Professional document scanning in 4 easy steps

Tired of digging through boxes and filing cabinets? Need more office space and easier ways to share data with employees both in the office and at home? It may be time to explore digitizing you files with a professional document scanning service. And there is good news, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. In fact, the entire process only has four main steps.

Step 1: Collection

What and when to scan

To get started, you must decide which files should be scanned, your timeline for digitization, and your budget. Scanning hundreds of boxes can be very expensive. If you have budget constraints, consider scanning in increments. For instance, you can scan a handful of boxes each month. If your scanning service provider also offers secure records storage, you can store documents (which is generally very affordable) and have the service provider pull and scan the correct number of boxes or files each month. This will spread out your costs over time while still allowing you to get started. Once you decide on your game plan, create an agreement with the service provider. Technicians will come to your location to collect the documents and transport them to a secure facility for processing.

Step 2: Preparation

Clean and prep for scanning

This step can be quite tedious, but, lucky for you, all of the prep work should be done by the service provider. This process involves cleaning the files of any staples or paper clips and removing papers from any bindings. During this step, documents will be checked for bent corners or other issues that would affect the quality of the scanned images. If there are smaller papers such as notes or post-its, it is often necessary to attach them to a blank piece of printer paper to guarantee they scan correctly. At this stage, the documents will be divided and sorted into stacks based on how they should be indexed once scanned.

Step 3: Scanning

Scanning and indexing

Now it is time for the main event. Your sorted and cleaned files will be fed into an industrial scanner. The scanner will send the images to a computer as files. The scanning technician will index the files in the format you requested. The files will also be checked for any errors to make sure the digital documents are just as useful as the originals.

Step 4: Sharing

Delivery and storage of scanned files

Once all of the scanning is finished, your freshly digitized files are ready for delivery. Typically, you agree with the service provider on the delivery medium at the outset of the job. The most common options for delivery and storage are external hard drives or cloud storage. Cloud storage may also include a software solution to manage your digital assets.

Now that the scanning processes is over, you still have one last decision to make: what will you do with the original, physical files? You have a few options. First, you can have the documents returned to your location. Second, you can pay to have them stored securely off-site. Third, you can have them securely destroyed. When making your decision remember to take into account retention requirements and information security.

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