Why Use Document Scanning Services?
A document scanning service can help you comply with backup policies, make information more available across your organization and help you use your office space better. Our top three picks for the best services are Docufree, National Scanning and Statco. To learn more about why document scanning services are becoming essential, read our articles on document scanning services.
Document Scanning Services: What to Look For
The most notable services track your documents during transit, prepare your files carefully, provide various scanning options, use stringent security measures and understand the industries they serve. We reviewed document scanning services in the following areas:
The best scanning services obtain your paper files via securely tracked trucks or barcoded boxes that are monitored during shipping. Once your paperwork is at their location, most services remove staples and paperclips, repair torn documents and apply a barcode to every file and folder. The best services use OCR (optical character recognition) to turn pages into blocks of searchable text. The most up-to-date companies convert each document into an electronic PDF page. This allows the page to mirror the look of the original while the text becomes searchable.
Some of the best providers offer integration into new or existing electronic document management systems (EDMS). Some only integrate to proprietary systems while others offer basic scanning services and your developers do the actual EDMS migration.
Look for newer, cloud-based EDMS systems or storage. Advantages include appropriately secure and protected internet access, geographic redundancy in case of a local disaster, and a month-to-month service fee rather than a large corporate investment to implement an in-house system.
To remain paperless after your initial scanning, consider a service provider that offers digital mail room or day-forward scanning. You transfer your mail to the provider’s location. They open it, scan it per your instructions, route it to the appropriate personnel and add it to your electronic document repository.
We also checked for paper document storage and secure document destruction services. Few customers want their paper back once scanning is complete. Some elect to pay their provider for off-site storage. Others have the provider shred or incinerate their original documents.
The security of your company’s information is vital. Some service providers operate inside mountain vaults that are impervious to natural catastrophes. Others back up information in several locations to guard against disaster. Most have guarded or video camera-monitored facilities and background-checked employees.
Finding a provider that is HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant is also helpful. This regulation assures the confidentiality, integrity and authorized access of medical information. But any industry will benefit from the additional security that a provider’s HIPAA compliance brings.
All the companies we reviewed provide email and phone support. Other support offerings are more varied. Some have live chat services or blogs. Others have online repositories of videos, white papers, case studies and learning center materials. These offerings may help you gauge their industry expertise.
We selected 15 industries (legal, healthcare, human resources, government, education, engineering, financial, manufacturing, general business, insurance, real estate, transportation, energy or utilities, hospitality and media) to represent a broad range of document scanning expertise. Many of our featured providers had customers in every one of these areas, others specialized in just a handful. Check to see if your industry is covered by the document scanning service you are considering.
Having an office stuffed with filing cabinets or needing a document from someone else’s desk drawer is more than just annoying: it costs money. Document scanning services convert paperwork to electronic files making businesses more productive, protecting against disasters and allowing better compliance with the latest security policies.