A Complete Guide to Document Scanning

Document scanning isn’t a new process to the world of business, but the way in which document scanning is carried out has become far more state-of-the-art in comparison to processes that were conducted twenty years ago. 

This allows for countless pieces of paperwork and documentation to be scanned in simultaneously, helping to save time, money and resources. Document scanning is also ideal for the environment, helps to optimise space in the office and makes access to documentation quick and easy, even when working remotely. But how does it work, how can documents be prepared and how should they be destroyed?


How does document scanning work?

Document scanning is a straightforward process if left to the professionals. Doing it in-house could prove to be time-consuming and mistakes are more likely to occur also. But choosing a committed document management firm to do it for you is a worthwhile investment, especially if you run a particularly large or busy company. Document scanning allows for simple integration of all paperwork, whether they’re:

  • Paper
  • Microfilm
  • Microfiche
  • Large format paper files, like blueprints
  • More

Document scanning can be quite a complex process and so there are usually several steps that are involved, from the time your documents are sent to the facility right through to the destruction of physical paperwork that’s no longer needed. 


7 steps of document scanning

When it comes to document scanning, there are, usually, seven steps that are taken by the document management company to ensure that paperwork is scanned in with absolute precision and care. Cleardata pride themselves on carrying out document scanning services that are second-to-none every single time. The steps that are taken when it comes to document scanning are as follows:


1. Consultation – the professionals at Cleardata will discuss your needs and requirements with you so that they can tailor their services specifically to you. No two document scanning services will be the same. Objectives and document planning will be established with the client to ensure the most ideal approach is taken when handling and scanning your documentation

2. Delivery – your documents will be sent to a safe and secure site if shipping to Cleardata. They will then be stored with the utmost security in mind until document scanning processes occur. This process is entirely trackable, not only for the benefits of the clients, but also for audits and emergency retrievals as and when needed

3. Document preparation – this is when paperclips and staples will be removed, documents will be unfolded and imperfections will be checked for before scanning commences. If blemishes are found on the documentation, editing will take place to make the information legible or the same document will be requested again, where possible, that’s free from imperfections

4. Scanning – these documents are scanned using state-of-the-art equipment if you choose Cleardata for document scanning services. This ensures complete compliance with regards to laws and regulations outlined in the Data Protection Act 2018. Documents will remain safe and secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorised personnel

5. Quality control – this is the time when scanned documents are checked for imperfections and for missing information that might have been obscured or cut off during the scanning process. In cases where documents are compromised, they’ll either be rescanned or edited where possible to reveal obscured information

6. Indexing – once the documents have passed the quality control stage, then they’ll be sent down the line for indexing. This makes sure that employees can search for and retrieve your documents quickly and easily

7. Paper documents management – this is when the documents are either returned to the original owner or sender or they can be destroyed depending on the instructions you’ve given the document management specialists


How to prepare documents for scanning 

There are a few things you need to do before scanning in your documents, so make sure you pay attention to even the smallest details. Some of the tasks you might be required to undertake before scanning documentation is to:

  • Double check that the information is accurate and correct at the time of scanning
  • Check and remove any staples and/or paperclips
  • Make sure pages are turned around so you don’t get duplicates (if the document is more then one page long)
  • Ensure the documents are placed the right side down and in a straight orientation so that you don’t cut off any information 

The aforementioned is something that you’ll need to consider when carrying out document scanning in-house. If you choose a third party to do it for you, such as the document management experts at Cleardata, then you’ll be able to focus more on what you do best, whilst leaving the document scanning tasks to the experienced, dedicated professionals.


How to destroy scanned documents

Once the project has been completed or if you’ve held on to details and information for longer than stated under the Data Protection Act 2018 then the time has come for you to destroy your scanned documentation. But how would you do that successfully in a completely finalised way with a digital image? 

It can simply be deleted from the system altogether. When it comes to the physical documents that you scanned in the first place, you should destroy the originals where appropriate by shredding and pulping them to guarantee total security of the destroyed information. You won’t have to worry about that, though, if you choose document scanning services from a third party such as Cleardata.


Cleardata has a team of highly-skilled, fully-trained specialists at the helm of their operations. With various document management services available, including document scanning, digital mailroom, document storage, paperless office, robotic process automation and more, you’ll always be able to count on Cleardata to handle and manage your documentation with complete care and attention. For more information about how they can help you today, or to learn more about the additional services they’re proud to offer, get in touch with a member of their excellent team – they’re always happy to hear from you.