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How Can I Make Bulk Document Scanning Affordable for my Business?

4 min read

Jerry Rozek

Company that scans documents gives insights on cost savings

Most business leaders are aware that hiring a company to scan documents to digital format provides numerous benefits. Information is backed up, secured, and can be retrieved and shared more efficiently. Space once occupied by records can now be reallocated for other use. Transitioning from paper to digital requires a financial investment of applying internal resources or working with an outsourced service provider like EO Johnson Business Technologies to complete the work. Records are a vital part of every business, but in most cases, they do not generate revenue. They only generate cost. Identifying a path to reduce cost is critical to planning a successful scanning initiative.

Bulk document scanning cost: How to save

There are two primary factors that influence scanning cost when you consider companies that scan documents: Volume and time. Here are four steps businesses can take to minimize the impact of these factors.

Establish a retention schedule to determine what to scan

A retention schedule (or policy) is a key part of the lifecycle of a record. It describes how long a business needs to keep a piece of information. Establishing and applying a schedule helps to identify records that may or may not need to be scanned, reducing the overall volume. Here is a real-life example:

I recently had a customer with more than 70 boxes of payroll records to scan. After applying a retention schedule, many boxes were destroyed as the records were already eligible. Other boxes that would be eligible within two years were kept in paper form to be shredded at a later date. The end result was only 30 boxes actually being scanned – reducing the volume for scanning by 58%.

Let activity level dictate the level of detail

There are multiple ways in which paper records can be scanned, and each combination of options requires a different amount of time and cost. Start by asking yourself “How detailed does the finished product need to be?” The answer may lie in a second question: “How often do I look at these records?” Here is another real-life example:

A customer had a significant volume of Accounts Payable (checks) records, which is a very common record type that typically needs to be kept for seven years. However, after the first year, this customer would only go into these records less than five times annually. Scanning these records to create individual documents for each check with detailed indexing would be a great finished product, but would provide zero return on investment. A more cost-effective approach was to group the checks and create a larger multi-page document for each month and make the documents full text searchable. The customer can still find information on those rare occasions, and by letting the activity level dictate the detail, they saved a tremendous amount of cost.

Apply resources and automation wherever possible

When working with companies that scan documents, or an outsourced scanning partner like EO Johnson, the best way for a customer to save significant cost is to apply resources to the project. Document prep which includes pulling staples, repairing pages, and taping down small items prior to scanning can be a very time-intensive process. It requires good old-fashioned “elbow grease.” Using internal staff to complete this portion of the work provides massive savings compared to outsourcing it. It is safe to say that just prepping documents for scanning can be anywhere from 30-50% of the entire outsourced cost. Additionally, customers who prep their own records can also purge any non-essential pages, which further reduces the volume of a scanning project.

Document Indexing is the process of associating or tagging information with a digital document allowing it to be easily found and retrieved later. Often times this information already resides within another core business system. For example, most businesses have a list of all of their current and past employees. By using that list or database, barcode sheets can be created and inserted as the first page of a document. This eliminates the time and cost of performing manual hand key data entry.

Consider spreading cost over a longer period of time

Sometimes the volume of records to scan and the time required to do it can have a significant total price tag. Having that cost hit a business all at one time can prohibit moving forward with a project.

Spreading cost out over a longer period of time helps to minimize the financial impact. A $20,000 scanning project spread out over a three-year period equates to just over $550 per month.

Following the same logic, a long-term strategy also helps to minimize the strain on required resources that a customer applies to save cost. Here is a real-life example of this:

A recent customer has 140 boxes of records designated for scanning and also elected to perform all document prep to save cost. The prep is quite extensive with each box requiring almost three hours to remove staples, tape, and repair pages. By structuring their project over a three-year period, this customer is required to prep about four boxes per month. The required 12 hours of prep time each month meant that someone would spend about three hours each week prepping records, which they were easily able to fit into their weekly workload.

Searching for companies that scan documents? We can help.

Understanding the benefits of going paperless and digitizing your documents with bulk document scanning is easy. But, knowing exactly how and where to start may seem challenging. A paperless initiative has to make sense for your business both organizationally and financially. EO Johnson can help by providing the information you need to make sound business decisions. Our approach is “hands-on.” We not only review the types of documents you have but learn about how those documents are created and used in your organization. With this, we can develop a bulk scan service solution that not only addresses your specific needs but also makes the transition to a paperless office seamless for you and your staff.

Contact us to learn more about our bulk document scanning and how we can help you digitize your documents affordably.







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