Do you now see any office full of stacked papers and files? Most probably not. It might be a common scenario in the past but now the offices are going paperless. With technological innovation people are becoming more digital in their work. Almost every aspect of works is now computerized from data entry, analysis to record keeping. The paperless world is helpful in many ways.
What is document imaging?
Document imaging or scanning means capturing the digital image of a document or microfilm. So, basically, the paper documents are converted to a digital ones. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is used to scan and capture the image from the paper document to digital form. This allows keyword search inside the document. The scanned documents usually get saved in PDF format. If you want you can then convert the documents from PDF format to other formats using various tools like 2pdf.com. This type of conversion from paper to digital format can change the business process and make your business more efficient.
Benefits of document imaging
People now scan documents and store them electronically instead of storing the hard version of the documents. Scanning or document imaging has a lot of benefits. It can change the way you do business and give you better results.
Some of the benefits are discussed here.
You can get easy access to all your documents just with a click. Imagine what would have happened if you had to go through all the paper documents stored in office cabinets. It would have taken hours to find a particular document. So, you save a lot of time by scanning the documents and storing them electronically.
Document imaging saves money as you won’t need to hire dedicated staff for storing and finding paper documents. You will also save money on storage as you won’t need to use up office space. Thus, you can rent a smaller office.
Improves customer service
Once the document is stored electronically, you can do a lot of useful things with it. You can index them with various metadata. You can search the document using any keyword. So, if the customer wants any specific information you can give them instantly.
Less storage space
You will need a few rooms to store all your office paper documents. But with electronic documents, you only need to store them on your hard drive. Now you can store them in the cloud, without taking up space in your computer.
Your documents are much secured in your hard drive or cloud than on the file cabinets. You can protect the electronic files using password and encryption. You can also create backups in remote and secure servers.
When the documents are stored electronically, you can share them easily with your colleagues when needed. There is no need to pass the paper documents from one department to the other.
Comply with regulations
In many cases, you need to keep certain documents for a specific period of time. Keeping paper documents for that long can be a hassle. Also, the physical document can be damaged. So, keeping them stored digitally is a better option. Document imaging can help you comply with the rules and regulations of your business.
Papers cause pollution as they end up in landfills. Though many offices are recycling their papers but the percentage of offices doing that is still small. When you store documents electronically, you are not using any paper; so, you are reducing pollution and helping to protect the environment. This ‘green’ initiative will also boost your brand image.
The business process will improve considerably. You will be able to access and share data more efficiently. When you scan a document and save it on your computer, it becomes traceable. So, you can know who has accessed the document. When you scan documents you don’t need to type them; you use OCR to take the image. This saves a lot of time and reduces error.
When you rely on your paper documents, you are at risk. There can be disasters like fire or storm and your papers may get destroyed. In the case of electronic documents, they are stored in secure servers along with their backups in a remote location. So, even if your computer gets destroyed due to fire, your documents will be saved as they are stored remotely.
Document imaging lets you access the documents remotely as well. You had to be in the office to see the paper documents; this is not the case for the electronic documents. This makes your work more convenient as you can then work from home or even on the go. You can also access the documents using your mobile phone. Many employees can work on the document simultaneously as well, thus making work more efficient.
For any business today record management is vital. Data and information are growing exponentially and it’s not possible for them to be stored in paper format as it will take up lots of space, waste time and money. Document imaging is now essential for businesses to efficiently manage their workflow.