These are the three most common reasons that people consider scanning their documents. The decision is usually spurred by losing time to the filing cabinet or accidentally misplacing documents.
An AIIM (Association for Intelligent Information Management) survey found that on average, it takes 37 minutes to find a paper copy of a document in a filing cabinet. Those are 37 minutes that could be spent helping a customer, making a sale, or improving the company, but instead, they’re being used to locate a single document.
Having your files scanned and located in a centralized document management system enables you to do this in under 25 seconds.
Not only can you get to key information faster, but you also don’t have to spend money on storing records (onsite or offsite), you don’t need to habitually purchase boxes or filing cabinets, and you won’t need to pay for the costs associated with printing and mailing records.
Organizations and departments that are subject to audits, discovery demands, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiries would greatly benefit from scanning. If you deal with these requests, you know that they are often high-profile and extremely time sensitive.
So how do you cut back on information retrieval time? Text-searchable digital files. A scanning strategy should be a key part of your agency’s risk assessment plan. Digital records are easy to store and search. They can help you quickly comply with requests and avoid fines and negative publicity.
Our clients have seen audit times reduced by 80% once their records have been scanned.
As great as rare books and old documents are for research purposes, you also don’t want to handle them too much.
By scanning these historical items, along with any record that is important but getting fragile from age, you’ll preserve this information digitally. No matter what kind of research you, an employee, a customer, or patron does, you won’t need to worry about them handling delicate materials.
Digital files also keep your information safe in the (hopefully unlikely) case of a fire, flood, or other natural disaster.
And speaking of natural disasters, paper records are vulnerable to several threats. Data on computer systems is backed up, but there are no backups for paper records. Because of the lack of backup, most small businesses hit by a natural disaster never recover. Scanning your files should be part of your business continuity plan.
By digitizing your files and storing them in a cloud-based document management system (or having a backup in an off-site server), you can bounce back from disaster with minimal disruption for your clients. Electronic documents allow you to get all the required files to your insurance company or the government quickly.
This is a good option even if you don’t have a full-blown disaster. You should have a digital backup for your important financial documents, licenses, permits, tax information, and anything essential to run your business. Digital files mean that your information is safe even if you have some minor flooding or fire.
It’s a little obvious, but if you don’t have boxes and filing cabinets all over your office, you can reclaim and reuse that square footage. With your paper documents scanned and stored on a server or the cloud, you will probably find that you have more room in your office than you thought. This may mean that if you’ve been running out of room at your office, you don’t need to move after all.
If you do want to move to a new office, why take all that paper with you? Over 30% of the scanning work we get is based on a move or relocation because storing paper records in prime real estate is expensive.
By the way, did you know that over 1,000,000 scanned images can be stored on a 32GB thumb drive? One thumb drive definitely takes up less space than all of those boxes of files.
Just think of how impressive and sleek your office will look without bulky filing cabinets and boxes all over the place!