Why Scanning Makes Sense


Most businesses still retain vast quantities of files in paper archives and many still generate new paper documents.

13 December 202112 mins
Why scanning makes sense

Information management for today’s digital world

Have you ever wished that essential data from incoming documents could be shared quickly and easily?

Most businesses still retain vast quantities of files in paper archives and many still generate new paper documents. For various reasons, however, paper documents are not always ideal in today’s fast-moving world. It can often be difficult to find specific documents quickly enough to meet urgent requirements. For example, the information related to a particular individual, account or product could be stored in different parts of an archive.

Modern ways of working mean that employees are more likely to be located remotely, so it’s increasingly difficult for them to access paper documents. Moving documents from where they are stored to where they are needed takes time and costs money. That’s where storing your records in digital formats can help make your business work more effectively.

A secure, high-quality solution

In today’s information-driven economy, many organisations are looking to convert paper to electronic format so that they can reduce the overheads associated with paper documents. Digitising information makes your business more agile by ensuring stored information is accessible to the right people at the right time, increasing productivity and ultimately improving customer service.

In-house digitisation is not a simple process. It requires considerable expertise and is costly to set up and maintain. Consequently, if you want to digitise information effectively, you’re going to need some help. An external imaging provider will have the skills and experience to understand your business needs and implement a secure, high-quality off-site solution. It’s essential that you find a provider who can adapt their services to meet your specific business needs and securely manage your most important documents throughout the information lifecycle.

Scanning incoming documents makes the information they contain readily available. This helps you provide a faster more effective service to your customers and reduces the pressure of searching for relevant paper documents in multiple locations.

A good scanning service provider will use data extraction technology as part of an automated process. This means that the information can enter your back office system with limited manual data entry, reducing your manual keying workload.

This can benefit any business. Examples of the types of documents that can be captured to improve your processes include:


  • Invoices
  • Credit notes
  • Delivery notes


  • Application forms/CV’s
  • Payslips
  • Expenses


  • Contracts
  • Property documentation
  • Maintenance agreements
  • Service level agreements

Customer service

  • Customer correspondence

Businesses with a high volume of incoming applications from customers, in financial services for example, will find this type of service extremely beneficial.

A quality service provider with full records management capabilities will receive your mail via redirection. They will then capture the data by scanning it, before securely storing or destroying your documents as required.

Obviously, much of the information captured will be confidential. It is, therefore, essential to select a provider with the very highest security standards.

Fully compliant document lifecycles

Digital documents, including scanned documents are admissible as evidence in China - Hong Kong S.A.R. legal proceedings pursuant to the Electronic Transaction Ordinance (China - Hong Kong S.A.R.).

Note: Please check with your auditor and legal team before destroying documents.

Almost any document may need to be presented as evidence. So if you’re thinking about replacing paper records with digitised documents, you need to ensure that the whole document lifecycle, from capture, through to transformation, storage and disposal, follows procedures that ensure legal admissibility. This is another area where a good records management provider can help you.

Increased productivity and customer retention

Did you know that business departments can access information quicker by digitising incoming documents?

Having your important business information available in digital format will help your business to compete more effectively. Once you’ve got your system up and running, you’ll be better placed to take advantage of new opportunities. Most organisations are looking for ways to make the best use of limited internal resources and office space to increase productivity and profitability. Wouldn’t it help your business if your people spent less time filing and more time carrying out productive tasks that generate revenue?

Modern-day customers are demanding and are prepared to switch suppliers if the level of customer service is not acceptable. They expect you to have all of their information immediately to hand when they interact with you. If you can deal with their enquiries quicker than your competitors, you’ll improve your customer experience and customer retention. Storing documents digitally and making them searchable will help you achieve that.

Selective scanning

A ‘let’s scan everything’ policy may not be the best approach for your organisation. If you have paper documents you are unlikely to need access to, it’s not worthwhile converting them into digital format. For the documents that you do convert, it is vital that you index them in a way that helps you find them easily when you need them.

A third party provider will help you ensure that important information content is extracted and entered into searchable index fields. They’ll also make sure the transformation process is done accurately, so that the right documents can be located quickly when you need them. It takes considerable expertise to identify where the value is in digitising your paper documents. A good provider will advise you on how to index your files and will also undertake the scanning, extracting and transformation processes required to create the indexes.

Scanning for success

Digital information is more versatile and easily shared than its paper equivalent. Digitisation by scanning converts the information, but to do this in-house is expensive and time consuming with some technical challenges thrown in too.

A specialist provider using an automated process with data extraction techniques (OCR) can provide a cost effective alternative to manual data entry. An intelligent, bespoke solution that features high security can make your business more responsive to your customers’ needs and allow your staff to focus on higher value activities.

Next steps

  1. Identify partner to help scan information ensuring they provide a secure service when accessing your confidential documents
  2. Identify key documents that should be scanned
  3. Understand data that needs to be extracted from the documents
  4. Determine where the extracted data and scanned images should be stored (internal document management or external hosted systems)
  5. Reap the benefits of a more efficient business process with reduced processing costs and a more flexible approach to processing your business documents

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