ASK YOURSELF THIS IMPORTANT QUESTION:
If my facility suddenly “goes up in flames” or is destroyed by an unforeseen “act of nature”—is it possible to continue “business as usual” meeting the needs of all my clients?
- A major aspect of many small companies or businesses today is the management of client files, documents, records, transactions…and so forth. For some, the loss of this information would result in the delay of their business reopening—and for others—permanent closure.
Converting physical files to electronic records will make your company more secure, efficient and compliant.
Benefits for utilizing document and imaging for records retention:
• Reduce the cost of locating, copying and recreating office documents
• Streamline workflow processes and improve productivity
• Minimize risks of regulatory exposure, fines and penalties
• Increase security of customer information from unauthorized access
• Ability to respond quickly to resolve all customer needs
• No software purchase, installation or changes required
• Maintain HIPAA security and privacy compliance
• If a natural disaster or fire occurs, all of your records would be in electronic format—saved on a server unit, backup drive, or “cloud”—and business can resume at your temporary or new facility immediately!
Many companies have recognized the need to transfer their physical documents into digital (electronic) format for easy access and record retention requirements. Some are currently performing this function (service) within their company.
If your company is contemplating this option, remember the acronym TESS (Time, Equipment, Space, and Staff) in your decision making process.
• How long will it take to scan all the documents/files?
Prep time is one of the biggest factors many forget to consider. This is an important task that has to be completed before you can begin scanning any files. Documents may be clipped, stapled, or held in place by metal prongs (all which must be removed). Creases and folds in documents need to be “smoothed out.” Tears in documents taped. Sticky notes or tabs removed or repositioned to prevent cover up of pertinent information.
The scanning of the documents requires additional time—necessary corrections due to misfeeds, paper jams, or poorly scanned images. Also: rotation of images for clarity.
Quality performance verification. All documents scanned need to be reviewed for clearness and overall image resolution (for printing purposes). Did all pages scan? Checked for any missing or out of sequence pages?
• Does it need to be completed within a particular time frame? How much time will I need to allocate to complete the task?
Time management is a key factor for any aspect of business. If it needs to be completed as quickly as possible you will need to consider the amount of staff required to complete it within that particular time frame. The sooner it is completed—the quicker you have access and minimize the cost factor of physically handling or storage of the documents.
If you have the luxury of completing the project over a longer period of time—just remember this: you still have a cost factor involved in the handling and storage that continues to impact your bottom line along with the added labor and equipment costs of scanning. Likewise, records that remain in physical format are in danger of becoming lost or destroyed.
Final consideration on time:
How long will it take to learn how to use the equipment or perform the functions discussed above before beginning the project?
• What quantity and types of equipment do I need to lease or purchase to complete the task?
Quantity is usually based on how much work must be performed and how soon the project is to be completed. Some companies invest in a small production scanner that is sufficient to meet their current daily needs; however, in many cases they have several years of records on site that would require additional investment on more or larger equipment to complete.
A basic setup will require an investment in the following pieces of equipment to get started:
- Desktop or laptop computer
- Portable backup drive or server
- If you have large size documents, such as, maps, surveys, blueprints or schematics; you may need to invest in a large document scanner as well.
• Does it require special software programs?
In most cases, the scanner purchased comes with a software bundle preloaded and ready for use upon set up. Depending on what functions you want or need the scanner to perform will determine if additional software or upgrades will be required.
• Is it user-friendly and/or is training required?
This depends on the type of equipment you purchase. There is always a basic level of training/learning required involving the use of any new piece of equipment—especially one that you may not be familiar with. Again, depending on the functions you want the equipment to perform—training may be necessary to get the most out of your “investment.”
• Do you have the available work space necessary to complete this task?
You need to consider the amount of space required for the equipment, staff, and the materials to be scanned. You will need to have an area for prepping the files, scanning the files, and checking (quality control) of the completed scan.
Depending on the time allotted to complete the task, this area will not be available for any other use while utilized for the scan project—doing so would result in lost production due to continual disconnect and reconnect and movement of materials. Likewise, this area will require minimal contact and interference from individuals not assigned to the task. The security and integrity of documents must be maintained at all times—any interference or unnecessary interaction could jeopardize what you are trying to accomplish. This is necessary to minimize the accidental loss or destruction of documents.
• How much staff will I need to assign to this task? What labor costs do I need to consider?
The largest expense for most companies or small businesses is LABOR COST! This is definitely one area where time management is a major factor of consideration.
Additional staffing may be necessary if the project needs to be completed in a short amount of time. Working on the project over a longer period of time results in a long-drawn out task that impacts your bottom line in other areas. The use of a minimum wage employee in most cases results in low or poor productivity. Using contract labor (a temporary employment service) involves additional overhead labor costs (up to 25% of the hourly wage added).
Some companies utilize existing staff which oftentimes means one employee assigned to the task. If fortunate, more existing staff may be available but this may be sporadic and in most cases, all of these existing staff members have additional tasks or responsibilities to complete. Assigning these individuals may save you on project costs (depending on the hourly wage) but most likely impact you in other areas where there skills are more efficiently and economically needed.
Finally, training costs and staff turnover are additional areas of concern that can impact the bottom line.
Remember: Money saved is money invested in your business!
At Security Shredding / East Texas Scanning we have the time, equipment, space, and staff in place to service your document imaging needs. We have scanning equipment on-site to handle small, regular, and large size document scanning. If desired, we can scan (small level projects) at your facility for a small additional cost. Our staff is trained and certified to handle a range of scanning requirements.
All records/documents are scanned into a PDF format that can be utilized in numerous software programs. The purchase of additional software to view your scanned documents is not required—Adobe Acrobat Reader allows this function at no cost. (Note: If you want to make changes to the file such as moving pages, adding or deleting pages you will need to purchase Adobe Acrobat Pro software or one of the many other PDF Editors available.)
We have several scan production options available to work within your budget requirements. We offer SOD, our Scan-On-Demand service where we scan only those records you need immediately. Consultation is free. A small test scan can be performed to determine project completion time and expense–at no cost to you! You pay only for completed project services!
Call us at 936-637-2000 or 936-637-7226 to get started!