanning services that offer EDM solutions can analyze an organization’s needs for process automation and guide the organization in best practices and solutions
Trend #5 – The recognized importance of data mining -- THOSE WHO HAVE THE RIGHT DATA AT THE RIGHT TIME WIN!
Digital data mining -- In addition to providing organization and access, another important benefit of document scanning is data mining. When paper documents are transformed to digital data it becomes possible to extract information unavailable in paper form. By performing electronic searches and computations, trends and patterns can be observed and information from data sets can be transformed into understandable structures such as charts, graphs and models for analysis. This type of data and analysis can lead to better business decisions going forward. Professional document scanning services provide OCR that enables your documents to be searched for keywords and parameters you define.
Our "5 Trends" are no longer just trends. Today, they're requirements for good business economics. If you're still working with cumbersome paper processes it's time to look at alternatives.