Once your company has bought into the many advantages of document scanning, how do you keep the momentum going? You realize that keeping documents in paper takes up costly space, while confining the usability of documents to a single physical local. Scanned documents are available to anyone in your organization authorized to access them. After the initial scan, how do you assure that future documents are scanned?
Scanning Without A Document Management Plan Is Electronic Hoarding
The key to making sure that document scanning is an ongoing process is to have a document management plan, with strategies in place to assure that future documents are electronically captured. You want to make sure future scanning happens, which means that scanning is part of the procedure for handling any document. Even more important is making sure that the scanned material is part of a system that makes it accessible. If documents are scanned but not easy found, your organization has traded filing cabinet for electronic hoarding.
Many companies have their original digital conversion handled by a scanning service that comes in to physically scan the paper and develop a document management system often based on software. To outsource ongoing scanning means setting aside piles of documents that the vendor will either pick up for offsite scanning or do it at your location. This can pose logistical problems for companies if the documents are needed. Either people will make copies of documents so that original can be out of service for scanning, or they will have to gather up all the documents before the scanning service drops by.
Employees May Be Able To Manage Ongoing Scanning
Having employees scan documents as they go along can be an effective way to keep up with the process. This might be done on a network copier scanner or on a desktop scanner or all-in-one, and sent to the scanning systems where it is compressed and indexed for immediate use. The steps after the scanning might be managed by the scanning company if the files are uploaded to their servers. The scanning service will ensure that the proper software is in place to save documents in the right file format.
With a document management plan in place, one scan can even automate electronic document routing so that by pushing one button, a document will be scanned, formatted, and routed to the proper person or department. This is particularly important for materials where several departments must approve or be aware of the status, such as engineering changes, loan applications, accounts payable, or building permits. Scanning the document becomes a key part of the work process.
Involving Employees In Document Management
Having employees scan materials is an easy-to-implement policy if they have the right equipment. Since many companies have a centrally-located machine to copy, scan, and print and/or provide their employees with equipment at their desks, this can be more cost effective than having the scanning service do all the work. If you expect employees to do the scanning, it is important that procedures for how, what, and where to direct scans be very clear, especially if the documents involved have sensitive data or complex images.
Whether you need help with an initial scan, developing a document management plan, or continuous scanning, the Document Group of Houston, TX, can help you. Contact us at (888)316-4670.