If you’ve been considering document scanning but aren’t sure how it would work for your business, read our article to learn more about what you need to consider, from whether you need a document management system to what kind of process would work best for you.
First thing’s first
Before getting started with any kind of document scanning, it’s important to note that you will likely need a document management system (DMS) of some kind in place. Whether you’re using your own purchased in-house software or are using a hosted document management platform – ultimately when your paper archives are scanned, they need somewhere to live.
Start with your archives and legacy documents
Once you have a DMS in place, you need to start with your current archives and legacy documents. This is so you can shift as much of these as possible so that you are able to plan for how you will deal with future document creation.
You can either opt to scan these in-house (you must take into consideration the considerable time and its cost implication and ensure the correct resources and the suitable equipment is in place) or you can outsource to a supplier who will be able to help you sort through and index the documents that are to be scanned.
If you do outsource, you may even have the option to move your physical archives to an offsite storage facility and clear space in your office by doing so.
How you’ll deal with your day forward scanning
Once you’ve scanned and made all your archived documents electronic, the next thing to consider is how you’ll manage on a day forward basis. Because of course, you don’t want your paper documents to build up again. Here are some points to consider:
Different businesses have different document scanning requirements
- High-volume– If your business (or a department within your business) creates a lot of paper, how often would you need the documents scanned? Whether on a weekly or monthly basis or even yearly, you would need to create a schedule to fit this in. If you are generating a lot of paper, you may enlist the help of an outsourced supplier to bulk scan your documents and then either feed this internally to your DMS or a hosted document management platform.
- Low volume– If you only produce a low amount of paper, then you may opt to scan these in-house and upload to your chosen DSM or hosted system yourself. While this is self-sufficient, there is a risk in doing this. Or you can opt for a scan-on-demand service which can help you with your ad-hoc requirements. This is cost efficient as you only scan what you need, when you need it.
- Electronic files– Alternatively, if you already have documents which have been made digital, you can upload it to your DMS instantly.
What document scanning arrangement do you need?
- Hybrid arrangement– You can opt to do a mixture of both in-house, scan-on-demand and bulk scanning where required, depending on the documents and when they would need to be scanned.
- Fully outsourced– You can send everything to an outsourced supplier on a bulk scanning basis. Your chosen supplier will work with you to schedule regular collections of your documents, which will then be prepared by an expert team before being scanned and made available to you digitally.
Find a document scanning supplier you can rely on
As every business will have different needs and requirements for varying arrangements and services, ensure that you choose a supplier who will understand how you want to be able to work. Your supplier should be able to provide you with peace of mind and effectively handle and safely process your documents.
– Andrew Moncrieff