Every year, more and more companies are taking steps to go paperless. Handling, managing and organizing huge piles of paper records can be challenging, which has fueled the demand for document scanning services. Outsourcing companies help organizations digitize their vital business records and conserve space, consolidate data and improve workflow. Scanned records can be stored in the cloud, hard drives, and more, and quickly located and retrieved. The result is increased productivity, cost savings and data security.
Document Scanning – Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
With the digitization drive, document scanning has gained immense importance. For startups, scanning documents can make information easier to find, retrieve and consolidate. Now, what if it’s an established company that requires scanning and converting thousands of documents? Unfortunately, errors or mistakes can occur. Mismanaging document scanning can result in wasted resources and exposed data. Here are the top mistakes that can occur during document scanning and tips to avoid them –
- Highlighting Information in a Document– Highlighting an important piece of information in documents is a clever way to keep track of vital details. However, this strategy can pose problems when documents are scanned. This is because the highlighted information will become completely illegible after it is scanned. The colored highlight will be converted into a big, bold patch akin to an oil spill. For instance, if a blue highlighter is used (or anything darker than a light yellow) it can completely obscure that important information once it’s scanned. Most scanners, especially black and white models, don’t work properly on the highlighted text. Use a standard yellow highlighter and test the result. If it doesn’t work, avoid highlighting any information.
- Poor Labeling System – Labeling is the cornerstone of a document management system in an organization. If the labeling system is unorganized, employees will not be able to find or locate documents quickly and effortlessly and would lose time that can be better spent on other important tasks. A digital document management system would be useful only if it helps stakeholders, decision makers, and employees find essential information without delays. In addition, failing to locate key information can result in legal issues, lost productivity, and loss of valuable customers. For instance, if a company gets involved in a lawsuit and is unable to retrieve documents when ordered, it can be subject to fines and litigation. Rethink indexing. Invest in quality document scanning techniques and equipment with built-in protection against this issue. Such systems allow you to enter a unique identifier for each file, which makes indexing them much easier.
- Keeping Records On-Site – If a company does not have adequate security protocols to protect sensitive information, it is better to store documents off-site at a storage facility. When you are in process of scanning and digitizing records, having an off-site storage solution for paper records can save space and protect original documents. Business organizations specializing in records and information management have advanced electronic data security features and updated surveillance systems to preserve information privacy and prevent data from being hacked. Even with off-site storage, the records information management partner should be able to retrieve the data on demand, quickly and securely, so that there is no interruption to business functions at any time.
- Forgetting to Back up Documents – One of the main aspects of digitizing documents is that you can back them up. Cloud storage is more secure than hard drives or USBs. Sync the digitized documents between cloud and local network system. Protect files with passwords and audit them to see who has accessed the documents.
- Stapling Documents Together – Stapling multi-page documents together can damage the expensive scanner and lead to repair costs. Sandwiching metal staples against the glass surface of the scanner can cause scratches that will start to show up on all of the scans, which in turn can require the replacement of the scanner. Always remove the staples before scanning.
- Disregarding Document Retention Laws–Ensuring safety and proper storage of documents is an important aspect of scanning. Stay compliant with the retention schedule for documents and records. The schedule will help maintain records as required by law and allow you to discard records past their life. All states have different retention laws and guidelines.
- In-House Scanning – Scanning large volumes of documents in-house can be an expensive and time-consuming process, involving investment in the costly scanning equipment, maintenance and additional space. In-house scanning processes would also require hiring and training employees on how to use the equipment and how to categorize and store scanned documents when they could be spending their time on other productive endeavors. Outsourcing document scanning to an expert is a practical solution to avoid these issues.
- Not Assessing the Document Scanning Service Provider – The document scanning service provider a company chooses must fulfill all scanning requirements including storage, security, scanning capacity and volume, retention and destruction schedules and support for maintaining government compliance. The chosen provider needs to offer reliable services that adhere to industry standards. Before signing an agreement, the company must consider all the above factors and evaluate the service provider’s services, practices and protocols.
Document scanning can improve efficiency and productivity. However, scanning a huge volume of business records or documents can be more complicated, especially if you don’t have the required experience and resources. Partnering with a reputable bulk document scanning services company is a viable option to ensure efficient documentation and seamless workflows to save all records in a single, secure, cloud-based system. Reputable document scanning service providers take time to plan and understand the numerous factors before undertaking every project and strive to provide customized solutions.