The ability to store information economically—as well as organize it in a way so that it can be shared efficiently—can help your organization become more profitable and competitive. As a result, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems and document scanning solutions have become popular tools for enabling improved classification, storage and utilization of corporate data. But does each of these functions have to be used in conjunction with one another, or can they be applied separately? What are the individual and joint benefits? How and when are they best applied? We’ll help you find the answers to these important questions.
Insight into document scanning
Document scanning is a method whereby hardcopy data is converted to electronic images. It involves a physical process of scanning paper documents with dedicated or multifunction equipment combined with software that allows for images to be captured. While seemingly straightforward, without proper expertise and oversight—especially during large scale projects—data can easily be overlooked, permanently lost, or compromised during the scanning process. Therefore, a document scanning project should be carried out by professionals with scanning and imaging experience and expertise. Document scanning offers numerous benefits, including:
- reduced paper file storage costs
- improved access and sharing of business information
- enhanced remote working capabilities
However, a document scanning solution is only as effective as the structure and means for storing, classifying, accessing and retrieving your newly converted electronic data.
Methods for storing and managing electronic files
Companies looking for an easy solution to reduce paper dependence and create disaster recovery redundancies have numerous options for storing and organizing digital files:
- encrypted hard drive
- professional image hosting solution
An ECM solution also provides a repository for electronic documents to be stored and managed. Yet ECM is not only a solution for Word, Excel, PDF, PowerPoint and other document formats—it is also used to accommodate a range of digital data, including:
- video and audio files
- unstructured data
- archival email
- active email
Essentially, all manner of corporate content—no matter the format—can be stored and controlled within an ECM system. Document scanning is the preferred method by which hardcopy documents can be added to an ECM solution, but whether a company needs or chooses this solution is dependent on numerous factors, including:
- collaboration needs
- compliance requirements
- records retention needs
- business continuity objectives
- workflow requirements
Therefore, before implementing either a document scanning or ECM solution, it is important to utilize a professional resource that can thoroughly assess each of these features for your company. Following an expert consultation, the right solution provider can then customize a solution that best fits your individual business needs and budget.
Pacific Records Management provides document imaging solutions for businesses throughout Fresno, Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, and Napa and Solano Counties. For more information, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on this page.