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So you’ve decided that going paperless is the right step forward for your business. Well you’ve just made one of the best decisions yet! Now you need to figure out if your staff can handle all of the scanning or if it makes more sense to outsource it all. How do you decide? 

In this blog, we will go over the pros and cons of both options and help guide you on which decision makes the most sense for your specific situation. 

Getting Started with Scanning 

The first step in going paperless is converting all of your documents to digital format. Converting to digital files has many benefits including, saving you time when looking for a file, saving you tons of office space, protecting your files from being lost, and saving you money in the end. Document scanning is a process that seems easy in theory but has a lot of involved and time consuming steps.

The best way to get started is to think of what you want the final product to look like. From there you can work backwards to figure out things such as what documents you want to start scanning, does it make sense to scan everything if some files are approaching their retention, and even the small details such as do you want your files scanned in black & white or in colour? Having all of the little details worked out before you begin contacting document scanning companies will help you get the best quotes possible for your specific business files. 

Evaluating your options

Once you have figured out what you want to scan and how you’d like the end result to look, it is time to start evaluating your different options for getting the job done. Naturally you might start by looking at some companies who specialise in document scanning. With a lot of different companies out there you could potentially get overwhelmed. This might lead you to consider scanning the documents in-house. Let’s take a look at those alternatives and see that they both entail. 

In-house

So you think scanning the documents in house might be for you? Well, let’s see what that process looks like!

To have documents scanned correctly, it involves establishing the right scanning process. This means getting a dedicated document scanner to obtain the best possible quality. Sourcing some Capture software that allows you to properly index your files. Taking the time to prep documents in order to feed them through the scanner. Now while this doesn’t sound like hard work, it is all a very manual process. The best practice for in-house scanning is to establish a scanning department, or if that is not feasible, having a scanning station and an internal employee who is trained on the process and technology to ensure the process runs smoothly. Some companies opt to get summer students to handle this job, however, we constantly receive feedback that with this approach, the result is less than satisfactory. Reasons can be attributed to a lack of experience by the student in paying attention to detail throughout the scanning process which can result in rescanning. Another factor is time, since these projects tend to take longer than anticipated, the projects aren’t completed in enough time when the student is available. The best person for this job when it comes to doing it in-house, is by choosing one of your own employees. They add directly to your bottom line and they are enticed to help the company be efficient. This option might very well be feasible depending on your resources and the amount of files you have to scan.

Outsourcing

When outsourcing your files, you benefit from the knowledge and experience of a company who has been perfecting their scanning process for years! This allows your employees to focus on their tasks and not have to worry about taking on more work. Document scanning companies have different stations handling different aspects of the process, kind of like an assembly line. This means that your documents will be handled by experts at every step and will be done in an efficient manner. And while it might seem like a cheaper option to do it in-house, once you take into the account the wages of your employees, the costs end up being similar depending on the size of the project. 

What’s right for you?

From our years of experience, we have made it easy and accessible for any sized business to digitize their files. We found the best way for businesses to handle a conversion project is with a hybrid model: by outsourcing their backlog of files and then getting set up with the proper software and equipment to handle small amounts of new files on a go-forward basis. When outsourcing your backlog of paper files, you get the benefit of freeing up all of your storage space instantly, you don’t have to worry about finding the time to scan all of the documents, and you receive an indexing and filing system that works best for you. Once all of this is done, your organization can get set up to handle newly created paper files using a scanning routine designed for you.

If you are interested in starting a project of your own, let us know and we will be more than happy to offer you a free consultation! We have many tips for companies starting their digitization journeys and we are more than happy to share them!

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