Evaluating the quality of a document scanning company goes beyond the actual scanning process. It involves reviewing the processes they have in place from the moment your documents arrive in their production facility to final delivery of digital images and data back to you.
Ask to see documentation of a scanning company’s procedures for handling and processing your documents. Clear, detailed, and tracked processes provide a level of clarity, ensure your scanning project goes smoothly, and guarantees delivery of high quality images and dependable data.
Document Scanning Process from Start to Finish
Below are just 10 of the many steps involved in scanning documents with questions to ask for each step to ensure the process helps to avoid pitfalls:
- Receiving: How are your boxes received in the document scanning facility? Is each box identified according to client, job and shipment? Is it a manual or automated process? What checks and balances are in place to ensure all boxes were received? Where are your boxes held before they go into production?
- Tracking: Are your boxes and documents being tracked throughout the facility from one process to the next? Is it possible to see which scanning operator worked on a particular box and how long it took? Can a document in production be located and emailed or faxed back to you if necessary? How long would that take?
- Prepping: Are there written instructions on how your documents will be prepped? Are these reviewed with the document preppers before a job begins? Have you signed off on these instructions?
- Scanning: Are there written instructions on how your documents will be scanned, i.e. black & white or color, 200 or 300 dpi, etc.? Are there steps to ensure your documents are not scanned into the wrong project?
- Indexing & Data Entry: What fields will be captured and by what process: OCR, data entry, match-and-merge? Who is responsible for providing match-and-merge files and how often? What level of accuracy is guaranteed with each process?
- Quality Control: What quality control (QC) steps are in place at every stage of production to ensure documents have been prepped, scanned, and data-entered according to your requirements? Are these automated or manual steps? How are QC operators trained? Is it a different staff than those who are doing the scanning and indexing? Is there a final level of quality control before images and data are delivered to you?
- Data Security: Are your images and data encrypted and securely stored while in process? If held on physical media or digitally, is it encrypted? How long are your data and images held at the facility after delivery to you?
- Post-Processed Handling: How long will your scanned boxes be held before they are shredded or returned to you? If shredded, where will it be done and will it be done by a NAID certified company? What processes are in place to ensure which documents are shredded and which are returned?
- Secure Data Delivery: Are your images and data encrypted while being delivered? Are there delivery options such as secure FTP (SFTP), direct upload to your document management system, or delivery on physical media?
- Ongoing Communication: Does the scanning company provide an open and ongoing dialogue with you before, during, and after your documents have been scanned to insure your satisfaction with the quality and timing of the job? Do you know who to contact should you have any questions?
Make sure you are working with a document scanning company that can answer the above questions and back up their claims with turnaround times, accuracy rates and referrals. Most importantly, visit the scanning facility to see their process in action.