Don’t Forget These 4 Steps When Scanning Your Documents

If you’re going paperless, congratulations! Your business is on its way to reaping the full benefits of enhanced workflow efficiency. When scanning your documents, don’t forget these important steps.

1. Decide What to Scan and Where to Store

Before scanning begins, decide which documents to convert to images and where to store them.

Unless you need digital copies of archival files for disaster recovery purposes, it isn’t necessary to image rarely-accessed documents that will eventually be destroyed. Your most frequently-accessed documents benefit most from being converted to digital files. They can be stored on portable media such as hard drives or DVDs, and storing them on a local server or in the cloud offers simultaneous user access and quick digital distribution with the click of a mouse.

2. Sort, Organize and Prep Your Documents

Sorting, organizing and preparing your documents before scanning them is essential for a successful document imaging project. Staples, paper clips and sticky notes have to be removed from files. Torn and dog-eared pages should be straightened and repaired. Every document you plan to scan should be arranged in order. Sorting, organizing and prepping documents can take a great deal of time, especially if your staff doesn’t have experience with the process. Fortunately, a document imaging service can save you a lot of time on this step. With professional scanning technicians sorting, organizing and preparing your documents for imaging, your staff can focus on other important business tasks.

3. Convert Your Documents to a File Format You Can Use

To be able to access your documents after they’re scanned, make sure they are converted to a usable file format. PDFs are easily accessible, but can only be viewed, not edited. If you want your PDFs to be searchable by keywords or phrases, optical character recognition (OCR) must be performed during scanning. To export your digital files into an enterprise content management system (ECM) or electronic document management system (EDMS), they should be converted into one of the following file formats:

  • TIFF
  • GIF
  • JPG
  • PNG

Verify file format requirements prior to scanning and confirm conversion at key points during your scanning project.

4. Check for Accuracy and Quality

Don’t forget to verify that your information is captured and converted accurately. Confirm that every image is properly indexed, has the correct resolution, and is fully readable. Keep in mind that verification doesn’t exclusively take place at the end of your project. Quality assurance can only be guaranteed when applied to every step of the imaging process. If you decide to use a professional document imaging service, check with your scanning provider to see if they visually check their output during imaging and indexing.

Follow these important steps and your document scanning project is sure to be a success!

Richards & Richards provides document scanning and imaging services for business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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