Digital Transformation

Unlocking Speed and Efficiency: Choosing the Right Document Digitization Partner

Document digitization services are about scanning paper records and recreating them in digital form, but this is also an opportunity for long-term growth.

When you transform your paper-based records into more easily storable, searchable, and sharable digital formats — like PDF or Excel — you’re opening a door of opportunity. However, not all document digitization service providers are equipped to help you capitalize on those opportunities.

You’ll want more than just a company to scan documents. It’s important to choose a digitization partner who provides you with better solutions and services that truly set your organization up for long-term success. Find the right fit by asking the following questions and identifying golden opportunities for business growth.

1. Will our data be easily searchable after digitization?

NO: Some document digitization services merely offer digitization — not the additional ability to search and locate the files you need in a few clicks. Digital files take up no physical space, which is good. However, thousands (or millions) of scanned PDFs will be just as tough to navigate as paper in filing cabinets if the scanned data hasn’t been captured and indexed. This could make you wonder: was it worth the investment?

YES: A well-equipped partner will have the specialized equipment (scanners, cameras, software, etc.) needed to not only capture your records in digital form but to create easily searchable digital files. Look for added document digitization services such as OCR (optical character recognition) and indexing, which make digital versions simple to navigate and can greatly accelerate your operations. 

2. Can you ensure that our digitized documents are clear, legible, and accurately represent the original?

NO: Having the right size scanners for your documents is one thing, but ensuring legibility and usability is entirely another. Some original documents may be faded, degraded, skewed, or otherwise hard to read — even before they’re translated into a digital copy that must be viewed on a screen. If all your document digitization service provider is doing is scanning, you can’t be sure the results will do justice to the originals.

YES: High-quality service providers offer a range of solutions and features to ensure great results for difficult-to-scan documents. Image restoration, color correction, and de-skewing services can make sure that the digital documents are not only clear and legible, but represent the originals well (or even improve upon them).

3. Will you help structure our digital data?

NO: Digitizing your paper records is the first step, but without purposeful structure, all of your digital documents may end up with an unstructured mixture of dates, numbers, and facts that are hard to sort through and make sense of. Gartner estimates that upwards of 80% of enterprise data today is unstructured, which means a lot of usability and potentially better insights are being lost.

YES: Structured data, by comparison, means the information is stored in fielded forms, databases, annotated documents, and other formats that make it more usable and helpful. Structure helps you see the forest for the trees. Look out for partners that offer intelligent data capture and document conversion services that take unstructured files (digital, analog, or both) and transform them into structured data.

4. Can you provide robotic process automation (RPA) to help streamline our new, digital operation?

NO: Digital documents present many opportunities to streamline workflows and save time, but digitizing alone doesn’t guarantee an optimized operation. Just like paper documents, digital ones still require someone to read them, file them, pass them on to the next party, extract data from them for entry elsewhere, and more.

YES: With RPA solutions, you’re taking full advantage of the digital format of your files to improve operational efficiency. It’s possible to automate low-grade and routine tasks such as data entry and form filing so that human effort can be devoted to higher-level or more creative tasks. Robots can read, file, share, and pull data from documents for you, taking labor off of your team’s plate and saving your company time.

5. Can you integrate our digitized data with third-party systems for improved workflow and decision-making?

NO: Unfortunately, some companies may expect you to shoulder the responsibility of managing data integration and uploads independently, potentially adding complexity to your workflow and decision-making processes. This can create additional challenges and demands on your resources, which may not align with your goals for streamlining operations and enhancing decision-making.

YES: On the other hand, select document scanning providers have cultivated valuable partnerships and established seamless integration solutions. These partnerships enable you to enjoy enhanced workflow efficiency and decision-making by effortlessly connecting your digitized data with third-party systems. This collaborative approach can significantly reduce the burden on your organization, facilitating a more efficient and effective digital transformation process.

6. Do you take measures to safeguard our data before, during, and after digitization?

NO: This answer is a red flag, but if you think about it, it’s not all that different from the risks created by scanning documents in-house. Hiring a temp or an intern to scan documents puts sensitive information in low-level hands and increases the potential for mistakes that require time and resources to remedy through re-work. You’re going to want a document digitization service provider who can assure you of a level of safety, security, and reliability that exceeds this level.

YES: A prepared partner will have security protocols to protect your documents throughout digitization. Look for partners that pick documents up from you and bring them to a facility with video surveillance and carefully regulated access controls. Digital security measures such as encryption and firewalls are also important for keeping data safe and confidential.

7. Do you offer ongoing support and training?

NO: Some service providers are transactional. Once your scanning project is done, so is their job. This no-strings-attached model can deliver the digital documents you want, but it can also introduce new problems. Your team may need training to effectively utilize new digital document management systems. If you run into questions about the structure of your digitized documents, it’s helpful to have continued support to fall back on.

YES: The best approach is to work with document digitization service providers who offer training, ongoing maintenance, and technical support for your new system. The provider may even offer their own cloud storage or specialized software solutions that improve access and management of your digitized documents.

Do Document Digitization Right. Talk to an Expert.

The seasoned team at Scan-Optics provides a complete selection of document and archival digitization services and additional value-added solutions. From intelligent data capture to image restoration, document conversion, and robotic process automation, we’re more than a document scanning company. We’re a partner that helps people work smarter.

Are you interested in document scanning and digitization services? Get in touch today for a free consultation and expert advice on the solutions that will help your business grow.

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