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5 Tips for Outsourcing Document Scanning

Instant access to data is a critical component to remaining efficient and competitive in today’s marketplace. Needless to say, finding a qualified document scanning service provider is no easy feat. It’s challenging enough for an organization to determine whether these functions should be outsourced or kept internal. If your business is thinking about outsourcing document scanning, there are few things you should keep in mind.

Read on for some helpful tips and questions to ask yourself when deciding on outsourcing document scanning services:

  • Review documents to determine if they can be digitized
  • Inquire about regulatory requirements
  • Consider the logistics of the project
  • Examine the condition of the documents
  • Determine how much security you need

1. Are your materials a good candidate for digitization?

If you answer yes to any one of the following, then it may be a good fit:

  • Do you need instant access to the data contained in the documents?
  • Do you have to share information across multiple people or offices?
  • Do you need to be able to safely store these documents electronically as part of a disaster recovery plan?

2. Determine if you need to adhere to any regulatory requirements regarding record retention

Legal documents, case files, medical records, and accounting documents usually come with a record retention schedule. While storing the paper documents works for some organizations, cost and space considerations make digitization an attractive alternative for offices looking to go paperless.

Check out ILM’s digital storage calculator

3. Consider the logistics of the project if you were to outsource.

Oftentimes, organizations get hung up on the initial logistics of the project, like how the provider will collect and obtain materials. Will you box it up yourself or have them do it for you? Do documents need to be mended or prepared? What happens if you need access to a document while it’s out being scanned? Lastly, think about how you would like to receive and store electronic files. If you have a document or content management system in place, make sure the scanning vendor has the right tools in place to ensure seamless integration.

4. What is the condition of your documents?

The most significant cost for a scanning vendor is the time it takes to prepare documents for scanning. Since most documents are scanned using an automated document feeder, the condition of the documents is a significant factor in the overall cost of a project. Are your documents new and crisp, or old and fragile? Do they contain many fasteners such as staples or paper clips? If your documents are bound, can they be unbound for scanning?

Related: Document scanning & security–what you should know

5. Determine what physical and electronic security measures are important to protect your valuable information.

Are your service organizations required to have a SOC I Type II audit report or other certified organizational control report? Do your current vendors process financial information, personally identifiable information (PII), or protected health information (PHI)? Whether your organization has explicit rules regarding vendor security or not, you will want to know the safeguards your service providers implement to protect your sensitive data.

Obtain instant data access with document scanning services

Every organization has their own specific needs and requirements when it comes to outsourcing critical business functions. Document scanning is one of those key components that can greatly benefit an organization when done properly and effectively. As you review these points with your business process owners, don’t hesitate to contact us at ILM with questions or for more information. With decades of experience and a proven track record, our team is ready to get your document scanning project off the ground.

Need more reason to consider ILM as your document scanning service provider? Read about our chain of custody protocol and quality control policies.

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