Not too long ago, storing vast amounts of physical documents was an integral part of running almost any business. That meant huge storage facility needs even for mid-sized companies, which was not only expensive but also very impractical.
Furthermore, retrieving the necessary documents quickly was almost impossible, even with a well-established system in place – searching through piles of papers to find any piece of info used to be a never-ending hassle.
Luckily, today’s technological advances have given rise to alternative ways for storing documents – switching to digital formats allows modern businesses to minimize their physical document numbers and save money on storage and handling of the documents.
But what to do with the paper documents that are already there?
Many of them are still important to the business and contain valuable information that may be needed in the future.
Well, that’s where document scanning solutions can be so helpful.
While the process of converting documents into a digital format may seem complicated, it not only makes sense from a financial perspective but is also a huge time-saver in the long run as well.
The Main Benefits of Document Scanning
Numerous benefits come with scanning and digitizing your documents – it makes sense as a financial decision, but the positive outcomes go far beyond that.
First off, when you scan your documents, you are eliminating the need to store them in your office. Chances are that, over the years, you’ve accumulated quite a few records that require their own storage space, which is not on costly, but also inefficient.
When you scan your documents, you can free up space that you can use for more productive activities, or turn the reduced storage needs into money savings in terms of overhead costs.
Secondly, when you need to retrieve a specific piece of information from a document, locating it can be a big challenge – even if you have a reliable system in place, it still takes a significant amount of time to go through thousands of paper records.
But when you have a digital system in place, no time is wasted – the digitized documents can be located in seconds. What’s more, each document can be text-searched to find the specific details that are required. It’s even possible to search all records by a particular word or phrase, allowing you to instantly see all of the documents that contain the necessary information.
Filing also becomes easier than ever before – with a digitized document system, the documents get labeled and sorted with a few clicks, allowing your employees to spend less time filing papers and more time doing productive work.
You can also quickly share any document within your organization or with clients and partners outside of it – locating and sending out a digital version takes mere seconds, which is a huge convenience when you need to keep things moving quickly.
That’s why scanning the documents is a smart choice – even if it does take a bit of time and money to get the process done, the savings in both that accumulate over time make it well worth it.
Finally, having a digitized system for sorting and filing your documents means that there’s always a clear and organized trail of all the documents – this means that whenever there’s an audit, there will never be a problem quickly making sense of the records, helping the process become as smooth and seamless as possible.
All of these benefits make it more than obvious that using document scanning or document imaging services is a wise choice for almost any type of business.
But scanning and digitizing your documents can be a complicated process, especially if you haven’t done it before.
A lot will depend on the types of documents that you need to get scanned. To help you gain a better understanding, here are the basics of document scanning that you should be aware of.
Determine Types of Documents Will You Scan
The way that you go about scanning your documents will depend mainly on the types of documents that you use most often.
Why is that important?
Well, when you scan your documents, the scanned files will need to be saved in one of the more common formats, and deciding which formats work best for your needs should be determined based on the document type.
For instance, if you have a lot of visual documents such as images, graphics, or blueprints, then your preferred choice might be TIFF files – it preserves the entire document in its original quality and allows to view it in fine detail.
The biggest drawback of using TIFF files is their large size – since it maintains maximum quality, the files tend to be huge, which is quite unpractical when you have hundreds or thousands of documents. What’s more, TIFF files cannot be searched without a special OCR process that indexes the entire file, so it is not the most practical choice if you don’t need to maintain the top-quality detail.
Another popular option is converting the documents into PDF files – it’s a very flexible and adaptive format that allows to scan documents, images, or any other type of record that you need to preserve. PDF allows to quickly scan multiple pages and combine them into single files, sort them as required, and easily text search and find information within the documents in mere seconds.
PDF is a very popular choice for many companies because of its practicality – the files don’t take up as much space on the hard drive or the cloud, and you can store years-worth of documents quite easily.
Author Bio -
Brandon Harris is the vice president of Smooth Solutions, inc. founded by his father Michael Harris, who has been a pioneer in document scanning industry for over 35 years. A leading Document Scanning Services in Lodi, N.J., they are experts in providing document shredding services. They scan paper files, large format drawings, convert microfilm to digital, digitize books, etc. Prior to that, Brandon owned and operated a small bakery. Other than working to grow and improve his business, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and family.