Records Management Blog | Practical Records Management

Document Management Grants are Now Available

Posted by Michael Thomas on Tue, Jun 01, 2010 @ 06:10 PM

One of the biggest challenges for Non-Profits, Social Services organizations, and Government Agencies looking for Document Management Solutions is the challenge of obtaining funding. It seems that not a day goes by where funding isn't being cut, and the competition for precious dollars is continually growing. Recognizing this challenge, Shoreline has worked with our partners to develop a unique offering to help organizations obtain funding through Grants.

The good news is that there is a vast array of Federal, State and Foundation grants available - many of them with increased dollars from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - to help you invest in Document Management technologies which can allow you to serve more people and mange your applications and initiatives with increased efficiencies.  

Document Management Grants are now available, and our team can help you find the money you need to make your project a success. Shoreline Records Management, has partnered with the Grants Office experts to help you navigate the grants landscape. In cooperation with one of Our Business Partners, Hyland Software, we offer this FREE service to help determine what grants are available that could make a difference to your organization.

There are no specific qualifications, and our service will help you determine what funding may be available to make your organization more efficient with no risk or obligation. To get started, complete our Document Management Grants Analysis Form Today and we'll begin to research the available sources of funding to help you address your most challenging document management issues today.

While We can't win the grants for you, we can help you move from an interested applicant to a compelling candidate. It's time to make your old technology work better for you. With this Free Service, you'll be able to:

• Develop insight into the grant funding landscape for IT spends
• Better identify, obtain and manage grant dollars
• Improve transparency and service

Sign Up Today to take advantage of this service and find out how we can help your organization today!

Tags: Document Management, Records Management, Business Strategy

3 Tips for Choosing a Network Document Scanner

Posted by Michael Thomas on Mon, May 24, 2010 @ 12:17 PM

Network Document Scanners are a popular choice for companies getting started with document scanning, and with good reason. They're reasonably priced, don't require a dedicated computer, and help companies quickly convert Paper to Digital Images. When looking for a scanner though, it's easy to be overwhelmed by all of the choices - are you sure you know what DPI is best for your application? When you go to make a purchase decision, consider these factors:


Network Scanner1) Daily Scanning Volume - This is the most important consideration when buying any scanner, networked or otherwise. Think about how many pages you'll need to capture on a daily basis, and make your buying decision accordingly. Try not to consider your entire backfile scanning project when making this determination, either - just think about how many pages you're likely to capture on a daily basis during the normal course of business. You can always outsource to a document scanning service provider to address your bulk scanning issues, saving you time and money in the process.


2) Bundled Software - Without Software, a scanner is just an expensive paperweight. You should make sure that some level of document scanning software is included with the equipment. It's particularly helpful if this is a flexible software toolkit like eCopy or NSi Autostore. These packages will let you do more than just drop images on network share devices and help you drive more value out of your investment.


3) Touchscreen or Keyboard Capabilities - Once you scan an image, you're going to want to be able to tag it with some sort of meaningful data to let you find it, or at least let the person on the other end of the receipt have an idea what it is. Be sure that the device you choose has a Touchscreen interface at the least, and ideally offers the option of attaching a keyboard. Some models, like the HP and Fujitsu Network Scanners, even come with built in keyboards, making them an attractive alternative for companies that need to add a bit more detail to what they're scanning.


There are a lot of options available when looking to buy a scanner, and it's important to not be distracted by the bright and shiny features. Most of the time, they're not going to be of much use to you. Instead, keep these practical elements in mind when making your buying decision and you'll end up much happier with the results.

Tags: Document Management, Scanning, Document Imaging, Scanners

Scanning Services for Microsoft Sharepoint - including Sharepoint 2010

Posted by Michael Thomas on Wed, May 12, 2010 @ 08:24 AM
With today marking the official release of Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, I thought it would be an appropriate time to discuss some of the services that we provide to support companies that are moving forward with Sharepoint at the center of their Document Management Strategy.

Sharepoint Scanning ServicesTo be sure, Microsoft has invested a lot of time and resources in improving upon previous iterations of Sharepoint, and the technology has come a long way since it's initial release. Today, I would not be alone in considering Sharepoint as one of the market leaders in the ECM (Enterprise Content Management) space, and we've been proponents of recommending it to clients when appropriate.

One of the challenges, however, is efficiently capturing paper content and delivering it to Sharepoint so that it can be searched and retrieved by users. There are many products available in the market to address this challenge, including Kofax Capture and KnowledgeLake - both of which are excellent solutions.

But what about Companies that want to leverage the benefits of Sharepoint without purchasing high-speed scanners and investing the time and resources in scanning the files themselves?

That's where our outsourced scanning services for Sharepoint come in. Our Production Document Scanning Bureau is capable of converting millions of pages on a monthly basis, and provides firms with a low price per page to convert paper to digital format. We handle the document preparation, scanning, quality control, and indexing, and return to clients a series of files that can be easily imported to Sharepoint.

Whether you're using an older version of the Sharepoint platform, or you plan to take advantage of the features that Sharepoint 2010 has to offer, consider outsourcing the scanning of your files. You'll be able to achieve a more rapid return on your document management investment, and save yourself a whole lot of hassle in the process.


Ready to take the first Step to getting your files scanned to Sharepoint?
Contact us today to discuss your Document Scanning Project and find out how our services can help lower your costs and accelerate your return on investment.

Tags: ECM, Scanning, Document Scanning, Sharepoint

No Simple Tools for the Paperless Office

Posted by Michael Thomas on Tue, May 11, 2010 @ 06:14 PM

There’s a great post over on Mashable – 5 Simple Tools for a Paperless Office. It’s really a great cheat sheet on how to use some really cool, useful software and online services to reduce paper and become more efficient, but I found myself reading it and thinking about the clients that I’ve worked with over the past ten years. These are all very cool tools, but I don’t think that they’re going to really take you any closer to a paperless office.

More importantly, not one of them is going to ensure that you’ll actually be able to FIND something when you go to look for it. And therein lies the problem facing businesses today. Document Management tools have some fantastic bells, whistles, and doodads, but do any of them actually do anything useful?? Honestly, out of the whole list presented, the mention of Google Apps for Business at the footnote is probably the most useful of all of the items.

Google Apps for Business is missing one key component, however. They still have added the viewer. Plug Google's fancy document viewer (you know, the one they use for Google books), into Google apps and bam! – Now you’ve really got a solution for a Paperless Office. You’d be able to tag metadata, search, and view documents from anywhere that there’s a browser.

Except… There’s no audit trails. There are still no annotation capabilities. There’s no really great, easy way to efficiently scan large volumes of documents to Google Apps. Perhaps most importantly, the more consumer-like these tools become, the biggest thing that’s missing isn’t feature functionality- it’s guidance and best practices. Scanning files isn’t hard. It’s preparing them for scanning, indexing them, and making sure that people can find them that makes it difficult. 

Tags: Paperless Office, Document Management, Document Scanning, Google

The State of the Long Island Employment Market - Guest Post from Jason Banks of Lloyd Staffing

Posted by Michael Thomas on Thu, May 06, 2010 @ 06:34 PM
Jason-BanksThe following Guest Post is from an interview I recently conducted with Jason Banks, Executive Vice President of Lloyd Staffing. Lloyd Staffing is and is one of Long Islands most respected Employment Service Providers offering recruiting, hiring, retention and outsourcing, and is also a Strategic Partner of Shoreline's for staffing Document Scanning Projects.

Recently, I had an opportunity to ask Jason some questions about the Challenges and Opportunities in Long Island's Employment market, as well as how businesses can use the market to improve their operations. Here's What Jason had to share:

Lloyd Staffing LogoWhat are the biggest challenges facing Long Island Employers today?

Putting aside the current economy, which is starting to change and gain momentum, the long-term challenge for local employers is plugging the talent drain of fleeting Gen X/Gen Y workers needed to replace aging baby boomers who retire and move elsewhere.  This is a dynamic we have heard about, read about and had conferences on but there have been very little solutions presented. Both of these generational opposites may have trouble justifying remaining on LI if compensation is not competitive with cost of living.  This region is consistently faced with the challenges involved in relocating employees to this region.  LI companies need to make the investment in training and retaining their talent resources while exploring creative solutions to keep  an active talent pipeline.  Also, watch for the rapid increase in employees looking for virtual work options and consulting engagements rather than full-time direct employment.

Where are the biggest opportunities for those looking for employment?

Technology, Healthcare, Engineering and Sales.  Digital advancements and Economic Stimulus have ignited change in Healthcare, Technology and Engineering/Construction. Long Island employers are seeking versatile professionals who have dynamic skill-sets in these industries.  The need for Sales professionals has been steady for the last 8 months and now the mid-level sales management has come back. 

How can businesses use the market to help them improve their talent roster?

It has been a buyer's market, although we are now seeing small changes such as competitive offers and buy-backs. This is still a very good time to take advantage of the talent marketplace and acquire talent that might otherwise not be available financially, emotionally or intellectually.  However, don't bargain hunt; recognize value, take time to meet candidates, conduct exploratory interviews, bring on temporary staffing help to help with seasonal or project needs and keep talent close to your brand. Do not put your organization in the position where the market comes back, talent is scarce and you are stuck saying "we should have connected with the talent/candidates we often look for when we had the chance."   Recognize that good hires can be made at every level, but be mindful not to send the wrong message to your remaining staff.  Make it clear that such hires are not luxuries, but can put the company at a competitive advantage, during and after the economic recovery.

Thanks to Jason for taking the time to share his thoughts on the state of the Long Island Employment Market. Be sure to visit Lloyd Staffing for all of your Employment Service needs.

Tags: Document Scanning, Business Strategy, Healthcare

What is Archive Storage?

Posted by Michael Thomas on Tue, May 04, 2010 @ 08:59 AM

Bueller... Bueller... anyone want to take a crack at this "exciting" topic?

Archive Storage is a bit of a confusing term for many people, and oftentimes people will use the term to describe one of two things:

  1. Archival Storage of Paper Documents - If you're looking for long-term storage of paper documents, then Archive Storage is likely the way to go. Our Facility, for example, is designed to accommodate long-term retention of documents for a low-monthly fee. Pricing is based on the volume of information to be stored and the retention requirements (how long you need to keep the files), and is expressed as a Price Per Month, Per Box. For Bankers Boxes (1.2 Cu. Ft.), our monthly storage price is usually less than $.30 per box per month, but pricing can go both up and down significantly based on the total volume of information that you have.
  2. Archive Storage of Data Files - Especially now, Paper is not the only thing that you need to keep for a long time. For Data Archiving, there are a number of solutions and services available, but there are very few of these solutions that offer true long-term, permanent data archiving. If permanent Archive Storage of Data Files is important to you, then storage on Optical Media, is likely the most appealing option.

If you need to preserve your Paper Documents for a long time, we can certainly help. Contact one of our Archive Storage Experts to get pricing for your specific project. For more information about long term archiving of data, visit our partner Data Archiving Corp.

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Tags: Document Management, File Storage, Records Management

Looking for File Storage in Manhattan? Read this first.

Posted by Michael Thomas on Mon, May 03, 2010 @ 02:20 PM
Manhattan File StorageI'm sure you've heard all the stories about the high cost of real estate in New York. Well, they're all true, and possibly the biggest waste of space in the Manhattan Skyline is the amount of space that companies are still using to store Boxes of files. In spite of the slumping real estate market, the cost per square foot in Manhattan is still astronomical, and understanding that there are much more affordable alternatives can lead to some significant savings for companies.

For example, I recently met with a Law firm that was using about 400 Sq. Ft of Prime Commercial Space on 7th Avenue for file storage, and this was just on one of their six floors! Even Now, with Midtown Manhattan's Class A space posted an average asking rental rate of $64.26 per square foot in the first quarter of 2010, the monthly cost for File Storage for this firm is $2,142.00 - Not exactly the best use of funds when you consider that you could store the same 2,000 Boxes offsite for less than $600.00 per month.

In the end, if you're still keeping old files in your high-priced office space, now might be a good time to reconsider this strategy. Your bottom line will thank you!

Photo Credit: Aturkus

Tags: File Storage, Records Management

Document archiving - where should you start?

Posted by Michael Thomas on Sun, May 02, 2010 @ 03:11 PM
DOcument ArchivingWhen starting to archive documents, many people find themselves unsure about where to begin. If you don't have a detailed records management policy in place, it can be difficult to come up with a document archiving strategy on the fly. There are a few simple approaches that you can use, however, they can make this process a whole lot easier.

1)      Archive based on creation or destruction date

Date-based document archiving is perhaps the easiest and most straightforward way to deal with document retention. This strategy requires that you either know the date that the document was created, the scheduled date at which the document will no longer be required, or ideally both these pieces of information. Date-based archiving is particularly effective for financial information, as any request that was made to review the file would likely be based on the date on which it was processed. In some instances date-based archiving also make sense when a particular transaction closes, opens, or begins a new phase in a client or vendor relationship.

2)      Archive based on frequency of retrieval

The decision to archive documents based on the frequency of retrieval may be made independent of date-based archiving or in conjunction with that strategy. Choosing to archive based on frequency of retrieval involves understanding how often content is requested and grouping information in a way that it can be quickly accessed based on how likely it is to be required. And archiving strategy based on the frequency of retrieval is perhaps the most difficult one to deploy, and will typically be a subset of either a date-based or retention-based strategy.

3)      Archive based on retention requirements

many documents that are created at a very low likelihood of retrieval. For this type of content archiving based on retention requirements is likely the most effective option. Retention-based archiving requires only that you know what you have in possession currently and how long it should be retained for. Two very common applications for retention-based archiving are mortgage lending (with a relatively finite term) and specialty medical records (where the patient may have a low chance of repeat encounters).

Keep in mind that the document archiving strategy you choose to deploy will likely be the same whether you're storing physical files or scanning your documents. In most instances the document archiving strategy will be largely dependent on the type of content being considered (financial, regulatory, etc.), and less dependent on the media in which the content is stored.

If you're looking for assistance with determining the appropriate document archiving strategy for your business, you may want to discuss your needs with one of our Records Management Consultants to verify your plan and ensure that you're making the right choices.

What is your strategy for document archiving? Are there any approaches that we've missed? If you can share your best practices with the community, be sure to add them in the Comments!

Photo Credit : Gadl

Tags: Document Management, Records Management