Keywords: Document Digitization, Document Digitization Service, Document Management, Document Scanning
Innovation has many benefits. Technological innovation has changed the way organizations work. One of the significant benefits of technology innovation is the way we now handle our documents. Paper documents are a thing of the past. A modern, efficient, and effective organization will never cause employees to have to look through filing cabinets or boxes full of paper records and documents. This work is dull and unfulfilling. It is not suitable for the spirit of any employee.
To search for documents when the documents are in a paper format takes up a great deal of your organization’s time resources. Moreover, you may still miss a key file. If you are an organization that still depends on paper records, files, and documents, it is time. It is time to commit to digitizing your paper files. You can outsource the project to a company that specializes in Document Digitization Services.
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Paper Records – An Admin Problem
Let’s start at the beginning. First, it makes sense to reduce or eliminate paper records. The administration of paper-based reports and documents is troublesome. The troubles are more significant the larger the organization.
Over time paper records take up significant space. The problems get worse to longer you wait.
Paper Records – Filing Properly for Retrieval
Paper records need to be classified and then stored in an organized manner so that records can be found and used. If something is misfiled or if a container of paper records is placed in the wrong location, then these records are effectively lost and maybe found only by accident or with a massive effort by record-keeping administrators.
Your records need to be easily found when needed.
Paper Records – You Need a Backup
An organization always needs to back up its records archives. There are many reasons why.
Consider these types of records.
- Public Records
- Census Data
- Birth and Death Records
- City Directories
- Church Registers
- Voting Results
As a records administrator, you must ensure that records are safe and secure. Therefore, a backup is always needed.
Advantages of Document Digitization:
- Allows for a more robust organization of records. Records can be found in multiple ways and cross-referenced to aid people who may need associated documents.
- Reduces the physical space requirements when compared to paper records.
- Easy to backup and archive.
What to look for:
Only consider a document digitization service that will explain what they will do and then demonstrate their work with a sample or demo.
Make sure that you make the document digitization service aware of the size of the project upfront. Then make sure that the companies you are considering fully understand and commit to the volume and the timeline. You do not want to miss your commitments because the document digitization service provider does not have the capacity or cannot commit to your schedule due to other obligations that they have made.
The quality of the converted documents is vital. Again, this is where a sample can give you a complete understanding of the result. Select a range of document types. The sample should represent the types of paper documents you now have in your files.
A document digitization service can help you to classify documents into various classifications so that the results will meet your quality requirements.
No scanning and digitization project is 100% accurate. An acceptability level needs to be determined at the beginning of the document digitization project. The more critical the records are to the organization, the more time and care should be taken to ensure accuracy and quality. The higher the acceptability levels, may also define the number of items that must be inspected to ensure that the digitization output meets the established requirements.
If the project is critical, your quality control may require an inspection of 100% of the documents which have been digitized. Some projects may require a random sample of only 5% of the paper documents which have been digitized. The inspection criteria must be established at the outset and maintained for the entirety of the project. As you decide the inspection level, think about what the consequences might be if a document were scanned poorly or not scanned at all?
Here are some document-specific quality control criteria.
- Is the document legible overall?
- Was the document’s smallest detail captured legibly?
- Is the document complete—every page present, including two-sided pages?
- Have images of poor-quality originals been labeled “Best possible scan”?
- Are the dimensions of the scan accurate to the original document (height to width)?
- Is the overall image area complete (no words or images at the edges cut off)?
- Is the color accurate to the original (if that is important)?
- Is the image skew unacceptably?
- Is the image rotated to the correct direction for reading?
- Was the image cropped properly (if cropping was done to remove unnecessary black borders)?
- Was the image indexed accurately?
You can add or subtract from this list. This document digitization quality checklist can be used as a guide to establishing your own criteria.
Summary – Document Digitization Services
Documentation (or certification) verifies the integrity of the scanning/copying process, particularly when an external organization does it is important for project success.
You will want to also establish criteria for the equipment used for the document digitization process. Periodic testing and cleaning of scanning equipment will help to ensure high-quality levels.
Careful preparation of the documents to be scanned, such as staple removal and unfolding corners to ensure information is not obscured, will further enhance the quality of the results.
The document digitization service provider will be a company that will help you establish quality criteria. The right provider will also help to ensure the quality of the document digitization process.