Simple Ways to Manage Complicated Document Scanning
You already know why managing boxes and drawers of paper files is inefficient. You know what it’s like to lose valuable time and data when you can’t find the documents you need. It’s obvious why going paperless makes sense…
the process of getting from paper files to an efficient paperless system seems
That’s why we’ve come up with these simple ways to manage complicated document scanning:
Decide on the Best Approach
Because every business is different and has different priorities, there are three approaches that you should consider:
- Scan Everything – If you’re most concerned about getting rid of every bit of paper so that you can make better use of office space, eliminate paying for file storage, or you’re just a neat freak, then this is the way to go. Usually used as an archiving strategy for infrequently accessed documents, scanning everything often means looking for a low-cost bulk scanning service that can provide a relatively simple electronic filing system.
Caution: even though per-page cost is important when scanning hundreds of thousands of documents for archiving, do not sacrifice image quality. While you may not need to access these files often, when you do, you must be able to read them, especially if you’re destroying the paper files as part of the process.
- Scan as Needed
For businesses who want to scan everything -- but only if they really need to keep it -- this is the way to go. Usually handled in-house, paper documents are scanned as they are used in day-to-day business. A paper file is pulled when it needs to be used. Then it is scanned, destroyed and an electronic file is uploaded to an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS).
Caution: While this method reduces the number of pages that are scanned, you must have an EDMS in place before you start and your employees must understand how to scan and upload documents.
- Day Forward Scanning
Often used by medical offices, legal offices, and other client-service organizations, this strategy focuses on digitizing documents needed to serve clients that will be seen day-by-day. The supposition is that over a time, the transition from paper to digital will occur as patient or client files are digitized and updated in preparation for appointments.
Caution: Medical, legal and other organizations that have legal requirements for document retention may still need to store paper files for inactive clients, or adopt a “scan everything” approach for archiving such files.
Often not considered as part of a document scanning initiative, workflow management is vital to the success of your paperless office. You’re not simply getting rid of old paper files, you’re also creating a system for managing and eliminating paper going forward.
This means that no matter where you store your digital files – on an in-house server, or in the cloud -- you must implement a plan for managing them.
Many of today’s EDMS, such as ImageSilo®, let you set up automated workflows that reduce error and speed document delivery. If you’re scanning and going paperless, most experts recommend automating workflow at the same time.