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Bulk Document Scanning Projects

3 min read


Your multifunction printer is not the answer

You’ve seen all the signs – a room full of file cabinets taking up space, the daily struggle to find the right file, and the time inefficiencies in doing so. You know you need to digitize your files and commit to a bulk scanning project. Your first thought is to use the multifunction printer you already have. After all, it has scanning capabilities. While you have the best of intentions, you are unfortunately setting yourself up for failure. A large bulk document scanning project requires more than what your multifunction printer can do.

The bulk document scanning process

There are four key aspects of a bulk document scanning project. Once there is a clearer understanding of the process, it’s easy to see why trying to do it yourself with your company’s multifunction printer isn’t the answer for a large bulk scanning project.

  • Prepping. The first step of a bulk scanning project is the prep work. You will want to assess whether you have the resources on hand to help get the documents ready for scanning. This involves purging files, removing staples, re-orienting pages, taking off paper clips, and unfolding corners. This is a step that some companies can support while others find too tedious and labor-intensive to do on their own.

  • Scanning. The next step is the actual scanning process. One standard box of records typically contains 2,000 pieces of paper. Then, multiply that by how many boxes you have in storage. It’s a daunting undertaking for a business to consider trying to handle on its own. In addition to not having enough people to support the project, your multifunction device was designed to handle the basic copying, scanning, and faxing of a traditional workday – not act as a large-volume stand-alone scanner. An outsourced scanning provider with scanning software has the horsepower to handle 10,000-20,000 images an hour.

  • Quality control. When using a multifunction device, quality control is a very manual process. Typically, you would scan a document and send to a file or an email. Let’s say you scan 50 pages, go check the file, and find some are blank or not readable. It’s inefficient to go back and forth to your computer, continue to check, and rescan as needed. An outsourced scanning provider uses a software program that can immediately spot issues, re-orient, make changes, and fix things right away to keep the projecting moving.

  • Indexing. This part of the process is crucial. If you are going to invest in digitizing your paper files, you need to be able to access, organize, and use them easily. An outsourced bulk scanning provider can bring efficiencies to this process with standardized file naming conventions that are customizable to your needs and a barcode system for indexing the files while they are being scanned.

The cost of going it alone

You may have had a project like this on the back burner for a while or you may have been thinking about trying to do this on your own. Unfortunately, there can be some unexpected costs with using your multifunction printer to execute the project yourself. In addition to the time and labor commitment from your employees for a large-scale scanning project, there can also be unexpected service needs and damage to your multifunction printer. We typically see a significant amount of wear and tear to the document feeder on your printer which was not designed to handle bulk scanning. In addition, consider the type of documents you are feeding into your printer. Often, they have been sitting in boxes for years collecting dust. The volume of paper along with the accompanying dirt and residue causes damage to the rollers and sensors which then need frequent repairs causing printer downtime. This can delay the completion of your project while the additional service costs start adding up.

EO Johnson’s digital transformation team

With 65 years in the business technology industry and 17 years specifically in bulk document scanning, EO Johnson’s digital transformation team has the people, processes, and technology to support large bulk document scanning projects. Contact our experts to assess your project, discuss your document scanning needs, and create a successful project plan for your business.



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