Do You Need a Document Scanning Service?
Running a paper-based office rarely makes sense in today’s connected world. In fact, most offices have well-established computer-based technology. This means that most new letters, forms and reports are generated in some form of Office documents. However, even when new documents are generated on a computer, many of those documents are printed, revised and printed again. Forms are printed from digital to hard copy, and clients fill them out; the completed forms may be kept in hard copy or keyed into a database.
In spite of our digital world, a lot of paper still exists. In addition to new documents that are created digitally, then printed into hard copy, many businesses also have file cabinets and banker’s boxes full of archived documents. And many employees' desks still have stacks of paper sitting on them. Work gets backed up. Mistakes are made. Important papers are misplaced or lost.
If this sounds like your office, then maybe it’s time to consider hiring a document scanning service to convert your data to digital format. There are a number of reasons why this type of document conversion makes good sense:
- Cost Savings: storing digital documents costs less than storing and preserving paper
- Time Savings: Finding and accessing digital documents is more efficient than dealing with paper
- Cost and Time Savings: Sending and sharing digital documents costs less and is faster than paper
Even when you consider the initial costs of hiring a document scanning service to convert your paper documents, most companies find that over the life of a document and the life of the business, it is still more economical and more efficient to work with digital files than it is to work with paper files.
Going Beyond Document Scanning
Another advantage of a fully digitized business model is the introduction of electronic workflows. Paper documents must be delivered by hand…mail, courier, FedEx, while digital documents can be delivered with the click of a mouse. Within the right document management system, that mouse click can even set off a series of automatic workflows that you set up to ensure that no steps in your documents’ processes are left out. This type of automation, along with solving compliance issues and enabling auditing can reduce the costs of information processing, lessen errors and aid in increasing employee production.
By using a document scanning service that provides a document management and workflow processes solution you can create further efficiencies in your business going forward. As discussed previously, paper doesn’t completely go away. Documents are printed, notes are written and forms are filled out. Engaging with a document scanning service that can handle your forward-file conversion as well as your back-file conversion will keep your document management system current.
If your business uses forms, the document conversion service and use optical character recognition, (OCR) scanning to extract the data from the files automatically, so that your staff doesn’t need to waste time transferring the form data by hand.
Additionally, OCR scanning of all back-files enables you to search for digital documents by client name, account number, property address, or any combination of search categories applicable to your business. Through advanced indexing of all textual data, and through advanced annotation of image and time series data, searching for documents and document retrieval becomes easy and more natural, as well as ultimately more effective.
Benefits of Using a Document Scanning Service
Document scanning, along with setting up a workflow-enabled document management system is best left in the hands of experts, especially if you have bulk back-files to scan A scanning service will have the high-speed accurate scanning equipment that can make fast work of large scanning jobs.
When the conversion service that is also connected with an established document management solution, you have the benefit of a one-stop-shop that can take your project from start to finish. Generally, this type of continuity ensures a more economical process, with higher accuracy data.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December, 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.