Plan Before you Scan – Document Scanning the smart way

14
Feb
2016
114 Views

Once your organization has committed to digitizing your processes, it seems the next logical step would be to purchase a scanner and get to work scanning all of your paper. Perhaps a document management software is an additional purchase you’d consider, to solve all of your paper based problems. This approach has led to many wasted dollars and hours over the last ten years. Digitizing processes doesn’t mean document scanning.

First, you must understand why you are pursuing a document scanning solution. It isn’t because you hate paper. That unproductive view will only lead to a costly battle that never ends, so long as you don’t kill the paper-creating beast. We transition to digital processes to improve workflow efficiencies. Because most information is born digitally now, it is wasteful to print and store in physical form, only to convert it back when documents are needed. If you focus on improving processes, you’ll wait to purchase your hardware and software until you understand how your workflows must change to accommodate your vision for the end result of a more efficient organization.

Second, you need to ensure  your vision for an end result is shared by your entire team. We call this Information Governance. Those who only try to impact their organization’s dependence on paper in their own silo will perpetually be disappointed as other business functions disrupt their progress and keep the document scanning treadmill running. Your entire organization must commit to a transition for you to do it efficiently, without wasting money and time with bandaid solutions.

Third, you need to sketch out a plan for how you intend to transition, including specific internal and external resources and timelines. Those who don’t plan find themselves spending unlimited amounts of money to accomplish a document scanning goal they can no longer measure financially. This is the time to consider a budget and value the benefit of transitioning each process within the organization. If, for example, your budget and value comparison shows you that you can’t afford to scan all of your physical records in a certain division, it will refocus the dialogue on what must be scanned and other solutions for dealing with records that already exist but don’t make sense to convert. This is the single largest place for project cost reduction, and it is critical that it happens upfront.

Fourth, consider the technology solutions available to make your initial transition efficient, and that make sense for your long term management of new workflows. We’ve watched countless clients switch electronic content management softwares multiple times and overbuy top of the line hardware that simply doesn’t make sense for their organizations. Remember that this is a strategic decision, not a buying decision. Cheapest and Best don’t mean good for you. Who will be using these tools and what needs do they have now and in the future? What is the interest of your vendor? What commitments do they make about seeing you through integration? Will they own the data, or will you? You only want to make these decisions once. Seek council from peer organizations and experts before signing a contract that may come back to haunt you.

Fifth, don’t underestimate the internal resources required to accomplish your conversion, even if you are outsourcing significant parts of the project. If your internal team isn’t committed to learning the technology, developing new processes, and changing the way they’ve always done it, you’ll never reach your goal. Having an internal and external project lead is smart, as they’ll balance one another’s decision making.

Sixth and Finally, the transition is never over. Your team should always be looking for optimization opportunities, and your vendors should be incentivized to do the same. Processes can always be better, people’s use of time reconsidered, vendor use and execution evaluated.

If you’d like to talk with our team of experts about developing your conversion plan, we can get you started at no cost, and with no commitment to use our project management team after planning.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Our Latest Consulting Insights

phishing

Five Ways to Detect a Phishing Email Scam

Gone Phishing? It could lead to disastrous results. According to Symantec’s 2018 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), the average user receives 16 malicious spam emails or phishing attempts per month. Over the course of the year, that’s nearly 200 chances to accidentally give away a password, […]

Read More

scanning

What benefits does outsourced document scanning offer?

To Scan or not to scan, that is the question. For many rural hospitals, financial institutions, or businesses in highly-regulated industries, “just scan everything” is often the answer. While it’s seemingly the obvious solution, it’s never the easiest, and, in many times, it’s the most […]

Read More

documents

5 ways to create value with your documents

Despite the oppressive heat here in South Georgia, school is back in session. People are shaking off the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer and jumping back into order and routine. There’s no better time to look at your document management routine and ensure that […]

Read More

Why do most document management software projects fail?

We hear it all the time: “We’re paperless.” “We have the latest, greatest software money can buy.” “We are cloud-based.” However, when we walk through the office, we see papers being shuffled back and forth and hard copy files being referenced. And then we realize, […]

Read More

How Can A Rural Hospital Reduce Risk & Expense?

The average rural hospital has an average 3,000 boxes of paper records even though they implemented EMR software a decade ago. Ninety-five percent of hard copy records will never be accessed, so scanning everything is an expensive, inefficient solution. Labor associated with managing medical records […]

Read More

Reasons SRS Does Business With Other Local Businesses

Secure Records Solutions is a local, family-owned and operated business here in Southwest Georgia. We strive to work with similar business partners because we know the positive impact it has on the economy of Southwestern Georgia. There are familiar faces in chamber meetings, at Rotary […]

Read More

Why Does NAID AAA Certification Matter?

Security FAQ for Finding a Document Management Company The 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study from IBM Security reported that the average cost, globally, for each lost or stolen confidential record is $148 per record. That comes out to a global average cost of […]

Read More

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Your Secure Records

Barry. Humberto. Karen. Wendy. You haven’t met them yet; but come summer, you just might. These are some of the 21 names chosen for this year’s storms. The Weather Channel recently released its hurricane outlook for 2019. A total of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes […]

Read More

Earth Day Sustainability

This past Earth Day, April 22, 2019, the hashtag #onegreenthing circulated around social media. Some companies donned green attire and took part in a recycling or clean-up project in their community; others shared images of people planting trees or taking part in an urban garden. Secure […]

Read More

GDPR IS HERE | Is your business ready?

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys. Nothing within this post should be considered legal advice, but rather a spur to put your research hat on! Does your company collect, maintain, or process personal data of individuals within the European Union (EU)?  If so, the General Data Protection […]

Read More

PRISM International & NAID Merge to Form New Industry Association

Secure Records Solutions was honored to participate in the 2018 PRISM International Summit this week as history was made with a vote finalizing the merger between PRISM International and NAID, two industry associations in which we were already very involved. Our Consulting Team Leader, Christopher Jones, first […]

Read More