Information has become a big asset to many companies. Your business could be one of those companies benefitting from it. The most accessible way of storing information has also changed. There is now a need to store information virtually by using scanning solutions. By this stage you may be wondering whether this process is complicated or not. Scanning is quite easy and fun at the same time, yet it does take time. A simple scan to pdf has multiple benefits as follows:
- Ease to store and retrieve
- Easy to edit and manipulate
- Easy to share
- Easy to search
- Easy to track changes
The benefits are quite clear. All you need now is to plan your company’s scanning project. The first thing you need to work out is how much such a project is going to cost. Cost. There are several factors to consider before arriving at a number. These include:
- Number of pages to be scanned
- Will your scanning be single or double-sided?
- The amount of preparation work required before scanning can begin
- The amount of time you have
- Manpower required
- Space required
- Hardware and software required
Number of pages to be scanned
This is one of the main things to consider when calculating the cost of a scanning project. How much physical paper needs conversion? If you have a storage facility full of paper and want it all scanned; you will have to dig deep into your pockets. However, the cost varies with the type of scanning service used. Apart from “scan everything,” other services you could use include scan-on-demand and day-forward scanning services.
This a gradual way of moving from physical to virtual documents. The idea is to keep scanning frequently-used documents such as HR files into a given virtual storage location. The process works best if you have an off-site storage facility. With time, you will realize that you have scanned most of the documents in the facility and might then need to dispose of the hard copies. You might get to a point where you do not even need to have any storage site. Therefore, you’ll save money on rental for the storage facility, security cameras and personnel and labor.
- Day-forward scanning
This is one of the most recommended ways to go about your scanning. What you need to do is to decide what you want to have scanned and what you want stored. After that you need to decide on a date moving forward when you will begin scanning all new documents. Later, you may want to go back and scan old documents or even have them stored at an off-site storage facility. This might be the easiest option if you have a limited budget for your scanning project. This will give you the time to transition to digital storage slowly. Learn how to make your transition to digital on this article on Life Hacker.
Are the documents to scan single or double-sided?
A single-sided page is easier to scan than a double-sided one. The huge cost here is time. Obviously, the scanning process will take a lot longer with double sided documents. Double or single-sided scanning is considered a service cost. Your company will need to invest in sorting the pages to separate single-sided copies from double-sided ones before they are scanned. Single-sided ones will of course cost less than double-sided. Make your calculation based on the number of pages remembering that for every double-sided pieces of paper, there are two pages to be converted. Here It Still Works has some effective solution about how to scan two sided documents easy way.
How much preparation work is needed?
The success of a scanning project depends on the amount of preparation you can put into it. Preparation of the documents will be half the work done. The preparation of documents might cost you some money and therefore, might need to be included in your project budget to avoid unexpected costs. Your preparation will include having to remove bindings and staples. You might also need to put odd-sized documents onto standard sized paper, which you might need to purchase if you do not have any.
Moreover, you might need to separate pictures from color documents. You might need to introduce a cost for boxes for storing these documents. The boxes could be useful for storage even after scanning the documents since you might need to reassemble them.
The amount of time required
More than three-quarters of the budget used for a scanning project goes into preparation. A lot of time is spent on preparing documents for conversion. The best way to save on this cost might be to use a scanning device that has reduced the steps taken to scan to a portable document format. Decide on the best time for the project. If you have chosen to scan everything, you may have to do this activity during holidays, weekends, and other work-free days. This will help you to focus on the project instead of trying to multitask during busy workdays.
Labor force required
This largely depends on the number of documents you need scanned. Your staff may be able to handle some documents but what if you have a whole storage room full of documents? You might not be able to interrupt your employees’ work to do it. You may need to invest in a few extra hands to get the work done. Given that preparation is what takes a long time, having an additional labor force for the job may be essential. Not only will they be able to help with initial preparation, but they can also be part of the scanning and conversion process as well as reassembling and storage. It will be more cost-effective to do the job in a shorter time using more people than with fewer people and for a lengthy period.
Once most of the documents have been scanned, you will need to decide which ones can be disposed of. Do not dispose of documents that need to be at hand all the time. Such documents include company legal documents, contracts, and HR documents, for example. You might now be able to replace the big storage room you were previously using with something smaller. If the big space was costing you more than a smaller one, electronic document management systems will have saved you this ongoing cost.
Hardware and software required
This is the most important cost of them all. You need to very specific about what you need for the project. One important device is the scanner you will use. There is a wide range to choose from such as network scanners, twain scanners and standalone scanners. Network scanners are the ones that also work as printers. They are not connected to a computer, but the scanner saves all scanned documents over a network. Twain scanners are the typical scanners that most offices use that are usually connected wirelessly to the desktop with a USB device. Standalone scanners are similar to twain scanners but they lack the twain driver so can therefore carry out a limited number of scanning activities.
We cannot talk about just hardware and forget about the software you might need for your scanner. Most PDF software works with twain scanners. Some works with all the scanners above like FileCenter paperless scanning software. Once you know the scanner you will need and software you will need to complement it then getting an estimate of how much it will cost you will be easy.
Hopefully we’ve made it easier for you to now estimate the cost of your scanning project. In short, you’ll need to consider the number of pages to be scanned, whether the documents are single or double-sided, the amount of preparation required, the amount of time that will need to be to be spent, the manpower required, the space that’s required, as well as the hardware and software required. You’re now on your way to going paperless!
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