Read these tips from our Scan Shop Manager to lower the cost of scanning your documents.
- Be organized. Communicate to your imaging contractor how you access your files now. The lookup process can be made more efficient as we digitize the document. Our first conversation will be about finding documents and accessing the information you need in your documents once they’ve been scanned.
- Make sure files are “index ready.” Make it easy for your contractor to find and identify the key indexing data inside the documents. If you’re not sure what this means for your particular records, this will be our second topic of conversation.
- Label and sort your documents. You can pay the imaging lab to do record analysis and labeling for you, but typically you can do this step for less money to save on outsourcing scanning.
- Surrender the mess. Sometimes getting organized requires scanning everything first. In these complex cases, doing the imaging first may be the only answer. For example, if you have to touch every paper and do thousands of refiles before sending your records for scanning, it’s probably cheaper to do that work once the records are electronic.
- Scan only current or active files. If you have to keep it for regulatory reasons, but likely don’t ever need to access the record, don’t scan it. We can store it for a lot less money. You just want to scan the documents you’re most likely to retrieve later.
- Scan newest documents first. The newest docs are always the most active. By scanning them first, we save you the most labor. We may quickly reach a point where we realize we can stop scanning the historical records, as there have been NO requests for them.
- Use document break sheets or colored separators. It can make good sense to include barcode and colored break sheets when you create your charts or files. Our scanners can recognize these and use them for routing, indexing, inserting page breaks and more, with little or no labor cost.
- Outsource when you lack the right equipment or skills. High-speed equipment and staff that’s experienced in records management can get the job done faster and for less money. Temps and college-aged relatives could drag the job out until the money is all gone or worse, render the whole effort useless if you can’t access the documents digitally later the way you hoped. It takes years of honing processes to get to the point of very low defects in imaging. We are already there. Save your bucks by outsourcing scanning. We’ll do it right the first time.
Jennifer Palmer is the Imaging Director at Data Storage. She has overseen scanning production for the past five years and takes pride in the work she does for our customers. Data Storage scans everything from photos and personal documents to bulk scanning for medical, legal and human resources.