The Lowdown on Successful Document Scanning for your Business

Is your business spending a fortune on shipping documents? Is your office becoming a paper nightmare with filing systems creating more chaos than order? Do you want to prevent those very old documents from fading away? Perhaps it’s time for a document scanning solution.

Today’s document scanners produce legible, clear images and have become reliable and affordable. A sound approach to document scanning for your business would be to utilise the services of a company that provides offsite document imaging services.

These services will offer you helpful tips on indexing methods and assist you with integrating your existing systems. They will also set up the hardware and software for you and provide offsite scanning services should your company require professional assistance.

Document retention requirements

Before you start your document scanning operations, you need to determine the retention requirements of your documents. Not all documents need to be kept for the same amount of time. Retention periods usually depend on the type of information contained in the documents. Categorising your documents according to retention time, will help the scanning process to run much more smoothly.

Involve your staff

Involving staff members and asking them for suggestions or other input on how to make the transition from paper to digital record keeping can help to speed things up. Employees can be particular about filing systems, which can make it difficult for them to adapt to unexpected change. Employee participation can make the adjustment easier.

Create a top-notch indexing system

Scanning all your documents without having created an indexing system first is difficult. Indexing is a vital first step to ensure that you can retrieve your documents once they are digitised. Be as specific as possible with your descriptions and create file names such as ‘supplier name’ or ‘invoice number’ to make access a breeze. The bottom line is, digitised documents are no good if you can’t retrieve them.

In-house or offsite?

Before you start your digital imaging journey you will need to decide on whether you’ll have your employees take care of the scanning process in-house or whether offsite scanning services would be a better option. In general, using offsite scanning services has been proven to be the safest, most practical and most cost-effective way of digitising and archiving your documents.

What to do with your documents after scanning?

Depending on the type of information your documents contain, you can opt for storing the paper versions in a manual filing system or discarding them by means of secure document destruction. Before you decide on document destruction you will need to find out how long paper versions of certain documents need to be kept after they are digitised. Generally, paper documents should be kept between one to three months but official documents such as agreements and contracts as well as financial documentation may need to be kept for a longer period of time or even indefinitely.