Pearl Document Scanning Blog

News and updates related to the document scanning industry.

What is the cloud document management and how can it help your business become more efficient?

What is the cloud document management and how can it help your business become more efficient?

As experts in document scanning, we champion the cloud document management. Long been talked about in both the business world and in daily life, the cloud can be one of the finest additions to a business. However many are still in the dark when it comes to what it actually is and how it can help businesses become more efficient.

The cloud is essentially a network of servers each serving a different function. Some services use cloud computing power to run applications, such the Adobe Cloud, but more commonly clouds are used to store vast amounts of data. Having long been a mainstay of both small and large businesses alike, the cloud is an invaluable tool when it comes to helping them become more productive. But exactly how can it help your business become more effective day to day?

It provides greater flexibility. In today’s world, people are not always in the same place every day. Often out liaising with clients, at meetings and even working from home, it can be hard to predict which documents you will need and when. Cloud computing gives you instant access to all the company’s documents – providing you have security access, the latest applications and allows you to access it from almost anywhere with an internet connection.

It boosts security. Most businesses have documents that are for high level eyes only. Whether it be financial statements, reviews and appraisals of staff or business decisions that are not meant to be seen yet, it can cause tension, stress and issues for businesses should such information fall into the wrong hands. Using the cloud based document management helps businesses keep such information personal thanks to the use of secure passwords and data encryption – the same cannot be said for paper documents.

It helps to recruit the best talent. The digital age has enabled more people to work from home than ever before. And cloud computing has played a key role in making this possible. According to a recent study, 42% of workers would give up some of their salary if they could telecommute. Therefore, embracing cloud based document scanning and management technology could help your business attract the best of the best.

It makes disaster recovery faster. Should disaster occur, this can signal the start of significant expense for your company. A flood or a fire might seem unlikely, however these unforeseen disaster do occur. With the cloud, you can be up and running again in no time, ensuring that neither you nor your customers need to be compromised for long.

It can be used to develop your CSR strategy. The importance of a company being seen as socially responsible is becoming higher and higher on agendas. Embracing the cloud helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint by minimising the use of paper and energy consumption. In fact, the cloud reduces energy consumption and carbon emissions by at least 30% compared to on-site servers.

Pearl Scan Group works with a range of companies to provide document scanning services to enable them to embrace cloud technology. Scanning documents, invoice scanning and book scanning are just some of our specialisms. To find out how we can help your business make the most of document scanning and cloud hosting with our document management technology in order to embrace the cloud document management, click here.

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Scanning: Making Payroll Easier

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Scanning: Making Payroll Easier

Payroll tasks are the bane of many organisations. A simple, small mistake could end up being devastating. It’s vital to keep meticulous records, not only because having this information available is important in and of itself. There are also serious regulatory pressures, in many cases, that require organisations to maintain stringent record keeping habits and to maintain access to payroll information for extended periods of time.

Saving space, improving security, and streamlining

That data need not fill up filing cabinets. Payroll document scanning through services like Pearl Scan can transform your payroll record keeping practices and policies. By having your payroll information professionally scanned, you’ll eliminate the need for files, which are costly to store.

They’re also a considerably less efficient way to access information. In order to access physical files, an employee needs to be at the same location as said files, or another employee needs to make a second physical copy of the file to bephysically transported.

Making copies of files, especially those that contain personally identifying information can represent a serious security risk. With digitally stored files, however, employees can be granted access as necessary, and it is far easier to maintain the security of digital information in any case.

Having payroll information scanned can also make it infinitely simpler to find information that you need for your operations. Scanned information can be stored in searchable databases that make finding what you need, when you need it as easy as typing in a search box.

The paperless future

Innovations in digital and mobile technologies all but ensure that many industries will be moving toward paperless policies and practices in the very near future. Payroll scanning can be one of your first steps in this direction. As more organisations embrace a paperless future, more will lower their costs and streamline their daily operations. That means that they’ll have a competitive advantage over those that have fallen behind technologically.

Scanning services like Pearl Scan can help to make your organisation’s transition to a digitised future a painless one. Scanning your payroll documents will save your organisation man hours and storage costs, while making the information more easily accessible and more easily organised and analysed.

There’s no reason to put off payroll document scanning, and there’s every reason to start immediately. A professional scanning company can tailor their services to precisely your organisation’s needs, so why not begin the discussion?

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Text Formats Explained

text formats explained


Text Formats Explained

Here at Pearl Scan we offer a lot of choice when it comes to document formats, as we understand that different companies and individuals have different needs. But we also know that too much choice can get confusing! All formats have their advantages and can be used for a number of purposes, but some will be more appropriate than others for a particular project.

In case you’re unsure of which format to choose once your documents or book has been scanned, we’ve put together this blog to help you make the right decision. Perhaps you haven’t heard of some the formats before or always lean to Microsoft Word when in fact another choice would be more suitable. Read on for some jargon-free advice from our scanning experts.

PDF

PDF stands for Portable Document Format, invented by Adobe. This software is now free, so sending PDFs is easy and you know that the receiver will be able to open the document, regardless of the device they are using. PDFs can include text, images, graphics and hyperlinks, so they are especially useful as a format for online brochures or media packs.

CSV

A CSV (Comma Separated Value) file is good for recording data in tables. It’s basically a spreadsheet, supported by applications such as Google Spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel. This type of file format is useful for importing and exporting data.

HTML

A HTML file can only be read by web browsers. Therefore, if you want to create a document to be accessed 24/7, with or without an internet connection, this option probably isn’t suitable.

XML

XML is similar to HTML, as the document is only readable online. Files are coded to be machine-readable and human-readable, and can be shared on the web or on intranets. If you need a spreadsheet of data to be available on an intranet, such as contact details, this is a good choice of file format.

Microsoft Word and Excel

Any document can be scanned and then imported directly to Microsoft Word or Excel. If your business uses the programs often, this is probably the best choice for you. You can edit the documents as well as search them for particular text or numbers.

OCR Recognition

Don’t forget that all our scanned documents are fully OCR searchable, regardless of the format you choose. This means that you’ll be able to manually search through the document for any key words or dates you’re looking for. Additionally, you can use our software to type in names or dates and all documents relating to it will be identified. Goodbye, filing cabinets!

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Half of UK Businesses Have No Disaster Recovery Plan

Half of UK Businesses Have No Disaster Recovery Plan

Global business automation software provider, V1 recently found that over half of UK businesses have no disaster plan. Just 17% of UK organisations have incorporated electronic document storage into disaster recovery plans, and 82% of businesses admitted that this is very important or critical to the continuation of business. 

The Findings

This research highlights how many businesses have not taken any form of action following the disruption caused by 2013/14’s UK winter storms, and Holborn’s underground fire.

Out of the 92 organisations across public, private and third party sections examined, 60% of businesses admitted to V1 that their continuity plans had remained the same – despite almost half saying their business would not recover from severe disaster in less than a year due to not having a full data recovery operation in place. 28% of participants said their plans had improved slightly, while 12% said they were not sure whether plans had been changed or not.

Not having an updated disaster plan can end up being expensive for many companies. Technology industry analyst IDC estimates that the cost of downtime to SMEs can amount to £170,000 per disaster. 

Existing Procedure

Respondents of V1’s research revealed that business backup comprises of security, staff and office relocation, IT back-up and electronic document storage alongside third party archiving facilities.

Only 17% are using electronic document storage, 33% and 49% of respondents believe that safeguarding business documents should be a ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ part of an organisation’s business continuity plan - 16% feel this is ‘fairly important’ and only 2% suggested it was ‘not important’ at all. 

Why Electronic Document Storage?

When disaster strikes, electronic document storage can make contingency plans run smoother. Companies that may find themselves relocating to another building don’t have to worry about transporting shelves upon shelves of documents. It gives businesses the opportunity to save money by renting a smaller workspace. A four-drawer filing cabinet can hold roughly 10,000 to 12,000 documents and can take up 9 square feet of floor space. This can add up to a significant amount of space for businesses that process 1000s of documents a month.

Electronic document storage can help a business save money, which can be crucial when struck by a disaster. Over a document’s lifecycle the cost of handling it can come in between £15-£20, rocketing up to £120+ for misfiled documents. For documents that gets lost, companies can face up to £700 costs for each document – if disaster strikes this can come in at one big bill especially if many documents have been lost. Electronic document storage removes all the expensive parts of handling a document through its lifecycle. Creation, storage, authorisation, internal handling, staff costs for data entry, photocopying and distribution.

Does your company plan on using electronic document storage as part of their disaster plans? Let us know why on social media!

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What is Image Management Software?

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Image management software has become a vital tool for many businesses handling their documents digitally. Without it they would be left with a mess of unorganised files which would completely defeat the object of going digital in the first place.

Digital Documents

Many businesses now work with digital documents. They spend a lot of their working day creating files on computers and managing them electronically but before these days, documents were managed manually in filing cabinets, folders and boxes. Because of compliance with retention periods, they would be kept for several years taking up a great deal of space. Now, the best practice is to scan these old documents to a digital format so they can all be stored in an electronic system or outsource to scanning services to do it for you.

Advantages of Going Digital

There are a wide range of benefits to going digital which I have mentioned a great deal in previous blogs. Here are just a few;

  • Cost savings from abolished off-site storage costs, onsite office space and unproductive tasks.
  • Space savings from freeing up valuable office space previously wasted by manual document storage.
  • Remove compliance worries with secure digital files that are encrypted, backed up, fully password protected and take up only virtual space to aid with file retention.
  • Boost office efficiency with quicker file retrieval, easier document sharing capabilities and a more organised management system.

How Does Image Management Software Help?halogen screen

Once you have your digital files (images), they would need to be fully indexed. If they were to just sit on a computer system as non indexed images, they would be no use to anyone. So this is where image management software comes into it. The software can organise your files into an easy to manage system where you can search, retrieve and send documents whenever you need to. Without image management software, your document management system would probably not differ much from the old manual system where it was difficult to retrieve files when you need them.

Halogen

Here at Pearl Scan, we provide scanning services to companies from a wide scope of industries to enable them to manage files digitally and take advantage of all of the benefits mentioned above and more. To aid their document management once we have switched them to digital, we also provide free use of our image management software, Halogen.

Halogen was specially designed in house to provide a simple, yet intelligent environment in which to search, retrieve and index digital documents. It’s easy to use interface has helped even the most ‘technophobe’ of clients to manage their files with ease.

If you would like to know more about Halogen or any of our electronic document management services, check out our website or give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help.

For more document management related articles, take a look at these:
3 Reasons To Choose Digital Document Management
Document Management and File Hosting
7 Misconceptions about Document Management

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