Document Scanning: Should You Outsource, DIY, or a Combination of Both?
By now, you probably know that the advantages of going paperless are numerous: better efficiency, cost-savings, reduced space needs, and more. But how do you do it? Should you outsource the job to a professional scanning service or do it yourself (DIY) by investing in people, equipment, and software? Or should you consider some combination of both outsourcing and DIY?
Here are four key things to think about to help you decide:
Do you have a lot of documents to scan?
If you’re scanning a low volume of pages that don’t require extensive indexing, a desktop scanner may be the right solution. But larger scale scanning demands more robust scanners to get through the volume in a reasonable amount of time. That will require a capital expenditure, trained operators, and more advanced scanning software.
Do you need to scan regularly or meet fast turnaround times?
If your team only needs to scan a few documents on an ad hoc basis, you could use desktop scanners or a scanner that serves a whole department. For more regular scanning, or to be able to handle fast turnaround times, you should consider outsourcing.
Do you know the best way to index your documents?
So that you can easily access your scanned documents later, they must be indexed, which requires manual data entry, point-and-click indexing, the use of barcode sheets, or automatic data extraction via optical character recognition (OCR). While it’s possible to purchase your own advanced capture software, outsourcing to a company who specializes in scanning and electronic document management is a more budget-friendly and accurate option.
What size are the documents you need to scan?
Most multi-function printers (MFP) and entry-level desktop scanners can handle 8.5” x 11” paper down to a business card, and some can even handle legal size (8.5” x 14”). But for large format scanning and book scanning, you’ll need specialized hardware. So if you have a significant number of large format documents or books, consider working with a document scanning company equipped to handle them.
Making the right choice
Determining whether to outsource, do it yourself, or utilize a hybrid of both will be key to ensuring quality in the resulting document images, the reliability of indexes, and cost-effectiveness of your chosen solution. Evaluate your document scanning options to avoid biting off more than you can chew or choosing the wrong partner.
For comprehensive guidance in determining whether to DIY or outsource your document scanning, download our free 10-step self-assessment!