Paper-based documents are difficult to store and manage efficiently in business organizations. It takes up a lot of physical space in the office and employees often have to spend several hours searching and sifting through piles of paper documents to find the data they need. Paper documents also face the risk of fire, termite attack, or gradual deterioration. Some of these data may be sensitive and critical. A practical solution to this problem is bulk document scanning of vital data with the assistance of a reliable document scanning service. Along with scanning you also benefit from proper indexing, which allows you to search and access the scanned files on demand.

Organizing your office space and decluttering unwanted paper helps you to create a clear visual of what you need first and what has to be done first, and this improves efficiency and productivity. It also improves your creativity, builds trust and helps you to come up with new ideas that are beneficial for your organization. However, all organizations are not paperless and they find it challenging to keep all the paper-based data safe. So here are some ways in which document scanning helps different industries to digitize their records:

  • Healthcare Industry: Medical practices, hospitals and other healthcare units have huge volumes of data like Electronic Health Records (EHR), administrative data, insurance claims data, health surveys, clinical trials data, research records etc. It is necessary to ensure the security of the medical records to stay compliant with the HITECH act, and be able to access data quickly. EHR contains real-time data that needs to be made available instantly and securely to authorized users. If these records are digitized and well-organized, it enables to provide better co-ordinated care and more focused treatment to the patients.
  • Law Firms: Law firms handle massive volumes of paper that are used for court case or lawsuits. They deal with many types of records such as contracts, wills, criminal court forms, family court forms, agreements, transcripts, and various other legal documents. With bulk document scanning, attorneys and lawyers can get rid of the clutter of paper in their law firms. It creates a more efficient place to work, protects your firm’s and client’s private information, documents can be easily accessed and it also helps to transfer documents easily.
  • Architecture Firms: These firms will have huge drawings, blueprints and designs that require large scanning service to convert the drawings and blue prints into digital format. This reduces the total drawing management expenses while increasing profits by optimizing their business processes.
  • Government Offices: Government offices have a vast collection of large documents like land records, maps, business records, trade names, licenses and permits, tax records, social service records etc. Scanning these records helps increase the security of confidential files with password encryption, it also prevents documents from getting misfiled or lost, or destroyed in any natural disaster. Government related documents usually have strict retention policies that require the government agencies to hold on to the documents for a long period of time and scanned copies of records helps to preserve the documents safely.
  • Accounting Offices: Accounting firms have different records like cash memos, audit work sheets, invoices and bills, receipts, pay-in slips, cheques, debit and credit notes, vouchers, tax records and many more. Maintaining all these records is not an easy task. Converting these records into digitized format helps to quickly access these documents. It also helps companies to maintain financial records. Document scanning makes this more efficient, and helps ease the annual year-end rush.
  • Real Estate Firms: Mortgage agreements, land records, documents related to loans are some of the paper records that need to be filed and retained. Scanning these records facilitates efficient management and access. Digital documents are easier to secure, can be accessed from anywhere, and with digitization you can eliminate cabinets full of files in the office. It also helps to index each document and access any real estate and mortgage documents as and when required.

There are many other industries that rely on bulk document scanning to convert large volumes of data into digital format. It helps to digitize an archive of paper documents and have easy access to all of them through a digital repository.

What Is Bulk Document Scanning?

It is a process that can convert large-volume paper documents into their digital images. Reliable scanning services use advanced scanning equipment to convert multiple pages at a time with clarity. After scanning, all the data can be extracted and converted into searchable text using OCR technology. This helps to locate the records easily. Bulk document scanning is popular among many businesses because they understand the cost inefficiencies that come along with storing and managing physical documents.

Process of Document Scanning

The process of document scanning involves the following steps:

  • Consultation: The first and foremost step of any document scanning project is consultation. In this stage any doubt about the scanning project can be clarified. This will help you to have a better understanding of the scanning project. In this stage, the scanning services will ask questions about the number of documents or boxes, the condition of the documents etc.
  • Transportation of Documents: In this stage, the scanning service may either come to your location to collect the documents or the documents will be shipped directly. After scanning, the documents are sent back to the organization or shredded.
  • Preparation: Each document will be manually reviewed and checked for tears, rips, fading of document or any kind of damage. Staple pins, paperclips, creases and folds are all removed and corrected and prepared for scanning.
  • Document Scanning: Once the document is prepared, each one is scanned and converted into a digital image in the format you choose. Each scanned image is reviewed carefully to ensure that the scanned image is readable and usable.
  • Indexing: After the documents are scanned, they should be indexed. In most cases, key identifiers on your documents will be selected for indexing like invoice ID, customer number, serial number, etc. For those who wish to convert all the text in the document into searchable text, OCR is used. It helps to extract data from written or printed text and convert it into machine-encoded text.
  • Delivery: The last and final step is delivery of the scanned images. If you have a document management system, then the scanned documents can be uploaded to it. It provides secure access, storage and search capabilities. The scanned documents can also be moved to encrypted USB thumb drive.

Advantages of Document Scanning

  • Save Money: Digitizing is the best way to cut costs. It eliminates the need for paper and also other unnecessary expenditure like pens, pencils, filing cabinets, folders, printers etc. The money saved by digitizing can be used for other useful activities of the business. In short, in the long run digitizing is a cost-effective option when compared to paper documents.
  • Disaster Recovery: Unexpected disasters like fire, flood and so on can cause huge losses to the company. Many companies may keep only a single copy of a file and if that document is destroyed then it cannot be replaced. To avoid such critical situations, every business organization should digitize their valuable documents. Digitizing of documents helps business organizations to keep a backup in case of any emergency.
  • Improve Efficiency: Digital documents allow quick retrieval of data that saves the valuable time employees spend searching for the documents. A paperless office improves employee productivity, quality of work and customer satisfaction. The time spent on searching files can now be used for productive purposes.
  • Declutter your Office: Paper takes up a lot of physical storage in the office but with digitization, you can declutter your work area and it also helps to get rid of huge file cabinets. Employees no longer have to dig deep through stacks of paper to find the documents they need. Digitization allows you to store virtually endless amount of records and save space at the same time.
  • Ensure Data Security: Data breaches are common in today’s digital era. Data breaches not only lead to loss of data but it also affects the reputation of the organization. Many organizations do not have the necessary protocols in place to restrict access to documents that are not pertinent to an employee’s role or responsibilities, thus creating a weak link in the chain of custody. The transition from paper records to digital files provides the ability to manage the flow of information. Strict security protocols can be implemented such as password protection, file encryption and limited access to data.
  • Improved Collaboration: Document scanning allows your team to collaborate and share data, regardless of physical location. It allows a remote workforce to safely and securely access business information, share data with customers or clients instantly, quickly exchange files to bounce ideas off a co-worker, etc.

Many offices are bombarded with huge volumes of paper work, and with rising rents and workforce, business organizations have to optimize their work area and also remove the clutter to provide more space for office work. Therefore, many organizations are now in the process of scanning their documents. Bulk document scanning services help organizations to convert a large number of documents to digital archives. You can expect quality work within a short period of time, reduce your dependency on paper and contribute towards saving the planet.

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