Businesses accumulate mountains of paper documents as a part of their day to day operations.
From contracts and receipts to employee records and tax documents, this paperwork is an unpleasant but unavoidable part of running a business.
More often than not, these documents end up piled high in a back room somewhere or stuffed into a filing cabinet, never to be referenced again.
But you have to store it, usually for legal reasons, and typically for a long period of time. Its a clumsy, disorganized, and expensive way to store information, but what other choice does a business have?
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of commercial scanning and how it can help your business become more efficient, more organized, and most importantly, more profitable. From streamlining operations to improving customer service, commercial scanning offers a range of benefits for any business.
Keep reading to learn why commercial scanning should be an integral part of your business’ long term strategy.
What Is Commercial Scanning?
Commercial scanning is a specialized service, most often provided by a professional document scanning company, that allows businesses to convert large volumes of paper documents into a searchable archive of digital files.
This process utilizes scanners and software that uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to digitize printed and handwritten text with accuracy and precision, resulting in an easy-to-navigate library of electronic documents.
The three most important characteristics of a commercial scanning service that set it apart from other scanning services are:
- A high volume solution: Commercial scanning services are capable of processing hundreds of thousands of documents per day, making it the perfect solution for businesses with a large back-file of archived files.
- Secure: Commercial scanning services are typically carried out by HIPAA trained and certified scanning professionals in a highly secured facility, ensuring that the sensitive data in your possession is protected throughout the process.
- Workforce: Commercial scanning is typically hands off for the business. Everything from collecting and organizing the documents to digitizing and indexing them is handled by the scanning company.
What are the benefits of commercial Scanning?
Commercial scanning services provide numerous benefits for businesses who need to digitize paper records including:
- Improved Accessibility: Digitized documents can be easily stored, searched, and accessed remotely from a any location, making it easier to retrieve information quickly and efficiently.
- Increased Productivity: By eliminating the need to manually locate, sort and handle physical documents, scanning can increase the productivity of employees and organizations.
- Space Savings: Eliminate filing cabinets and free up valuable office space previously used for storing paper files.
- Enhanced Security: Electronic files can be password-protected and securely stored in a virtual environment, reducing the risk of theft, loss or damage to sensitive information.
- Improved Collaboration: Digitized documents can be shared and collaborated on in real-time with stakeholders from anywhere, at any time.
- Compliance: Many industries have regulations that require that certain documents be stored electronically, and commercial scanning helps organizations comply with these regulations.
- Meet Retention Requirements: Digitized documents can also be scheduled for deletion once their retention requirements are met, ensuring your organization never keeps data longer than it needs to.
- Enhanced Data Management: It’s much easier to organize and manage electronic information. Plus, you’ll be able to use data analysis tools to extract insights and make data-driven decisions.
Who should consider a commercial scanning service?
Commercial scanning is best suited for businesses with a high volume of paper-based documents that need to be digitized, where the process demands a high degree of accuracy, speed, and efficiency. Examples of businesses that should consider commercial scanning include:
- Healthcare organizations: Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities have a large volume of patient records, medical reports, and other sensitive documents that need to be digitized securely and accurately.
- Legal and Financial institutions: Law firms and banks have large amounts of confidential and sensitive documents that require accurate digitization and secure storage.
- Government Agencies: Government agencies generate important records, forms, and other documents that need to be digitized and stored in a FADGI compliant manner.
- Education Institutions: Schools, colleges, and universities can use a commercial scanning service to digitize student records, transcripts, and other academic documents.
- Construction and Engineering Companies: Construction and engineering firms have blueprints, drawings, and plans that need to be digitized and stored securely for easy access and collaboration.
- Retail and Logistics Companies: Retail and logistics companies have invoices, purchase orders, and shipping documents that need to be digitized and stored efficiently for quick access and analysis.
- Remote/Online Only Businesses: Scanning can help remote employees access information quickly and easily, allowing you to expand your hiring pool while modernizing your business practices.
Any organization that handles sensitive information or is under strict regulations regarding document management should consider commercial scanning services. These services offer the expertise, technology, and resources necessary to efficiently and accurately digitize and manage documents.
How do I get started with commercial scanning?
Getting started with commercial scanning can be a straightforward process if you follow these steps:
- Assess your document needs: Determine the types of documents that need to be scanned and the desired end format (PDF or TIFF files). Figure out how many documents you have that need to be scanned and the timeline for completion of your project.
- Choose a commercial scanning service provider: Research and compare scanning service providers based on their experience, technology, and pricing. Don’t forget to look for a company that has experience in your industry and can meet your specific needs.
- Develop a project plan: Work with the commercial scanning service provider to develop a project plan that outlines the scope of work, timeline, and budget. Make sure that the plan addresses important aspects such as data security, document handling, and quality control.
- Prepare your documents: Sort and organize the documents to be scanned, and make sure they are free of staples, paper clips, and any other attachments. The scanning service provider may also provide guidance on how to prepare the documents for scanning. In our case, we handle all of this for you, just point us in the direction of your documents and we’ll take care of the rest.
- Scan and digitize the documents: The scanning service provider will scan the documents and digitize them according to the agreed upon specifications. They may also offer document indexing, optical character recognition, and data migration services to help you manage the digital documents.
- Review and approval: Review the digitized documents to ensure that they meet your expectations and that the information is accurate. Provide approval for the final digital copies to be delivered to you.
- Store and manage the digital documents: Store the digitized documents in a secure and accessible manner, either in the cloud or on your own servers. Implement processes for managing, organizing, and retrieving the digital documents.
- Shred your documents: In some cases, you may need to dispose of your physical records after the scanning process is complete. Many scanning companies also provide secure paper shredding services that ensure your confidential information stays confidential!
By following these steps, you can get started with commercial scanning and digitize your paper-based documents efficiently and effectively.
What comes next?
If you’re looking for a commercial scanning service for your business and are ready to take the next step, SecureScan can help. We have been a leading provider of secure document scanning and indexing services for more than 20 years. Our experience and attention to detail ensures your next project is quick and painless. Contact us today to get a free quote for your next project.