July 20, 2012 by Mitch Taube Categories: Document Scanning

There is no lack of companies offering document scanning and document conversion services—so how do you find the ideal scanning partner?

The single most important thing you can do is to visit the document scanning provider or “service bureau” that you’re considering hiring.

What should you look for when you visit a service bureau? Below are the Top 10 most important criteria to ensure that you make the best choice:

  1. Security: look for cameras, restricted access, access monitoring (e.g. a card swipe), and if they run background checks on their personnel
  2. Scanning Equipment: see how many document scanners they’re using, including what brands and models, if they’re production-grade and if they utilize image enhancement technology; also check what document capture and OCR-optical character recognition software is being used
  3. Physical Layout: note the condition and size of the facility and if they have clearly designated and separate areas for different processes, like prepping, scanning, indexing, quality assurance, box storage etc.; see if they have the ability to expand, add staff or add a shift for large jobs
  4. IT Infrastructure: understand how the resulting images and meta data flow from the scanning service bureau to your organization, what their processing capability is, how often back-ups are performed and what their disaster recovery plan is in case of power outage or other emergency
  5. Workflow: evaluate whether or not the overall scanning, indexing and quality control processes are efficient and that the service bureau can clearly explain the processes and what happens where and who is responsible for what
  6. Prepping: this is the most labor-intensive part of the process, so it’s important to understand how effective and efficient the document prep process is
  7. Cleanliness: observe if boxes and jobs are organized, if the scanning facility is clean or dirty and if the scanners are cleaned on a daily basis
  8. Meet the People: put a face to the name for the project manager, scanning supervisor, quality assurance manager, and customer service rep that will be working with you and see if they seem happy to be there; ask how they are trained for each project
  9. Location: note if they are centrally located to minimize shipping times, if they’re in a safe, well-lit area
  10. Box Storage: see if they offer this on the premises or if they send it out

For big jobs, we also recommend that you ask for and, more importantly, actually check references just as you would when you hire an employee.

We are certain that, if you address these criteria, you will be sure to choose the service bureau that is the best fit for you and your project—making the investment of time well worth it.

Contact us today to schedule your visit to inspect our document scanning and document conversion facility.