Document Scanning or Traditional Document Storage – A Comparison
I know you might be thinking that as a document scanning company, we might be a little biased when it comes to comparing document scanning and traditional document storage. But don't worry, in this article, we're going to take a step back and present a fair comparison to help you decide for yourself which method of document handling suits you and your company best.
Without a doubt, traditional document storage has its plus points so let's make a start finding out what's good about traditional document storage, even in these modern times, when seemingly everything is digital:
Document Storage – The Advantages
As you may be aware, there are two types of document storage; storing the files in your offices and outsourcing your document storage for a monthly cost.
If you have the room to store the documents and they aren't in your way, then by all means keep storing them as it is cheaper than paying monthly costs to outsource it.
If you do choose to outsource your storage, and you choose the right place, there are further advantages. Some facilities offer facilities above and beyond what you might expect which includes fire proof protective boxes to store your documents in as well as top security and CCTV at the facilities. So, a major plus point for outsourcing would be the security that is offered at some companies but it is vital to do your research on the facilities before committing.
Another advantage of traditional document storage is its familiarity. As people we don't often like change so sticking with something we are used to is sometimes people's preferred choice. They like to stick with knowing that their documents are in a particular place, safely locked up.
To conclude this section, the main advantages of document storage tend to be from a mental perspective of safety and familiarity above all else.
Document Scanning and Going Digital – The Advantages
Most of the advantages of scanning and digital document management tend to be with regards to efficiency and keeping track of documents. Naturally, having all of your files in one place can make life a lot easier.
By using document scanning and relying on a digital management system you will be considerably more organised than if you were using a physical storage system. It is extremely unlikely that files will be misplaced and they can be found very quickly by a simple computer search. They are a lot more flexible as modern practices allow you to make digital documents searchable by their text too, even if they're relatively old files you have digitised. This process is known as OCR or Optical Character Recognition. OCR makes it incredibly convenient to search entire document libraries for particular names, reference numbers, addresses and everything else you need to find. Information Technology Services, a US operating imaging company, noted these interesting facts:
"Searching for documents is time consuming. Fifteen percent of needed documents are "out of file" or misplaced; 7.5% are lost completely. Thirty percent of the work day is spent searching for files. Electronic Document Management can provide an immediate response to a query, by-passing the long process of a paper search. Eliminating the manual search can enhance customer service, which helps you offer customers faster response times."
In turn this easy retrieval of documents boosts the productivity of the team and therefore more work is completed with, more often than not, more satisfied staff. Considerable costs can also be saved depending on your previous document storage method. If your company previously stored documents off-site, those costs can be completely wiped out by storing only the digital versions
You will also save considerable amounts of money if you were storing documents with a storage facility prior to getting them digitised. Storage companies not only charge by the month, but often charge over the top retrieval charges. Your documents can also take days to get to you, depending on where you're storing them.
Despite the common conceptions, storing files digitally is also very secure. Even on the rare occasions when systems go down, you don't need to worry because your documents will either be stored on a server or on a number of computers, or both, therefore if one goes down, work can continue as usual.
The flexibility of digital files means that you can easily copy, distribute, email, share and print them. If there are certain documents that you would not like to be seen by particular members of staff for confidentiality / rank reasons, then this is also possible through file encryption and password protection and would be a much more difficult task for companies storing documents physically.
Document Scanning or Storage – Which is Right for You?
Well if you've read everything above then you're probably on a good track to knowing which method will suit your company best. As you can see, in a modern world, a modern service does come out on top for most needs, especially for businesses looking at improving the ways in which they operate and to save money. Traditional storage does have its advantages, but the trouble is that scanning and digital management has a lot more advantages, many of which simply overpower the advantages of physical document storage. Without deliberately being biased here, that simply is the way it is.
For more information on the services we offer here at Pearl Scan, including Document Scanning, Document Storage, Optical Character Recognition and Scan-on-Demand, browse our website or get in touch today. If you would like to receive a free, no obligation quote for your scanning, storage or management project, complete our online form by following the relevant links below.