A document scanner forms an integral part of document life-cycle management. Here's how:
The lifecycle of a document is straightforward; it is created, used and eventually destroyed or archived. Except sometimes the document cannot be found when it needs to be used, other times it is found in a condition that makes it impossible to use, or worse still, it is needed after it has already been destroyed. It is worth noting, that all these disasters usually happen to paper documents. Electronic documents are hard to lose or damage, and they’re easy to backup to avoid accidental deletion. That said, many businesses are still prone to the vulnerabilities of paper because they rely on paper-based documents.
Relying solely on paper-based documents can limit your business, but with the help of a document scanner you can ensure that your documents’ lifecycles are never threatened. We spoke to Lucielle Russell, Compleo’s MPS manager, about the vital role that a document scanner plays in keeping a business’ documents safe and accessible.
Q: If you own a multifunction printer, do you still need a document scanner?
A: Yes, you do. While a multifunction printer (MFP) is designed to include scanning functionality, a separate document scanner is still useful. As Russell explains, “a device that is dedicated to one task will almost always be better at that task than a device that is required to do more than one task. If the requirement is high-quality images or the need for fast scanning speed, then a standalone scanner is most definitely a must.
Additionally, a separate scanner eases the load on your MFP, which still has other functions to perform. Archiving a large cache of documents, for instance, takes time and during that time your staff will not be able to use the MFP to do anything else. But with a document scanner you do not have to sacrifice productivity to digitise your documents.
Q: What other benefits does a document scanner have?
A: In addition to boosting the capabilities of your MFP, a document scanner has several security, productivity and cost-cutting benefits for your business.According to Firstcoast, a provider of enterprise content management, 40% of your employees’ time is wasted on finding information in places like filing cabinets and shared hard drives, with 18 minutes being the average time it takes to find a document.
Digitising your documents also makes them more secure, since 70% of your business’ privileged information leaves with your staff every time they walk out the door. Unlike paper documents, digital documents cannot be viewed by anyone who possesses them; they can be encrypted and secured with password authorisation, and are generally hard to leave lying around.
And when it comes to costs there are irresistible savings to be made. The cost of a misfiled document is about R1000, a lost document will cost you R2000, and the square-footage that a file cabinet takes up averages a cost of about R3000. Firstcoast contextualises these figures further by claiming that 10 000 to 12 000 documents stored in a basic four-drawer filing cabinet cost R100 000. No doubt, the cost of storing the same number of documents electronically will cost you a fraction of that.
Q: What do I look for in a document scanner?
A: Scanners, much like printers, come in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, you need to take great care when you choose one for your business. A lot of the features that you will have to consider will be informed by the function of your business and the daily objectives that the document scanner is meant to help you achieve.
What is the paper stock of the document to be scanned? Is the document duplex or simplex? What is the volume of documents or pages that is required to be scanned daily? These are some of the main questions that you need to ask yourself. The type of document and the image size are also crucial criteria for selecting a document scanner.
We can helpCompleo have a wide variety of scanners that fulfill various business needs. By combining any of them with some our Xerox document management services, you can guarantee that your digital documents are always well looked after. For further information, download our Document Lifecycle Management Guide <link>