There are several good reasons to migrate to a paperless document system. Electronic records are easier to store and find, can be shared remotely, reduce document storage costs, and are really easy to back up. The biggest issue is that most conversion projects start with a roomful of records to convert- and that task can seem daunting. Here are some basic things you need to know to ensure you get an accurate quote for your office document scanning project.
What Items Should I Scan?
Most businesses don’t choose to scan every piece of paper that they have stored. Check your records against the company’s retention schedule and shred anything that is no longer needed.
Once you have that completed, prioritize what is used the most and would provide the biggest benefit if you digitized it.
One way to solve this mystery is to set a day forward scanning date. All documents after that scan date are scanned, and everything older than that date is only scanned when it is accessed.
This solution dramatically reduces what needs to be digitized while slowly converting older documents on an as-needed basis.
How Many Documents Do You Have to Scan?
The second step in any conversion project is to figure out how many pages you have to scan. i.e. scope of your document scanning project.
A standard file box (10” x 12” x 15”) will hold around 2,500 pages of records or documents. A standard shelf holds around 200 pages per inch.
Most projects can be estimated based on a multiple of these averages. This is more accurate than attempting to estimate a number of files and then trying to estimate the number of pages per file.
Format of the Scanned Documents
The most common format for electronic records is Portable Document Format (PDF). It is widely used and easy to share and protect. Some other options are Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) and Raw Image File (RAW).
The digital images can also be processed by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. This will turn the digital pictures into text documents. Once it is a text document you can search for keywords inside of a document.
Production scanners are designed to auto feed letter and legal sized documents. They are high speed and scan up to 10,000 pages an hour. Preparation is the process of removing all the staples and bindings. Odd sized documents must be taped onto standard paper.
Pictures and color documents must be handled separately. The documents are then re-assembled after scanning.
Electronic Document Management
Once the documents are scanned they need proper storage. It is common to keep them on disks but that dramatically reduces their usefulness.
At a minimum, they should be backed up to a remote location. A better solution to storing them is a Document Management System.
This makes the documents easy to find and manages who has access to particular information. The system can be managed in house or via a cloud-computing service.
Indexing Makes Accessing Your Documents Easier
Indexing is the system that’s used to organize the documents. It is a digital field applied to the file after it is scanned. This may be “date of record”, “patient name”, “customer number”, or other field that would aid in retrieving documents.
Indexing allows you to tag individual pages or files with unique identifiers that give you access to any file with a quick keyword search.
Cost of Scanning
A document scanning project can be done with existing employees or outsourced to a scanning service. The decision is largely based on the size of the project. For a couple thousand pages or less it is cheaper to do the work in-house.
If you are outsourcing the work then there are steps you can take to reduce the costs. By doing the scanning preparation in-house it will save money.
Also be judicious in what you choose to scan. If it is unlikely to be needed in the future it will save money to leave it in a paper format.
Whether you choose to do it yourself, or you are looking for a professional scanning company to help you digitize your office, our experts are here to help!
From Document Scanning to Document Storage, our experts will help you select a customized Document Management Solution that fits exactly what you’re looking to do for your company. We have locations all across the United States to serve you document storage solutions needs.
To get a free quote on your project today, fill out the form to the right, or give us a call at (866) 385-3706.
Within minutes of receiving your request, you’ll have multiple quotes from experts in your area!