Document imaging involves using specialized equipment to replicate and create a digital image of a document. In most instances, a scanner, printer or camera is used. The purpose of this activity is to convert paper documents into digital files. For many businesses, document imaging is critical. There are many advantages to this process, as it reduces the use of paper, offers enhanced security, creates better organization and facilitates more effective and faster retrieval of information.
However, despite the apparent simplicity, there are many common mistakes that organizations make when processing documents for imaging. Take a look at these errors along with their solutions as listed below.
Producing Surplus or Insufficient Copies
One of the most frequent errors made while processing a document for imaging is the excess of copies that are made during the process. Many fail to realize that this mistake can create additional expenses and unfortunately result in wasted time. It is critical to make sure that only one version of a document make it into the imaging process and that paper copies are not distributed whenever possible.
Another common mistake is not ensuring that a copy of every document and every page of each document make it into the imaging process. Much like how too many copies can pose a problem, a lack of copies can also do the same. It can result in repetition, as the process has to be completed again to produce more copies or worse, the information could be missed and the paper destroyed. One of the main purposes of document imaging is to provide digital formats of documents that can be retrieved when required and in most cases, eliminate the need for duplicate documents.
Solution: Proper formatting of scanned documents offers a paperless solution and improves the accessibility of the converted documents. Most companies have settled on the PDF image file format as it has become a de facto standard for their digital documents. PDF/A, a special format of PDF, is often used for documents that must be maintained for a long time. PDF/A differs from PDF by prohibiting features poorly suited for long-term archiving, such as font linking (as opposed to font embedding). TIF and JPEG are file formats commonly used in some document management systems. PDF is the obvious choice when converting digital files created by line of business systems or office suites as the searchable text can be saved with the file.
Having documents obtainable via a remote and secure network encourages better productivity as they are available for retrieval at all times and from anywhere. Using a common file format ensures that everyone can open the file without specialty applications. Also, going paperless limits mistakes and offers you power over your documents and potentially your document workflows.
Discarding the Wrong Copies
While processing documents for imaging, there is sure to come a time where you feel compelled to destroy unwanted copies. However, you must ensure that you are discarding the appropriate versions. The only replicated versions that should be eradicated are the excess copies that have proven to be irrelevant. Check your organizations document retention policy for how long each document type must be maintained and if digital copies qualify. If you do not have such a policy, work with your leadership team and an attorney who is experienced in this area to create one as no good document management system can exist without a document retention policy that is published, adhered to and maintained.
Solution: After performing document imaging, be sure to retain original copies as a reserve if you are required to by law or your organization’s policies and procedures. If additional copies have been made in error, discard of those. Create a procedure for identifying and dispositioning duplicates so that team members are not making a different decision each time. Doing so will avoid confusion, provide clarity and improve organization.
Another solution is to use tools that automatically back up your documents that are created digitally. These systems can assist with automation of ensuring that you have an adequate copy of every document that you want to preserve and aid in eliminating the mishap of deleting unwanted copies.
Using Sub-standard Imaging Devices
The right equipment must be employed to optimize your business. Tools that are too slow or provide insufficient clarity will impair the performance of your business and the adoption of creating and maintaining a digital archive of your organization’s important records.
Solution: Acquire optimal document imaging equipment to improve the efficiency of your business. Using the right devices and the right processes will facilitate productivity and ensure that time is used wisely. A machine optimized for constant use and the generation of extensive document imaging is better suited for a company that produces high volumes. Consider eliminating the scanning of paper by moving the digital originals straight to your document management system.
CASNET has All Your Document Imaging Solutions
Document imaging can be effortless and stress-free. By understanding these mistakes and their solutions, you can avoid many of the potential pitfalls associated with moving to a digital document strategy. By utilizing the services of CASNET, you can take advantage of our years of experience. Our skilled staff can assist by attending to all of your document imaging requirements in our secured facility.