Key Factors to Consider When Scanning Documents

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Are you thinking about going paperless? Before rushing out to buy scanners and imaging software, take a deep breath. Here are several key factors you should consider first:


Decide what documents to convert to digital images. It might be tempting to scan and digitize all your records right away, but you may end up paying to scan documents you’ll never use. And it’s unnecessary to scan documents that are going to be destroyed within a few months. Active files with long retention periods are ideal candidates for a scanning solution.


Scanning one or two files with a desktop scanner takes a few minutes, but converting a file cabinet full of documents can take several days or weeks. Decide whether you have the bandwidth to push other important tasks aside to complete your scanning project within a reasonable timeframe.


One of the major drawbacks of in-house scanning is lack of expertise. Often, employees must leave their core tasks to complete imaging conversion projects. And if they’ve never worked on a scanning project before, they need training on how to organize, index and image multipage files. If done incorrectly, once the physical files are gone, you can’t retrieve the lost data. Before scanning your documents in-house, decide whether you can afford potential staffing disruptions to your core business and any mistakes that occur in the scanning process itself.


Medium and large-scale document scanning projects can’t be completed without high-speed scanners and imaging software. If you aren’t willing to invest several thousand dollars in technology for your scanning project, outsourcing is the best solution. A qualified scanning vendor provides the technology you need at a fraction of the cost.


Budget plays a big role in determining the success of a scanning project. Few companies can afford to scan documents in-house because equipment and staffing expenses are cost prohibitive. A professional document scanning company can assess your scanning project and offer several imaging and conversion options that don’t break the bank.

Storage Capacity

There’s no use in scanning documents if you can’t store them after conversion. Make your network server, portable data storage device or enterprise content management (ECM) system has enough space to store your digital images.

Data Privacy

It’s rare that a scanning project doesn’t involve sensitive or confidential documents. Employee records, tax files, and financial statements are handled several times during conversion. Without the right personnel and security protocols, confidential data can be compromised. So, the people scanning your documents should be background-screened, bound by confidentiality agreements, and follow extensive chain of custody protocols.

There’s so much to consider when scanning documents. To make sure your scanning project is successful, keep these factors in mind.

CI Information Management provides services to businesses in the Tri-Cities, the Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, Hermiston, OR, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, and nearly everywhere in between.