If your company is ready for a digital transformation, your next step is deciding whether to outsource your document scanning or manage it in-house. Opting to do-it-yourself may seem more convenient, but it can become a nightmare, especially if you produce a large number of documents.
A digital scanning provider can help your business navigate the complexities of the document scanning process while saving your business money in the process.
Here are five ways you can expect to see a return on investment (ROI) from outsourced scanning:
Given that an average worker uses about 10,000 pages of paper (or four boxes) a year, a business with hundreds of employees can amass a significant amount of paper in a short period of time. A company with 200 employees can generate 800 boxes of documents in just one year. In five years, your business may have 4,000 boxes of documents that will need to be stored somewhere.
If you keep these documents on-site, you’re paying for office space that could be put to more productive use. Why pay top dollar—especially if you live in a high-rent area district—to store paper?
It’s not just boxes and file cabinets that take up a lot of space, either. Whether you install smaller scanners at strategic places throughout the office or centralize the process, you’ll need to establish workstations.
A high-volume scanning provider can convert your documents into digital format, which not only frees up valuable space but allows employees to do their jobs more efficiently.
In order to satisfy your backfile or bulk scanning needs, you need to invest in a high-performance, high-speed scanner that handles large volume, features an automatic feed, and produces quality scans. A scanner that processes at least 100 pages per minute and more than 25,000 pages per day can range from $5,000 to the tens of thousands of dollars.
Since you’ll be using your scanner frequently, it needs to be durable. Otherwise, you’ll be spending money and wasting time on repairs instead of on important work. Even if you do purchase a high-quality scanner, your company will pay to have someone set it up, maintain it, and answer employee questions about using it.
Outsourcing your document scanning prevents your business from investing in costly scanning equipment, work-stopping maintenance and frustrating repairs.
If you scan in-house, you’ll have to hire additional employees or allocate these new tasks to current ones, taking individuals away from more productive tasks. Digital scanning requires a number of skill sets, so in addition to paying someone (including training them) to use the equipment and software, you also need workers to organize the files, index and label them, create a retrieval schedule, and ensure they’re destroyed securely.
This work has to be done within the confines of government regulations and with regards for data security and privacy. Do any of your current employees have a solid grasp on compliance issues as they pertain to information management? If not, you will likely need to hire an employee or consultant to oversee the security process.
A document scanning partner can provide guidance with compliance issues, as well as perform all the tasks required to accurately scan your data – and at a lower cost than if you were to do it in-house.
Data breaches can be a public relations nightmare, and they can result in litigation and fines. Target, for example, was fined $18.5 million dollars for a 2013 data breach that impacted 41 million customers. Thousands of laws and regulations governing how companies should manage their data exist and learning how each of these applies to your business can be daunting.
The document scanning process must follow an audit-able chain of custody from start to finish. This includes using scanning software that centralizes your data in a secure environment, has audit controls and maintains consistency.
You also need to meet regulatory obligations during the classification, retrieval, storage, and destruction steps of the process. Digital scanning firms have mastered this process, so they can help you secure your data and adhere to government regulations.
A digital scanning system will only increase your ROI if it helps your business run more efficiently. Mislabeled or poorly labeled files can be lost or misplaced during the scanning process. This takes up valuable time and can impact customer relations.
During the 2008 housing crisis, bank employees blamed their inability to provide adequate customer assistance on poorly organized data. Prevent scenarios like this by creating a system that makes it easy for employees and stockholders to retrieve data instantly and effortlessly.
A good outsourced scanning provider should be able to tailor products and services that help your company become more productive.
While you can certainly scan documents in-house, outsourced scanning makes more financial sense. It frees up valuable office space, doesn’t require an investment in pricey equipment and human resources, creates a secure environment for your data and generates efficiencies. These are all factors that can help your company thrive and experience cost savings. Learn more in this complimentary eBook, Going Paperless Is Easy – Getting Started Is Hard.
Brian Quinn is the Vice President of Conversion Services at Access.