Records Management Blog | Practical Records Management

3 Reasons to Outsource Your Document Scanning Project

Posted by Michael Thomas on Tue, Apr 06, 2010 @ 11:46 AM

As more and more companies implement Document Management Systems to help them deal with their growing paper problems, I wanted to share with you three reasons why you should think twice before jumping headfirst into Document Scanning using your own resources. Three Reasons to carefully consider outsourcing your document imaging requirements to a Professional Document Scanning Company are:


1. Lower Cost - Virtually all practices looking to begin scanning files will start by Purchasing a Document Scanner. The good news is that most of the scanners on the market today are of decent quality and offer most of the same features. Unfortunately, most of the document scanners that companies purchase fall into the Desktop or Workgroup Category, meaning that they can only scan about 1,000 Pages Per Day. If you're looking to process a significant volume of documents, you will need a High Volume Scanner, which can be significantly more expensive - even upwards of $20,000. In addition to having to buy more expensive equipment to address a significant Backfile Scanning project, you'll also need to dedicate Labor Resources to Pull Staples, Run the Scanner, and Index all of the scanned images. All of this costs money, and since Document Scanning is not within the core competency for most businesses, it takes more time to get through the process. Using an Professional Document Scanning Company lets you have all of your document scanned for a low price per image meaning that your costs are directly correlated to the number of documents to be converted, not the amount of time that it takes.


2. Improved Turnaround
- If you believe the old adage that people will make the work fill up the time, then Document Scanning is a sinkhole for employees looking to make the work last. It's difficult for many companies to judge the performance of a Document Scanning operation, and as a result many projects will take far longer as expected as staff blames the equipment, the quality of the paper, and nearly anything else they can find for the poor turnaround. An Outsourced Document Scanning Company will be responsible for delivering results in a designated timeframe, and it will be in their best interest to turnaround your job as quickly as possible because they don't get paid by the hour!


3. Improved Quality and Accountability - Like so many things in life, experience makes the difference in the Quality of Document Scanning results. Outsourcing your Document Scanning means that you'll have a team of professionals to ensure that your work is done correctly and that both image quality and data accuracy are given the attention that they deserve. In the event that there are issues with the completed project and you need something to be corrected, a Professional Document Scanning Company you will also be able to turn to your chosen vendor to help make things right.


Bottom line, think twice before you take on a large Document Scanning Project with your own equipment and resources. It may be more than you bargained for, and you may be able to save a lot of headaches by outsourcing the work to a team of document imaging professionals.

Tags: Paperless Office, Document Scanning, Document Imaging, Medical Record Scanning

OnBase is Awesome - Document Management Haiku

Posted by Michael Thomas on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 @ 02:45 PM
I never really understood poetry, but I do remember the Haiku - 5 Syllables, 7 Syllables, and then 5 again. So simple, and yet so beautiful. Kind of Like OnBase.

OnBase is the Haiku of Document Management Software, so I figured that I would make a Haiku about OnBase. Enjoy...

OnBase is Awesome

Folders and Integration

Find All of Your Files

If you want to know what could be so awesome about Document Management Software that it could inspire this incredible poetry, schedule your demo and let's talk about how OnBase can inspire you.

Tags: Document Management, OnBase, Document Imaging

Bulk Document Scanning - Make it someone else's problem!

Posted by Michael Thomas on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 @ 02:32 PM
If you're staring at a mountain of paper and not sure where to start, take a deep breath and read on. Bulk Document Scanning is easier than you think. When it comes to converting significant volumes of paper, the easiest, most cost effective option is often to outsource it to a professional document scanning company like Shoreline Records Management.

Bulk Document Scanning is not like most scanning projects, where one or two files need to be captured at a time, and therefore usually calls for a different approach. The key to scanning significant amounts of paper is to ensure that there is a repeatable, high quality process in place to ensure that all of the documents are scanned and indexed accurately so that they can be retrieved when needed. This often takes not only high-speed scanning equipment, but also a very specialized process involving teams of people who specialize in each facet of Bulk Document Scanning Projects incuding:

Document Preparation - Pulling Staples and Sorting through Boxes and Boxes of Paper is a necessary component of Bulk Document Scanning projects. That's why Shoreline has a team of Document Preparation Specialists who work to ensure that your documents are cared for, sorted, and classified correctly so that you can find your content when you need it.

Document Scanning - Trying to Scan Tens of Thousands of Pages through most office scanners is a certain recipe for a service call. Shoreline uses Production Document Scanners to ensure that capturing tens of thousands of pages per day is a breeze. Our operation is engineered for high volume scanning and we use industry leading technology to ensure the best possible image quality at the same time.

Indexing - To effectively index a bulk document scanning project requires a team of dedicated index operators. Documents must be accurately indexed to ensure that files can be found when searched for.

Quality Control - Ensuring that images are clearly scanned and accurately indexed is essential to a Bulk Document Scanning Project. Outsourcing means that there is an entire team focused on document scanning while you stay focused on your business.

If you're staring at a lot of paper and looking for the quickest, most cost-effective way to convert it to digital images, consider Outsourcing. Bulk Document Scanning is so much easier when it's someone else's problem!

Tags: Document Scanning, Document Imaging, Medical Record Scanning

Backfile Scanning Takes a Step Forward

Posted by Michael Thomas on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 @ 02:23 PM
Backfile Scanning is becoming increasingly important for companies who begin Document Imaging projects. Most of the time, these projects start innocently enough, with a company looking to take advantage of the many benefits that electronic document management has to offer - reduced costs, improved efficiency, increased compliance, etc. Soon after though, the glamorous vision of the paperless office is quickly replaced by a harsh reality - someone has to do all the work!
 
Document ScanningWhether you're scanning medical charts, converting loan files, or processing applications, Document Imaging is never as simple as just putting some pages through a scanner. This is especially true when dealing with a backfile scanning project. In order to start the process, someone needs to go through the files and remove all of the staples, repair dog-eared corners, tape small pages, and partake in other fun paper-processing tasks. In addition, the files must be sorted correctly to ensure that the structure of the files will be meaningful and useful when the files make their way to the document imaging system. This process involves inserting barcoded separator pages or stacking the pages in a specific way to allow the system to recognize one document from another. Quite often people don't realize that this manual document preparation work is required before you've even put the first page through the scanner.

After the preparation is done, the files must then go through the scanner and be captured as images. This too seems easy enough, except that most document scanners are not designed to handle thousands or tens of thousands of pages in a day. High Volume scanning requires specialized equipment that can sometimes cost $20,000 or more.
If you've made it this far into the process, you now will need to accurately Index your documents by tagging the files with appropriate metadata, or keywords, and then implement a process for Quality Control of scanned documents.
The good news is that the document imaging project isn't the problem. The problem is that Backfile Scanning is a lot of work, and most of the time is better suited to be an outsourced initiative. By outsourcing your backfile scanning, you can keep your staff focused on more productive tasks while a team of professionals handles your scanning needs. By using Outsourced Scanning Services to handle your backfile, all that you're responsible for is a fixed price per image. The service provider will be responsible for handling the document preparation, scanning, indexing and quality control and would provide you with images via CD, DVD or FTP.

To find out more about our backfile scanning services, check out our Document Scanning Services section and contact us to see how we can help with your specific requirements.

Tags: Document Scanning, Document Imaging, Medical Record Scanning

Unlocking the Paper Shackles from your Information

Posted by Tom Doyle on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 @ 04:04 PM
  • How many times have you needed to access an important file or reproduce a form to support a customer inquiry?
  • Have you ever gone to the file cabinet or Archive to access a transaction, only to find the document is missing?
  • How about producing a proof of delivery ticket, so you can collect an open receivable?

If you're like most business organizations, the answers to these and many other document management questions are: Everyday, Yes, and Often.

So why then are you still filing paper documents?

Accessing information critical to the success of any business should be as easy as doing a google search.  It is, if you scan. Imagine the efficiency gained, not to mention the improvement in customer service, if you could respond to customer inquiries while actually on the phone with the customer. Document Scanning provides more value than just ease of use though. Imaging allows for collaboration, can provide compliance with industry regulations, increases the level of document security and can help to easily manage the life cycle of all business information.

Using scanning technology to create workflows driven by the presence of rules in a business process reduces the reliance on a human element from getting things done efficiently. A manager or director, whose approval is required for a process to move forward, can approve the necessary documents electronically instead of having to have the paper in front of her. If that person is out sick or on vacation, the documents can be routed to other managers to move the process along efficiently.

In many instances companies who have been successful changing the culture from paper to electronic images, have enlisted the help of an expert. Outsourced scanning services companies, also known as Service bureaus, have the experience and infrastructure, through the use of high speed scanning equipment and specialized software, to complete jobs quickly and return image files to a secure system where end users who have the proper security rights can access the information.

Today's business environment demands that organizations react quickly and efficiently to support their customer base. Capturing, sharing, storing and securing business critical information electronically, while reducing the reliance on one dimensional paper documents, enhances this requirement.

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

Document Scanning gets a Black Eye in the UK

Posted by Michael Thomas on Fri, Mar 19, 2010 @ 10:23 AM

According to an article published today on Kable, a UK based service provider that helps public officials to make informed decisions about technology, an ineffective document scanning strategy has caused a major snafu in processing Student Loans across the UK.

Document Scanning gets black eye in UK

The National Audit Office (NAO) says that the new scanning system at the Student Loans Company (SLC), designed to store and transmit electronic copies of documents to processing teams, did not work.

It had not been properly tested and the firm's contingency plan was "seriously flawed", according to the report published on 19 March 2010

 

While it may be about a situation that has occurred on the other side of the Atlantic, this News highlights the importance of ensuring that Document Imaging and Document Scanning projects are being done correctly. Whether you’re scanning student loans, imaging mortgage files, or converting paper Medical Charts, if you’re going to scan these files yourself you need to make sure that you have implemented and tested your process from start to finish. End-To-End testing of Document Imaging Processes is a vital step that we’ve seen many companies fail to recognize.

 

 

“The question must be asked how the Company, given its failure in 2009, will deal with twice as many applications in 2010, when it becomes responsible for applications from both first and second year students. The Department and the Company must give the highest priority to achieving a radical improvement in the service and, in so doing, to restoring the confidence of applicants and stakeholders. They will have to manage substantial risks.”

 

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 19 March 2010

(From The NAO Report) 

 

This story also further highlights the value of using a Document Scanning Service. Companies that specialize in Document Imaging and offer the service of Scanning Paper to digital formats have a wealth of experience in focusing on process controls to ensure that your information is processed correctly. This can help to reduce the risk of lost or misfiled documents and improve the overall quality of your document imaging endeavors.

Whether you’re imaging yourself or outsourcing your document scanning, cases such as this one serve to further highlight where your focus should be – on the value of the information. It’s not good enough to just capture a good quality image. You must ensure that documents are scanned clearly AND that they’re indexed and processed appropriately so that the value of the content can be put to use.

Tags: Records Management, Document Scanning, Document Imaging

Document Scanning - Where to begin??

Posted by Tom Doyle on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 @ 03:21 PM
It's easy to identify most of the leading reasons why it's become best practice for Companies in all industries to scan their business critical paper documents; Access, collaboration, Workflow, Security, Space Savings.  Don't forget regulatory compliance, Audit control and privacy concerns for good measure. Capturing, storing and retrieving any document at any time from any location allows businesses to reduce costs associated with records management while increasing process efficiency and improving customer service.

Now that you've been convinced, the next question is how? One solution that should be considered is partnering with an experienced Document Management company that offers outsourced scanning services. Many companies have made the mistake of investing in imaging hardware, software and the necessary personnel to manage high volume scanning environments, only to struggle with a process that is not at the core of what the business does. Converting paper documents to electronic images is not overly difficult, but neither is changing your own oil. Thank goodness for Jiffy Lube!

Outsourced scanning services companies can manage the process better than most in-house solutions because it is their core business. Your company leverages the economies of scale found in a service operation. Attention to detail, especially at the document preparation table is critical to the success of any scanning project. If the documents are not separated correctly, if all staples, paper clips and post it notes are not removed, the process will slow down and ultimately the results the end user sees will be uneven, causing them to lose confidence in the solution.   

Experienced Document Scanning Organizations are regularly upgrading and maintaining their equipment to take advantage of the latest technology. Advanced document recognition allows images to be read and desired keywords or index criteria automatically extracted, eliminating the need for manual data entry while keeping the cost of the service down.

Outsourcing your scanning projects allows you to concentrate on your core business functions while taking advantage of all the benefits of fast, reliable, secure document access.

Tags: Document Scanning, Document Imaging, Medical Record Scanning

The 3 Best Reasons to Outsource Paper Scanning

Posted by Michael Thomas on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 @ 03:14 PM

Why Outsource Paper Scanning? Three Reasons - Cost, Speed, and Accuracy.

 

  1. Cost - Outsourcing your document imaging requirements to a professional document scanning company allows you to take advantage of today's leading edge technology without absorbing the ongoing costs associated with maintaining the system. There are no hardware or software upgrades, specialized personnel or annual maintenance charges to support. 
  2. Speed - Most commercially available paper scanning equipment is in the 25 to 50 Page Per Minute Range. When you outsource your paper scanning, the service provider is likely to make use of scanners that capture pages at speeds in excess of 100 pages per minute. In addition, the document preparation process, which is where most of the time is spent, can be more easily achieved by a staff of dedicated file technicians who focus on accurately sorting and preparing file for scanning.
  3. Accuracy - Perhaps the most important reason to outsource paper scanning projects is to make sure that they're done correctly. When paper scanning is assigned as a secondary responsibility for someone who already has other things to do, they're less likely to pay as close attention to it as the probably should. When you outsource paper scanning, you can have the piece of mind of knowing that the team is dedicated to processing files, not answering phones or other daily responsibilities. This helps to make sure that the job gets done right.

 

Outsourcing paper scanning allows companies to redirect their core resources toward the activities of greater value while still realizing the benefits of document scanning.

Tags: Document Scanning, Document Imaging, Medical Record Scanning