Any discussion of the benefits of document scanning starts with the disadvantages of paper documents. And that starts with the cost of maintaining paper records.
We doubt that there’s any business in the world that knows the real, bottom-line cost of keeping paper corporate documents. Sure, they can calculate how much space is required, and how many records boxes they use. But how much time is spent searching for and retrieving those documents? What’s the cost of damaged or missing documents? And how secure is the information on sensitive documents if they are duplicated endlessly so that everyone can access the information?
3 Advantages of Document Scanning
The first advantage relates to the question about how long it takes to retrieve a document from storage.
- Instant Access – Documents scanned into electronic formats are available to everyone who has access in less time than it takes to start an email requisition of the paper document from your records department. Of course, even after you send the request, you have to hope someone sees it before the end of the week. And that they find the document sooner than later. And then you have to wait for it to get to you. Oh, and then you need to return it. And you get the idea.
- Secure Access – If your business has an open document storage room, anyone in the company can learn anything about its customers, suppliers and employees. Scanned documents can be quickly and easily secured so only those who are supposed to see a document have access to it.
- They Will Never Disappear – If you’ve ever been on a hunt throughout an office for an important document that’s missing, you know a level of stress that many can’t imagine. Documents scanned to electronic formats are backed up with your system backups, and can also be securely stored by the company that scanned them so you have multiple levels of safeguards against losing the information contained on any document.
Of course, the other more obvious benefits of document scanning, like not needing the space or human resources to manage paper records are there too. But you already know about those, right?!
Find out more about document management in our article “3 Business Risks of Bad Document Management”.