By Cassandra Carnes
Part 1 of 2
Digitizing documents for electronic viewing and archiving is critical in a content heavy, mobile world. Organizations often struggle with the influx of paper-based communications they are saddled with daily. Many look to embrace a paperless workflow for a more streamlined approach to business processes.
Capture is the entryway into automated, electronic document management. Equipping an office or workgroup with a high-volume document scanning solution enables a virtual repository of data—easily accessible to networked and remote users. These digitized documents are shared, archived, and managed with a content or document management system. A centralized capture department also streamlines a company’s paper digitization efforts, enabling a structured method for document handling. Portable and wide format scanning solutions are also available to serve niche requirements.
Behind-the-scenes technology advancements, such as optical and intelligent character recognition, are integrated into advanced scanning solutions to provide ultimate efficiency. Business management platforms enable the potential for a paperless environment.
Driving Document Capture
Several factors propel the adoption of capture processes within a company’s document lifecycle workflow. The ability to achieve cost savings is a primary driver. Businesses reduce time spent searching for missing or misplaced documents if their digital counterparts are well organized and accessible. Additionally, a reduction in print costs is often recognized as document capture and digital file sharing help to eliminate the amount of unnecessary copies and reprints.
The adoption of a managed print service (MPS) selling model for office equipment also places a spotlight on the benefits of document capture. Rather than selling boxes, high-profile office product manufacturers and dealers take a holistic approach at serving the document management needs of an organization, which often includes the use of input devices to promote a seamless business workflow. This contract-based service often incorporates an assessment of document needs, outlining real cost savings in association with the implementation of the right mix of hardware and software for an organization.
The availability of scanning functions on multifunction products (MFPs) also aids in the adoption of document digitization. A recent study by AIIM, Capture and Business Process: Drivers and Experiences of Content-Driven Processes, found that 58 percent of organizations make formal use of MFPs as capture devices for a business process or archive procedure.
Organizations that have yet to convert archived files into versatile electronic versions may have a daunting task ahead of them. To help alleviate the initial burden, imaging service providers are available. For example, The Crowley Company, in addition to supplying scanning equipment, serves the digitization and microfilming needs of archivists, librarians, governments, and corporations by preserving important documents, maps, books, microfilm, and other materials.
Crowley Imaging has provided letter, legal, and large format paper scanning services since 1986, demonstrating the ability to handle even the largest backfile conversions and helping companies increase ease of access to the information they own and archive. Its client base includes the medical and healthcare communities; local, state and federal government entities; as well as the private industry. The company utilizes a variety of high-speed scanners from manufacturers including Canon U.S.A., Inc., Contex, Eastman Kodak Company, Fujitsu, and InoTec.
Another company, Paradigm Imaging Group, offers both on- and off-site scanning services. The imaging services provider offers on-site services when a large amount of documents are involved to reduce the risk of loss or damage associated with relocating documents to an off-site scanning facility. In addition to being a service bureau, Paradigm distributes and develops large format imaging products.
The adoption of document capture practices is certain to affect an organization’s current business workflow. Access to electronic documents is important to the efficiency of mobile workers. Additionally, companies that implement an electronic business workflow through the use of document capture and management can get back time and resources once spent searching for lost or misplaced hard copy files. Reduced output costs are often achieved when businesses transition to a paperless workflow. dps