The decision to move your critical company data from paper files to an electronic form is typically not whether this should occur but how quickly this needs to happen. Obviously to convert all of your information may not be necessary. Just assessing what your desired end result is, can be a daunting task. Our expertise is helping you evaluate and prioritize the process. It may also not be necessary to image old records and is entirely appropriate to maintain them in paper files if you have the storage room.
Developing a priority checklist is the first step. What is your goal? Do you need simply to organize your information for storage? Can the documents then be destroyed after they have been scanned; is their regulatory or tax reasons the originals need to be maintained? The good news is this process can be automated, even on what we call a “rolling production.” Documents are picked up, imaged, electronically organized, saved in the desired format and then the originals shredded. This process can be orchestrated one box or file drawer at a time, if necessary. The data then can be immediately loaded onto your company server for access by the designated end users. Or depending on the specific project, the entire job can be picked up at once, scanned and returned with documents archived on a furnished hard drive.
The main question to be answered is does the information need to be readily accessed- even if historical? Obviously during the scanning process documents can be organized chronologically, files named in a predetermined method or documents can be electronically numbered (E-bates). Additionally documents can be OCR’d to allow for key word searching- again quick easy access to those documents. As we currently see in the health care industry patient records are all being digitized and every step of managing patient care is recorded electronically. This industry could be considered an early adopter but other industries are following suit out of necessity. Manufacturing, oil & gas, education among others, though overwhelmed with huge amounts of historical files have to evaluate the necessity for digitally archiving their critical documents.
The ability to work with the data once imaged can be as simple as popping in a CD, accessing your company’s network or even viewing the documents “in the cloud”. We can evaluate your project and give you a menu of service and pricing options. If you are concerned about the cost we can break the project up into many pieces and prioritize more critical or current chronological data. The key being every project has a custom and scalable solution.
Your organizations concern may be the initial costs of scanning will be prohibitive. You need to also consider the cost and space of physically storing the documents; the necessity for file cabinets, filing, labeling etc. Physically handling files, searching for critical data and the inability to quickly share information should also be given serious evaluation when weighing the pros and cons. Once the decision is made to scan existing records, moving forward this will become your standard operating procedure.
You will never realize the full value of accessing critical data until you start the digital imaging process. There is no way to measure the productivity and long term cost savings. That is where a strategic business partner (Litgistix) can shed some light on this step. Having assisted many law firms, oil companies, architecture-construction firms, private businesses and health care facilities, we have the experience, expertise, processes and customer service skills to carefully evaluate your project and propose a cost effective solution. We will help you leverage your data and make more informed business decisions without exhausting your time and resources. Your data is power; historical data indicates customer trends or documents previous orders and pricing, helps expedite quoting, enhances customer service by retaining important customer information and expedites all aspects of daily operations. Digitizing your critical documents and accessing them is simply harnessing that power.