Document Scanning and Digital Imaging

These days, it seems that everyone is going paperless: medical offices, hospitals, law offices, government agencies, banks, architects, construction and engineering firms, schools, universities and private businesses alike.  Why are these groups embracing document imagining, microfilming and electronic document management technology? Consider these statistics:

  • 70% of “white-collar” worker time is spent processing paper documents; 15% of all paper documents are misfiled or misplaced; and 30% of documents used daily contain obsolete information.  (Coopers & Lybrand)
  • On average, each employee wastes 5 hours per week on archived paper documents (those records needing to be retained but seldom accessed).  (The Gartner Group)
  • The average document gets copied 19 times.  (Coopers & Lybrand)
  • Professionals spend 5-15% of their time reading information, but up to 50% looking for it. (Coopers & Lybrand)

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Increasing worker productivity isn’t the only reason companies want to turn their “paper mess” into a paperless environment.  Today, there are lots of reasons to consider digital imaging, document scanning, and microfilming.  Here are our Top Ten:

Top 10 Reasons to Convert to Document Scanning and Digital Imaging

10. You’ll Save the Planet

Since 2009, the Office of Management and Budget has been “green”.  Instead of handing out more than 3.000 paper copies of the budget to media, Congress and others, the OMB published its budget online.  Over 5 years, the federal government will save more than $1 million dollars, more than 20 tons of paper, and roughly 480 trees.

Environmentally, imaging your documents is the right thing to do.  It saves paper, improves air quality (more trees equals more oxygen-rich air), reduces chemical usage, and even saves gas when employee can work from home because they are able to access documents online.

9. You’ll Decrease Clutter and Maximize Space

Did you know that a single filing cabinet drawer holds 10,000 paper documents while it only takes 500 megabytes of storage (that’s less than one compact disc!) to hold the same amount of data electronically?  A 100 GB hard disk drive can hold the equivalent of 50 four-drawer filing cabinets. Imagine your office without all of those cabinets and storage boxes….

Document imaging dramatically reduces file storage costs.  That means you’ll need few cabinets and fewer rooms to house paper files. Even better, when a business is able to conserve space through imaging, it can subsequently reduce the heating and lighting costs associated with more space.

8. You’ll Increase Security

For industries ranging from healthcare to banking, a sizable amount of documents scanned and filed contain sensitive personal data. Organizations must take all possible security precautions to protect information involving corporate, medical and financial data.

Document scanning provides high-security password protection for document management systems.  It ensures that client documents and images are seen by employees on a “need-to-know” basis; and it requires strong passwords, timed log-offs, and restricted access only to those who can provide authentication and have a secure Internet connection.  Such policies help ensure tightly regulated document security.

7. You’ll Improve Employee Efficiency

In 2009, the Labor Department reported that worker productivity rose 5.8% — the largest increase in seven years — meaning fewer employees are working harder.  Document imaging and management is a great way for businesses to maximize efficiency with fewer resources and employees.

Imaging allows for instantaneous file retrieval.  With scanning and microfilming documents, companies eliminate employee hours lost searching in archives and file rooms.  According to Coopers & Lybrand, 40% of worker’s time is spent searching for misfiled, misplaced, or lost documents.  When you consider that reproducing a lost file costs, on average $250, and labor costs to find a misfiled file are estimate at $120, this is a considerable savings!

Thanks to computerized search tools, document imaging also eliminates misfiling and misplaced documents.  Document imaging software controls how documents are named and stored, allowing employees to locate a document quickly based on key information.

Instead of making copies and shuffling papers, employees in a paperless office need only handle a document once – when it is scanned.

6. You’ll Be Ready for Disaster Recovery

What would happen to your business if all of your paper documents were destroyed in a hurricane, fire or earthquake?  What if you’re purging files that need to be cleaned out, only to later discover that the wrong files were destroyed?  Disasters and employee error can put you at risk for fines, lawsuits, or worse.

According to Gartner Research, two out of five enterprises that experience a disaster go out of business within five years; and 70% of businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.

Document imaging protects your business from natural (and human) disasters. With document management, you can easily make copies of your electronic documents to store off-site, meaning rapid recovery of your documents even if disaster strikes the main office.

5. You’ll Make Your Employees Happier

With appropriate document imaging hardware and software, more than one person can view the same document at the same time.  Furthermore, documents can be securely accessed from anywhere at any time, enabling a virtual work environment.  This gives employees greater flexibility to work remotely and allows employers greater freedom in their staffing decisions.

Permitting employees to work from home – even on a temporary basis – decreases the amount of office space needed to house staff.   Furthermore, employees will cut their costs and their individual carbon footprints by not driving to work.

Document imaging also frees up employees’ time, allowing them to focus more strategically on core business goals.  Both the ability to work from home and the challenge of working on business goals instead of “pushing paper”, contribute to improved employee retention rates.

4. You’ll Make Your Customers Happier

Customers can bank online twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, thanks to document scanning and electronic document management, thus increasing satisfaction ratings for customer service.  Microfilming and scanning allow medical staff to access patient documents quickly, decreasing wait time and giving doctors a more complete view of a patient’s long-term medical history.  It’s true:  imaging and microfilming medical records is quietly putting smiles on customers’ faces every day.

3. You’ll Simplify Document Access and Document Sharing

Collaboration is far easier when documents are stored electronically. Multiple people can view the same document, at the same time, something that isn’t possible with a piece of paper.  Not only does document imaging enable better oversight, accountability and transparency, it also cuts down on courier costs   Because documents can be stored, accessed and sent electronically, once again, business save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

2. You’ll Keep Current with Corporate Trends

Five or ten years ago, document imaging and microfilming was less prevalent than it is today.  But now, we’re all banking online, emailing documents, and storing digital photos. When you consider that 30% percent of corporate printed documents are out-of-date before they are distributed, it’s just one more reason to go digital or electronic!

Most major businesses are going paperless, and if you wait to long it will be hard to catch up.  Furthermore, the United States Federal Government has defined rules and regulations governing the privacy and integrity of healthcare, legal, finance, trade and other business records. Recent legislature such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act will require companies to store documents in a safe, secure, and accessible way.

1. You’ll Cut Costs Considerably

Maintaining a paper-based filing system is expensive. Coopers & Lybrand reports that records and information systems often make up 50% of a company’s total business costs.

If paperwork is digitized, the long-term savings are tremendous: employees don’t need to print out paper copies of a document just so someone else can edit it.  Instead, they can email or save a document on a server for other people to view and edit as needed.  The company saves money on office space, office supplies, and most importantly, wasted employee labor.  Management of paper documents costs 40 to 60% of office workers’ time and 20 to 40% of labor costs.  Eliminating these expenses can revolutionize a business.

Document management means greater profit margins and a better business for management, employees, and customers.  Since 1990, Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming, Inc. has provided our clients with impeccable storage, microfilming, scanning, and destruction solutions.  We look forward to helping you with your company’s important documents too.

Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming, Inc. has served the healthcare industry, the business community and government agencies with microfilming and digital document storage solutions since 1990.  Our services are 100% rendered in the United States of America providing security for your records, and jobs in our community.