We all know what a document scanner is, they’ve been around long enough. But are you aware of how scanning documents can transform your business? Save time, reduce costs and boost efficiency all round by modernising your processes. Let’s dig in and reveal to you the 10 ways that you WILL benefit from having your documents scanned.
1. REDUCE PAPER CONSUMPTION AND GO PAPERLESS
There’s a growing surge in the number of businesses going green. By green, this doesn’t necessarily mean installing solar panels to power up offices (though we commend you if you’ve done this – Hoorah!). Rather, it’s looking at how everyday behaviours in the workplace can be adapted to contribute to environmental well-being. Therefore it comes as no surprise when paper consumption is highlighted as part of this.
Studies reveal that a staggering 4 billion trees are chopped down each year for the paper industry. That’s a lot, right? We won’t go into detail about how essential trees are for the planet, us and our fellow animal companions. However, it’s pretty straightforward as to how scanning documents can help you reduce your office (or individual) paper consumption.
And, we’re not talking about scanning documents onto paper – because let’s be honest that would defeat the very objective here. You can keep your origami paper-based, but let’s look at how documents needn’t be on paper…
With a simple document scan and digitalisation, you are helping to save trees and £s. A simple document scan can be converted to a digital format which is stored on your computer for ease of access and retrieval. Apply this process to every paper document you have and you’re a self-declared environmental champ.
While for many businesses, a paperless office may not be feasible. Choosing to digitise at your own pace with a document scanning service can be highly beneficial.
Alternatively, you can always craft your own paper using recycled materials. We know what we’d rather!
2. DOCUMENT SCANNING INCREASES SECURITY
Security matters to all businesses. Unless you have your documents stored away at ALL times, they are at risk of being accessed. A solution to this can be to digitise your documents by scanning or installing a super high-tech vault. Guess which is going to cost you less?
Organisations operating in public sectors such as education, government, and medical services have a duty to keep sensitive information confidential. SO, what’s the solution? Document scanning services can help to keep important data safe and secure.
Here’s how: Documents are encrypted – scanned documents need to be encrypted when scanned, sorted and sent over networks. This means that data won’t be compromised during the scanning and storage process.
Documents can be password protected – when documents are stored online via a service such as Cloud, they can only be accessed using passwords created by the owner. This maximises security and data protection.
Redaction – the process of redaction removes selected lines of information from documents, meaning the data can only be accessed by those with permission. Redaction is useful for indexing and limiting access afterwards.
Remote key entry option – you can better organise documents and control indexing in a more secure way through enabling a remote key entry method which means only individual lines of data will be displayed, rather than an entire document.
Limit designations – both computers and scanners can be programmed to scan only to specific places. This can prevent the theft of information by MFP and PC operators. Devices can also be programmed to delete data once it’s been sent to its designated location.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) – this process allows computers to recognise typed characters on a page (it does not work on freestyle handwritten text). This can be carried out across all scanned documents to enable the content search.
While a lot of people recognise that scanning documents can increase security, some are sceptical. Once your documents have been scanned and indexed, your date will be more secure than hard copies.
3. MORE SPACE GAINED
Nobody wants to be surrounded by clutter in a workspace. Digitising documents can help to free up space. More often than not, documents in offices are stored away in files and filing cabinets. Not only is it a chore to trawl through filing cabinets searching for paper documents, but they take up space that can be better used. Eliminate the need for bulky storage by carrying out document scanning…
Here are 3 ways that more space in the office is beneficial:
Increased productivity – studies have revealed that less clutter = more productivity. With fewer objects around, you’re not as likely to be distracted. Refined office spaces can lead to more focus.
Boosted morale – for those that manage a team, taking care when it comes to the environment in which your employee’s work is important. By creating a more spacious and less cluttered working space, your employees are more likely to be happy when at work.
Workstations can be rearranged – switching things up from time to time can be useful. With more space, you’ll have the freedom to rearrange your office workstations if needed.
4. LESS TIME IS WASTED OVERALL
Time is of the essence. And, in the workplace, time is limited. With that said, plenty of time can be wasted unnecessarily searching for physical documents. Digital documents are easily stored and can be indexed for convenience.
Companies that use outdated methods of storing hard documents are wasting time that could be otherwise spent efficiently. As per a McKinsey report, workers spend around 1.8 hours each day searching for and gathering information which equates to over 9 hours a week.
Having employees search for information can frustrate them as well as negatively impact productivity as seen by the figures above. Increase time efficiency by going digital and your employees will feel more satisfied knowing their workday can be spent carrying out tasks that they enjoy as part of their role.
5. IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE!
All businesses want to deliver the best level of customer service they can. If employees can access the information that they need to quickly, they’ll perform better in their jobs. This is true for customer service representatives or any workers in customer-facing roles. Scanning and indexing documents will make retrieving data less of a chore.
Locating physical information is important for those working in HR too. All types of documents can be scanned from payroll slips to invoices. And, OCR processing makes finding important data even easier. Virtual files can be stored in a digital database which organises and categorises information so it can be found quickly.
With documents that have been OCR processed, you’ll have further benefits. OCR presents the text contained in an image and translates it into machine-readable data. Once completed (which takes only a few seconds), you have searchable documents. Those dealing with customers will better be able to find data in documents speeding up service.
You can reduce the time that your customers are kept on hold with a more streamlined process. Good customer service really does matter for your business!
6. ARCHIVING CAN BE DONE EASILY
Does the thought of archiving your paper documents induce panic? The organisation, boxing and, storage may be all too much a task to tackle. The solution is to go digital. By scanning your documents, you have the freedom to access your documents whenever you need to with ease.
While you can’t avoid the much-needed task altogether, going digital might speed the process up and make it easier all-round. From choosing a scan-on-demand service meaning you’ll no longer need as many hard copies taking up precious space in your office to complete digital archiving, you can choose. The benefits of scanning to archive include better preservation, improving accessibility or publishing.
Many companies that offer such services will operate in the same way by carrying out an initial assessment focussing on the following factors:
- The types of the documents/material
- The volume of the archive
- Time and budgetary requirements
- How the documents stored
- If any of the documents are experiencing decay
After this, a digitisation plan is put into place to meet requirements. The next step is the exciting part! Scanning, digitising and indexing the documents to complete the archive.
7. BETTER DISASTER RECOVERY
While accidents in the workplace are generally few and far in between, they can still happen. And worst. A disaster could strike. By disaster, we mean any sort of event that causes your documentation to be unrecoverable. This could be an office fire or flood for example, while these types of things are unpredictable as humans we want to prepare to the best of our ability, wherever we can. Therefore it’s important to have an action plan in place just in case.
By taking advantage of document scanning services as part of your document recovery plan, you’ll always be prepared. In 2015, a disastrous fire destroyed files from 1 million court cases in Brooklyn, New York. We hate to be that person but document scanning could have prevented such a catastrophic panic from ensuing that such important data had been lost forever.
The reality is that you could be faced in the future with a situation where you may be unable to access your business documents. This will inevitably cause issues. Digitising your documents with a scanning process is a quick and easy way to ensure that you ALWAYS have access whenever you need it. There are many options for storing and managing documents once they have been digitised. At Pearl Scan we offer two intuitive solutions: Halogen (locally based) and Pearl Cloud (cloud-based).
8. COMPLIANCE REGULATIONS ARE MET
Every industry has its own set of disclosure and compliance regulations. A huge amount of stress can be caused when documentation can’t be found and accessed quickly. One example of the way in which companies have been faced with frantically meeting compliance was the implementation of GDPR in 2018.
Many companies across the UK had to rethink the ways in which they store, handle and distribute personal data. While some dealt with the situation independently, many realised the benefits of scanning to meet the new GDPR demands set.
It’s no secret that paper documents are easier to steal, lose or replicate – digitisation offers a solution to this. Digital documents are far more secure as they can be password enabled and data encrypted. GDPR contains a number of articles that each company must abide to in the European Union as part of a wider law concerning data protection and privacy. One example of how GDPR compliance was met by many companies refers to article 17 which states that:
“The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay”.
The time savings for carrying this out digitally are significant. That’s why so many companies turned to scan their documents to meet GDPR compliance including the right of access, right to rectification and right to restriction of processing. While the removal of data is considerably easier with digital documentation, the same can be said for further data management with document scanning services.
Modern software makes data retention far more efficient. With various types of software, those who have access can set rules automatically to be applied. And, the cost of processing paper documentation is considerably higher all round.
9. SAVE MONEY
Who doesn’t love to save a bit of extra cash where they can? By choosing to document scan, you’ll be choosing to save.
We’ve already mentioned that by choosing to scan your documents you can certainly save money. Expenses related to paper document processes such as mailing, copying, storage and more can all be reduced by choosing to digitise. Document scanning can help save in many different areas.
One of the main ways in which document scanning reduces costs is through taking away the need for on-site file storage. Not only are filing cabinets bulky and take up space, but they also cost money too. By scanning documents, you will automatically reduce the need for such office storage.
Another way that document scanning helps you to save costs is through shipment and archiving. For larger companies, problems can arise when documents need to be archived as inevitably this will impose a cost. While you can outsource documents to be stored, you can also digitally archive documents to save money.
Shipment costs can also be reduced by storing documents digitally. Not only is doing this convenient for maximising security and better management amongst teams, but it’s also cost-effective. Couriers will charge shipping costs based on weight, papers can weigh a lot. Cut out the need to use a pricey courier service with electronic delivery of documents.
10. EASIER DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT
With pieces of paper scattering an office, losing track of where documents are stored is a reality. By converting your business documents to a digital format you’ll know they’re all stored in a safe and secure place at all times.
From losing hours of time that could be otherwise spent to categorising, photocopying and storing papers away, there are lots of lengthy admin tasks involved in manual document management. By choosing to scan your documents, you’ll rid yourself of the need to do these mundane tasks and have time to give attention to other areas of your business.