Best Practices For Businesses: Document Scanning and Indexing
What is scanning or imaging?
Scanning is the process of converting paper documents into digital images with a scanner. It is used by companies as a way to cut costs, save office space, protect documents from aging and degradation, and prevent data loss that could result from theft, and natural and man-made disasters.
What are the different scanner options for OFFICE USE?
Scanners come in different models, features, and specifications. The speed of the scanner, the resolution which is determined by the image quality, sizes of documents that it could scan are just some of the factors to be considered in choosing a scanner. It is classified into different types:
Flatbed Scanners - This type of scanner is most commonly used by businesses. It has a large glass surface and a lid and can accommodate pretty much everything that can fit on the glass such as photos and standard documents, delicate items, books, bound documents, etc. Switching the documents is done manually per page.
Sheetfed Scanner - This type specifically scans loose papers placed in a tray by pulling them across a static scanning lens. It is easier to scan a large stack of papers with this rather than a flatbed scanner. With flatbed scanners, you would have to scan by inserting and removing each page, which can be a lot of work especially when you're dealing with a huge amount of paper. Due to their design, however, it cannot scan books or large papers that don't fit in the tray. Some sheetfed scanners feature additional trays designed for smaller items such as business cards. It produces
Handheld Scanner - Being a small wand-shaped device, handheld scanners are small enough to bring everywhere as needed. It is used by slowly dragging the scanner on the entire surface area of the document you want to scan. Unlike flatbed scanners, hand scanners can scan items of any size but it offers lower-quality output due to its reliance on a steady hand.
Production Scanners - Designed for businesses with a high volume of documents to scan daily, production scanners are priced much higher than other scanner types. This is ideal for mission-critical, high-output centralized production scanning environments
What are my options when scanning?
There are many options on how scanning should be done. The table above shows some of the most common options.
It is all about what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you want higher resolutions, the impact is slower scans and very high storage costs because the files generated are larger.
Outsourced Scanning makes sense for the digitization of high-volume and large backfile documents. Large backfile documents are old files from your archives without a digital equivalent. These projects usually pose multiple concerns: timeliness, data security, clarity of the papers, and scanning of delicate material due to the aging of paper.
- Reduce Expenses
Document scanning projects require trained staff, software, and necessary equipment. Purchasing an industrial-grade scanner is not ideal, especially for short-term needs. Chances are, after the backfile scanning project, the scanner will be left unutilized and consuming office space as the day-forward projects can be done using smaller scanners. With outsourced scanning, you will be assured that the project will be on time and on budget.
Document Scanning is also a very labor-intensive process that involves a minimum of five (5) people. Conversion of the scanned images, also known as indexing, would need indexing software. These costs could be eliminated by outsourcing
- Save Time
Having existing staff do scanning will eat up a lot of their working time which potentially can result in losing efficient admin staff and earning very bad scanning operators. Having to deal with scanning project deadlines or time-bound Service Level Agreements (SLAs) adds even more pressure and stress to your internal teams. With an outsourced team, your documents undergo Quality Control and will be re-scanned if needed. Your documents will be returned to you in their original state – so if it was submitted stapled, in a binder, they will be submitted back as such.
- Reduce Risk
When you choose a reliable partner for your scanning project, you can ensure document and data security. The staff and the partner are bound by a confidentiality agreement and compliant with the Data Privacy Act. You will be assured that the scanned documents will be digitized on time, and ready for audit.
What is Indexing?
Document indexing enables organizations to easily retrieve information by associating or tagging documents with different “search” terms. However, manual data entry can be error-prone and time-consuming.
To better understand the impact of indexing, consider this scenario. A person has scanned 1 million pages worth of invoices. These invoices will appear in a folder on a computer. The challenge is; how do I find a specific invoice?
In order to solve this challenge, data is attached to a file. This is usually done by using a Document Management System (DMS), or if not an excel file will do for smaller requirements. The excel spreadsheet should contain the name of the file, along with other fields such as the invoice number, invoice date, and customer's name. By having these (Indices or fields) you can search for a specific invoice number on the spreadsheet and get the file name for retrieval from the folder.
This approach to solving the challenge is fine for a relatively small number of files, but it can still get difficult for large archives or libraries.
For large archives, it is recommended to use a Document Management System (DMS).
Automatic Indexing and Document Classification with Archive Capture and Archive One AI
With Archive One AI, the documents are automatically classified which eliminates manual pre-sorting, then locates and reads the information of the specific document class. The information from the digital document is then extracted automatically and efficiently with Archive One Capture. tagging the documents with different “search” terms. This enables organizations to easily retrieve and classify information with fewer errors and significantly lesser time and minimal input from the user as compared to manual indexing.
Archive One does this all very quickly in the background. It then generates an output the user can easily understand eliminating time spent comprehending the document. The user interface is also designed to be as intuitive as possible eliminating errors and maximizing productivity.
WANT TO GET STARTED?
Check out Makati Medical Center's Project Profile and find out how we were able to help Makati Medical Center in managing their documents.
PARTNER WITH US
Selecting a scanning solutions provider is your first step in outsourcing your scanning and indexing jobs. You want to know that a partner is Data Privacy Act Compliant and will be able to meet the project’s timeline and budget and deliver superb results. Go Paperless, our scanning service brand, has established procedures and security controls of the highest standards to ensure the on-time delivery of projects. We have thousands of satisfied customers from different industries who rely on our service.
Let us help you eliminate the burden of paper handling, data extraction, and data entry.
Archive One is a document management system (DMS) designed to help companies easily classify, store, secure, and retrieve essential company documents needed for retention and audits. With our partners' help, we provide an end-to-end document management solution from scanning to document storage at a highly competitive price.