Records Management Blog | Practical Records Management

To Scan or Not To Scan - It's not a Question.

Posted by Michael Thomas on Thu, Aug 06, 2009 @ 01:23 PM

There are so many questions I get asked, but one of the most common ones is ... Should I scan my files or store them?

Well, Both options have their pro's and con's and most often, the right choice is a mixture of both.  Physical Document Storage consists of files that are organized and packed into marked storage boxes for future use. File Scanning converts paper files to scanned documents eliminating the need to keep the original documents.  The decision is up to you and will depend on several factors.

  • Type of Business - the kind of business you have may dictate which storage method works best.  For example medical records are typically kept in well-maintained folders making scanning an easy option.  Some business files may include many notes, floor plans or other items that may make scanning more difficult.  If you want to keep originals available for access, it's likely that you would choose storage over scanning.
  • Accessibility - Scanned files may be easier to work with since they can often be emailed and kept electronically.  Stored documents need to be retrieved when needed which takes time and manual labor resources.
  • Manpower - Document storage takes manpower.  If you choose to keep paper records or scan, consider using a Professional Records Management and Scanning Company to do the work for you.  You'll save time and money by using this outsourced solution.
  • Cost - Compare the costs associated with either type of arrangement.  While document storage on your own site can be expensive a much cheaper alternative is to use off-premise storage.  In most cased, off-site storage of the files is significantly less expensive than both on-site storage and Scanning. Again, a professional records management company will handle all storage and organization of documents.  They can also provide complete scanning services at an affordable price.

No matter whether you choose storage or scanning the important thing is that you've determined the need for finding a records management solution.  Pick a solution that works for your company, fits into your budget and will provide your company with the necessary documentation you need for tax purposes, legal reasons and customer support. Your business will be much better for it.

Tags: ECM, Scanning, File Storage, Records Management