A growing number of businesses are ditching their outdated paper record keeping systems in favor of modern electronic records management systems.
But why? What motivates a business to undergo such a complicated and time consuming process? If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it… right?
Wrong. Paper is an extremely inefficient way of storing information. In fact, If your business still relies on paper, you’re at a disadvantage.
For example, each time an employee needs a paper document, they must search through filing cabinets or boxes full of paper to retrieve it. Once they are done with the file, they must return it exactly where they found it, otherwise it will be difficult to impossible to find the next time.
All of this adds up over time to a ton of wasted time and effort.
Digital files on the other hand are text-searchable, making it easy to pluck a single file out of an archive of millions with just a few keystrokes. The result is less time spent by employees searching for the information they need, and more time spent on more important, business-centric tasks.
Plus, digital files aren’t easily lost or misplaced. They are always right where they need to be, retrievable at a moment’s notice.
You may be thinking “Great! Paper bad, digital good, makes sense. Now what?”
Unfortunately, the process of digitizing your paper records is not as straightforward it seems.
There are a ton of things that can go wrong along the way, some of which could end up creating some pretty big problems for your business in the long run.
For instance, how do you create a record keeping system that will stand the test of time, one that your employees can build on? After all, they will be the ones managing this system from now on.
And your business still needs to operate normally during this process. Which employees are going to work on this project, and how long will it take?
Now it’s getting complicated, and something has to give.
For this reason, many businesses choose to outsource document scanning projects to an experienced third-party like SecureScan.
By outsourcing your scanning project, you’ll avoid the pitfalls commonly encountered when attempting to handle this task in-house, and reduce your business’s liability should something go wrong along the way.
How do I know if I should outsource my document scanning?
Not every business necessarily needs to outsource their document scanning to a third-party. While there are obvious benefits to hiring a professional, you should carefully consider whether or not outsourcing is right for you and your business based on your particular requirements.
If any of the following describe you, outsourcing your project may be the right move.
1. You value your employees’ time.
Digitizing paper records is an extremely time consuming process. Not only do your documents need to be organized, scanned, and uploaded to your file system, important data must be manually extracted and converted into searchable text, so that records can be retrieved when needed.
If there are thousands of pages to scan, this process could take your employees weeks, or even months to complete.
When you outsource your document scanning to a third party, your employees are able to continue to focus on their core competencies, while skilled technicians hired by your scanning company step in to do what they do best.
These professionals come with the experience, confidence, and know-how to complete your project quickly, accurately, and efficiently.
This will ensure you can complete the process without having to divert employees hired for other purposes to take on your project.
2. You like to save money
One of the biggest myths preventing business owners from outsourcing their document scanning to a third-party is that it will cost less to do it themselves.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Scanning technicians are able to do the work of organizing, scanning, and indexing your documents in a fraction of the time it would take your employees to complete the same tasks.
And by avoiding mistakes and eliminating guesswork, you can be sure the process is completed correctly the first time.
Plus, they have all the necessary equipment to tackle the job, and they are already trained to use it.
This adds up to substantial savings for your business when compared to handling the scanning process in-house.
3. You hate stress
If you plan on scanning your documents on your own, the chances of running into major issues along the way are high.
Even a small error can lead to big problems, a fact that can leave you tossing and turning at night. You know the ramifications of screwing things up, so why put yourself through all that anxiety?
Outsourcing the work to an experienced and knowledgeable document scanning company gives you peace of mind in knowing that your project will be completed with the utmost care.
Rather than trying to fumble through the process with whatever you have on hand, leave it up to the trained professionals.
4. You need to digitize sensitive records
Most businesses possess records that contain sensitive personal information. Whether its client information, proprietary data, or employee records, these records must be protected at all costs.
Professional scanning companies deal with sensitive documents all the time, and have systems and procedures in place to keep confidential records out of the hands of data thieves and would-be wrong-doers.
First, they maintain a secure chain of custody over your documents throughout the scanning process, making a record each time a document passes hands. This creates a verifiable paper trail record of every person who has ever handled your document, when it was handled, and why. In the event of a data disaster, these records will be crucial in determining what went wrong and who is liable, and can be your saving grace in the case of an audit or a data breach.
Next, most scanning companies provide mandatory certifications for their employees to ensure they are properly trained to handle sensitive data. Employees are frequently tested on their knowledge and must renew their certifications yearly or biannually.
Lastly, when you outsource your scanning to a professional, your documents are scanned and stored in a secure location under 24 hour surveillance, rather than scattered about your office. Scanning companies are commonly subjected to random security audits and penetration tests to ensure best practices are followed. Should a company fail one of these audits, their certification could be revoked.
5. You want to reduce clutter around the office
Nobody wants to work in an office full of paper piles, bankers boxes, and wall to wall filing cabinets. Putting aside the fact that all that wasted space would be much better used for other more important purposes, all that clutter leads to disorganization and lower productivity.
When you start scanning your documents, things are going to get worse. Much worse. Documents will be changing hands all the time, and things can get pretty disorganized, pretty quickly.
And when your office is disorganized, mistakes are more likely to happen. Documents are more commonly misplaced or lost, and no one seems to notice, because what’s one less document in the stack?
When you outsource your scanning to a scanning company, they take your documents to their facility to be digitized, freeing your office from the discombobulation and chaos that can come when scanning your documents yourself.
6. You want to complete a big scanning project quickly
If you have millions of records stashed away in a warehouse somewhere, you’re probably not going to want to scan those on your own.
Unless you are planning on going into the scanning business yourself, the amount of resources you’re going to have to dedicate towards equipment, training, and labor to complete that kind of project is going to be astronomical. And difficult to quantify.
Outsourcing to a professional scanning company is the only way to go when you require fast, high volume scanning. They have the manpower and equipment to get your project done in a timely manner without mistakes, saving you time and money.
7. You want to access expertise that your employees lack
Transforming a large number of paper records into an efficient and user-friendly digital file system is a complicated process.
Sure, your employees could probably fumble their way through, and they’d likely learn from the mistakes they made. But the end result is guaranteed to fall short when compared to what a professional scanning company can produce.
Outsourced scanning puts the learnings gained over many years of experience to work for you. Scanning companies refine their processes and procedures over time in an effort to produce the best possible results, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of effort. After all, this is how a scanning business succeeds.
So take advantage of all that experience. Why reinvent the wheel?
8. You want to avoid paperwork
Maybe your team has the skills required to handle the process of digitizing all of your paperwork. Maybe it’s something you think they might even enjoy.
But chances are, you and your employees have bigger fish to fry.
During your scanning project, you’ll need to keep the lights on, and that means doing everything you can to avoid distractions that prevent you from carrying on with business as usual.
The chaos of digitizing your records can throw a wrench into your day to day business, especially when employees are forced to split their attention between scanning your documents and fulfilling their typical job duties.
Outsourced scanning takes the load off of your employees shoulders, bringing the project out from under your roof to be completed at a second location.
If you’re dreaming of a paperless future but you don’t know where to start, we can help. SecureScan has been a leading provider of secure document scanning services for businesses, government agencies, universities, and medical facilities throughout the NorthEast since 2003.
Contact us today for an obligation free quote or call to discuss your next project with a scanning specialist.