Understanding Document Scanning and Electronic File Management

There are numerous benefits to implementing a document scanning solution for your business including:

  • reduction in office space
  • improved information sharing and search capabilities
  • maximized workflow processes
  • improved disaster recovery objectives

The scanning process itself seems like a fairly straightforward concept. Paper documents are run through a scanner and almost instantaneously turned into electronic files. Yet this only paints a partial portrait; integral to any document scanning solution is a method for organizing and accessing your electronic information.

An improperly implemented document scanning solution can be costly to your businesses

Because of an oversimplified understanding of the document scanning process, many businesses run into trouble with in-house attempts to convert paper files to electronic images. Expensive scanning equipment or multifunction copy machines are purchased and either existing or temporary employees are tasked with in-house scanning of records. An imaging project, however, involves numerous steps in addition to scanning that require specialized expertise:

  • pre-scanning file preparation
  • document indexing
  • image conversion
  • Optical character recognition (OCR)
  • quality assurance
  • post scanning storage and/or destruction

In short, a successful conversion of hardcopy files to digital images is much more than just running sheets of paper through a scanner.

Administrative and security concerns

Taking employees away from revenue generating tasks in order to work on a scanning project is not cost effective. Since they don’t typically have the requisite knowledge for ensuring a successful and accurate digital conversion, records may become disorganized or lost within the process. Training is expensive and even then, completing a document scanning project within a reasonable amount of time without cost overruns is nearly impossible.

It’s also worth mentioning that often the records being converted contain highly sensitive data that could easily be exposed during the imaging process. Any information compromised during the scanning process may lead to legal or regulatory non-compliance penalties. For this reason alone, a professional scanning and imaging solution should be utilized to ensure the utmost security and privacy protection during the scanning process.

Managing electronic records

Once the imaging and conversion process is completed, you’ll want to be able to easily locate and utilize your electronic files. Having a document management system that allows for granular organization and convenient sharing of digital files is key. Without a centralized, easily accessible repository that can be shared amongst individuals as well as business units irrespective of physical location, scanning an inventory or hardcopy document may be futile. Therefore, before the implementation of a document imaging solution, it’s important to think about how and where your electronic files will be stored and managed.

A professional document imaging partner can enable your organization to achieve a scanning solution as well as aid in the selection of an electronic file management system that provides broad workflow functionality and meets enterprise content management objectives (ECM).

Archives Management Center provides businesses throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties with turnkey document scanning solutions. To find out more, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on this page.