So, your company wants (or needs) to scan documents, but you don’t know if you should use an outsourced service, use in-house employee resources or utilize a mix of both. How do you decide what is best for your business? Below are three simple questions that, once answered, will help you identify the right document scanning solution:
1. Is Outsourcing Document Scanning More Efficient Than Doing It In-House?
The short answer is “yes.” Many companies offer document scanning services. Outsourcing involves bringing in experts in document scanning to oversee the business process instead of relying on your internal team, who would likely bring more value to your business by focusing on skills closer to their core competencies than taking on the huge project that is scanning all of your documents. When picking the right business process outsourcing (BPO) partner there are a few things to consider:
- They have experience working with a large volume of documents. Make sure you look beyond the per page/per box scanning price.
- They can estimate accurate turnaround times for the project so your team can plan accordingly.
- They can articulate their quality control procedures, such as a dedicated team to check image clarity, remove blank images, rotate images, and other important factors to consider.
- They can upload digitized documents into your existing systems or provide you with document management software
- They are SOC 2 Type 2 certified, which means they are audited on a yearly basis by an external auditor that ensures protocols are in place for document and information security and HIPAA trained staff if you are scanning any documents with protected health information (PHI) or need medical record scanning.
2. How Often Are You Going to Need Document Scanning Services?
Digitizing a room full of client files, scanning the last seven years of paid invoices, or scanning the contents of your filing cabinets before you move are examples of one-time scanning jobs. Projects like these are usually best to give to a BPO company due to the high volume of documents. A document scanning company’s ability to meet quick turnaround and their ability to remove all of the documents from your premises at once or in scheduled batches makes it more cost-effective. Even if you have an in-house scanning solution, you may want to send the overflow to a document scanning partner during peak times or when internal resources are stretched. That way, the full project isn’t held up by internal resource limitations.
Recurring file scanning needs are when inbound paper documents, such as invoices, medical records, order forms and human resource files, need to be scanned on an ongoing basis, either before or after processing. These documents can be picked up on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for scanning, or received directly by a document scanning provider as part of a digital mailroom solution. Many digital mailroom providers even offer a P.O. Box address where files can be sent directly from your clients or vendors, processed in this outsourced facility, and then indexed into document management software.
Additionally, in the current environment, it’s estimated that one in four Americans will continue to work from home. This means your team is going to need easy remote access to business documents from various locations. Integrating document scanning with a document management solution will greatly increase productivity and improve workflows, while making it easier for your team to share files no matter where they are working.
3. Is It Cost-Effective to Scan Documents In-House?
If you outsource document scanning, there is a one-time project expense and/or a predictable monthly expense based on document volume. If you scan in-house, here are variables to consider that could impact the cost:
- Hardware: High-volume and/or desktop document scanners (the scanner type depends on your volume), consumables necessary in the scanning process such as microfiber clothes, rubbing fingers, as well as annual maintenance and the cost of equipment downtime
- Software: Document capture software and its annual maintenance/license fees
- Real Estate: The value of real estate taken up by the scan station(s), file storage, your mailroom, especially when it could be repurposed for revenue generating activities
- Overhead: The cost of labor required to do the work
- Opportunity cost: The cost of employees scanning documents vs. doing higher value work, particularly when internal resources are stretched
Scanning your documents for archival purposes or business process automation is a necessary but labor intensive task. Outsourcing these business critical tasks to a scanning partner that ensures quality control and a cost-effective process makes the most sense.
With over 20 years of experience, MetaSource is SOC 2 Type 2 certified and a HIPAA and GDPR compliant company. This means it goes through comprehensive third-party audits every year that ensure its processes are compliant with security protocols to ensure document and information security. By partnering with a BPO company and eliminating paper-based processes you are streamlining your company’s workflow and increasing its productivity.