Businesses generate paper on a regular basis. Contracts, memos, estimates, invoices and more all get printed in hard copy for record keeping. Unfortunately, this creates a need for space dedicated to filing and inefficient access to data. Document imaging systems remove the dependence on paper, allowing businesses to run more productively, in line with top management techniques like the Lean system pioneered by Toyota.
What Do Document Imaging Systems Do?
Document imaging systems scan hard copies and store them digitally. This does not reduce the amount of paper coming into the business, but it can reduce the amount of paper stored on-site. Once a company switches to digital documentation, employees print less, since filing is all digital. This process offers considerable benefits to businesses that leverage it successfully.
The Benefits of Document Imaging
Automated document imaging allows smoother workflow, improved processes, better data access, reduced costs, and more. This single improvement has enterprise-level effects.
- Smoother Workflow
With document imaging, as soon as one employee finishes with a document, it is instantly available to all other employees. This reduces the amount of time needed to transfer files.
- Improved Processes
Some systems allow users to set reminders and notify specific employees when a document is ready. This reduces the amount of time it takes to complete a task. Most work processes flow through several employees before completion. Document imaging can help automate the process, reducing wait times.
- Better Data Access
Today’s imaging software can pull text right out of a picture file. This means a business can scan a document and instantly input the information into CRM or other database software. This minimizes data entry needs and allows information to flow more quickly. On-boarding a new client may be completed in minutes, rather than hours. Also, any employee that needs a particular piece of information can find it, without digging through dusty archives and file folders.
- Reduced Costs
In-house printers comes with expenses like toner, maintenance and paper, but sending things out for printing costs even more. By switching to digital documents, businesses save money on all of the costs associated with printing. Some printing will still be necessary, but any reduction represents a direct savings.
Document imaging systems offer the first step on the road to automation. Automation improves productivity and reduces the number of man hours needed to perform essential business functions. The question facing today’s businesses is not whether to add document imaging systems, it is how can any business keep up without them? In today’s digital world, no one wants to wait for an analog file. Information stored digitally allows easier access and faster processing. Add in electronic forms and a business has a system where information automatically flows where and when it is needed.