Digitising Your Documents – Helpful Tips
Digitising your paperwork can have huge benefits, given its done correctly. If you’ve been tasked with or are in the process of running a document scanning project, you may be wondering where to start.
Cleardata have put together a list of things to consider when looking to convert your files into electronic format.
Scanning Hints & Tips
Step 1 – Deciding what documents to scan
One of the first tasks is working out which documents to scan and what departments are most heavily reliant on paper. HR and Finance staff are under obligation to keep records such as contracts and personnel files for lengthy time periods, and will therefore have more paperwork than most. Digitising these types of files not only allows for ease of access but also backs up key business information. Tackling the bulk of your archived information is usually the first goal, once this has been achieved, document scanning can be made much easier and is far more simple to stay on top of.
Step 2 – Estimating your volumes
Working out how many documents you need scanning, will uncover the time and cost associated with your project. Often underestimated is time, one box can take days depending on how much preparation is involved, for example removing staples, plastic wallets and paper-clips. Using multifunctional devices for large bulk tasks will also slow the process down, as these aren’t built to handle high volumes of paperwork.
Calculate your document scanning volumes and costs, using Cleardata’s Calculator Tool.
Step 3 – Indexing
Is your paperwork currently indexed and how do you want the electronic images indexed? This is important, indexing is what will help save your staff time when searching for key information. With customer and supplier information it may be something as simple as indexing by customer/supplier name or for HR files it may be an employee or payroll number. The choices are endless (and yours), so think about how your business operates, include your colleagues if you can in the decision and try to work out how indexing will best work for your organisation.
Step 4 – Choosing a format
There are multiple formats that documents can be output to, including PDF, TIFF, and JPEG. Depending on what your documents are used for, will help you decide the format. For example, does your image need to be uploaded into an existing office system, or will it be used on the web?
Step 5 – Scanning
Scanning can be performed on documents of all sizes, ranging from small receipts to large format drawings. Specialised scanners can digitise up to 400 images per minute, in colour or mono, single or double sided.
Step 6 – Output
Once documents have been converted into electronic format, the final stage is establishing where they are going to be stored. Documents can be held on DVD, CD or USB, alternatively images can be uploaded to a document management system, which will give added benefits such as:-
- Even quicker access to files, from any location
- Extra security and a full audit trail of documentation
- Version control to stay on top
- Workflow to route documents between departments
For further information or more hints and tips, contact the team on 0800 046 8081.