February 11, 2014 by Tom Zeliff Categories: Document Scanning

So, you want (or need) to scan your company’s documents, but you don’t know if you should have someone scan them for you, use in-house employee resources or utilize a hybrid of both. How do you decide what is best for your business? Below are three simple questions that, once answered, will help you identify the right document scanning solution.

Document Scanning Question #1

Are there outside companies that can scan more efficiently and cost-effectively then doing the work in-house?

The short answer is “yes.” However, many companies offer document scanning services, so just make sure that you look beyond the per page scanning price to see if they have experience working with your documents, can quote an accurate turnaround time, can articulate their quality control procedures, and can either upload scanned images into your environment or provide you with document management software.

Document Scanning Question #2

Is your document scanning a one-time or recurring need?

Digitizing a room full of client files, scanning the last seven years of paid invoices or scanning the contents of your file cabinets before you move are examples of a one-time scanning job. Projects like these are usually best to outsource due to the high volume of documents, a scanning company’s ability to meet quick turnaround and their ability to remove all of the documents from your premises at once.

Recurring scanning needs are when inbound paper documents need to be scanned on an ongoing basis, either before or after processing, such as invoices and related documents, order forms and human resource files. These documents can be picked up on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for scanning, or received directly by a document scanning provider as part of a virtual mailroom or PO box scanning solution. Some who have an in-house scanning solution may also want to send their overflow to their document scanning partner during peak times or when internal resources are stretched.

Document Scanning Question #3

Is it cost-effective to scan your documents in-house?

If you outsource scanning, there is a one-time project expense and/or a predictable monthly expense based on document volume. If you scan in-house, you need to calculate the following costs:

  • Document scanner(s), consumables such as paper, annual maintenance, and the cost of equipment downtime
  • Document capture software and its annual maintenance/license fees
  • The value of real estate taken up by the scan station(s) and file storage, especially when it could be repurposed for revenue generating activities
  • The cost of labor required to do the work
  • The opportunity cost of employees scanning documents vs. doing higher value work, particularly when internal resources are stretched

Bottom Line

Scanning your documents for archival purposes or business process automation is a necessary but labor intensive task. Outsourcing this to a scanning partner that offers the most streamlined and cost-effective scanning, processing and quality control honed by many years of experience and tested by large economies of scale may make the most sense. Spend a few minutes in our case studies section and you will quickly see how other companies have benefited from outsourcing their document scanning.