Chasing Too Much Paper?
Making the Transition to Electronic Document Management
If your company is exploring the idea of electronic document management, you may be thrilled with its promise of higher efficiency, but also intimidated — even overwhelmed — by the complexity of transitioning to such a large system.
That’s because if your company is like most, the sheer volume of the documents you process is staggering.
According to IDC, 95 percent of all business information is still paper-based. And the amount of time spent wading through this flood of data is equally immense — often up to 40 percent of employees’ time, according to research by Xerox.
Today’s technology can eliminate the headaches caused by manually storing, managing and retrieving data. Electronic document management solutions can perform these tasks automatically.
And with our help, making a transition to an electronic solution may not be as stressful as you think. Through our partnership with VentureTech Network, we have the expertise to help you choose the right solution components and expedite your shift to a new process.
We’ll start by carefully examining your business needs and evaluating your answers to the following questions.
1. What type of documents do you need to scan and store?
The answer to this question will determine the type of scanner or scanners you require. Will you be scanning images and/or handwritten documents as well as plain text? Are your documents large-format or double-sided? Are they crumpled, stained or otherwise damaged? This may be an issue if your business archives very old documents, such as historical records, or businesses that need to scan shipping invoices and other documents that suffer heavy wear and tear.
2. How heavy is your scanning load?
Begin by calculating how many pages per day you need to scan, taking into account any planned increases or decreases, as well as any current backlog, then choose your hardware from there. In general, a low-volume scanner can handle about 25 pages per minute (ppm) or 500 pages a day, and a mid-volume scanner can handle about 40-70 ppm or up to 6,000 pages a day. If you want to scan more than 6,000 pages a day, you will need either a high-volume scanner or several lower-end scanners.
3. Where are your documents located?
This, too, affects the type and amount of scanning hardware you will need. If your business has several remote offices, you may require a separate scanning system for each one. Scanners may also need to be networked to increase efficiency and allow workers at each location to store documents on a common server. If you prefer to keep scanning centralized, you will need to develop a work-flow process for sending documents to the main office to be scanned, possibly by an employee dedicated to that job.
4. How will scanned documents be used?
This question covers the software side of a document management solution. Depending on your requirements, you can select software that allows users to modify scanned documents, search the content of stored documents by keyword, or scan to a specific file format (e.g., Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat).
5. Do you need security for stored documents?
If your business is in the financial, legal or healthcare industries, the answer is yes. To help you meet the strict governmental and industry regulations that apply to information security, we can recommend software solutions that let you restrict access to sensitive documents, control who is authorized to add documents to the database, and track who and when individual documents are viewed. You can also set up scheduled destruction dates to keep your business in compliance with rules for records retention.
6. How long do you have to complete the transition to electronic document storage?
Some businesses expect about a six-month to one-year rollout period if they have a backlog of documents to scan, or a four- to six-week rollout period if they’re starting document management from ground zero. If your timeframe is tighter than this, we may be able to shorten the process by recommending additional or higher-speed scanners. You may also need to devote more internal resources to scanning work until any backlog is eliminated.
Once we understand your individual business needs, we can recommend the appropriate building blocks, including workstations, scanners, storage and software. Furthermore, we can also help you identify where you can streamline operations and add automated work flows where appropriate.
Call us today to discuss how we can help you streamline your business processes with document management solutions and end your corporate paper chase for good.