Document Scanning isn’t an All or Nothing Proposition

Don’t Sell Me!Don't Sell Me Document Scanning

There is nothing more frustrating than someone trying to sell you something – regardless if you need it or not. Nothing infuriates me more than vendors who walk into a client’s office with a cute little portable scanner, a stack of paper, and a promise of life in digital Shangri-La! Document scanning isn’t about putting paper through a machine. It’s also not an “all or nothing” proposition. I visit with clients who have thousands of files that occupy miles of space and require scores of resources who have been lulled into thinking that the only way to stop the bleeding is to spend millions of dollars on document scanning. The result is that each year the paper grows and their perception of change only get more expensive.

Getting Started with Document Scanning

Migrating to the electronic document world can involve a lot of steps, but as someone once told me, I can guarantee you will never score if you don’t shoot! We don’t need enterprise wide spends to get started and quite frankly, it’s why so many organizations have been burned. The key is identifying a core document type or file set that brings you the best return (we’ll talk about ROI soon) and allows you to ease your way into the change. For example, you can start with scanning documents from your most recent year or perhaps consider core documents within a file that have a high retrieval rate. Maybe you have documents that are mission critical and the only copy you have is in paper format. The key to getting started with document scanning is not feeling the pressure to bang it all out at once but having a conversation about where it makes sense to start. We have clients that send us one box a week or sometimes just one box a month! At the end of the year, they’re 100,000 pages farther along than they were before or at least they haven’t added to the mountain they already have.

Understanding How Document Scanning Will Work for You

With today’s advancements in technology and process efficiencies, there are few organizations that cannot afford to begin outsourcing this task. The options today are almost unlimited and creative approaches – not pre-determined solutions – should be the way we approach our options. Putting paper through a scanner is not rocket science. The key to success is understanding how those documents are being used, why those documents should (or in some cases, shouldn’t be) scanned, and making sure that whatever you do today will work as you progress into new technology applications and platforms. I’ll say it again – there is no one size fits all solution – but there are many document scanning solutions and the right one needs to be the one that works best for you.



Anna Stratton is Director of Information Management Solutions at Southwest Solutions Group headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Anna specializes in records management and business process protocols, document scanning, policy design, and information retention policies and process.
Anna has over 18 years of professional business management experience and provides advice nationwide through the SYSTEC Group’s “Ask the Expert” column. Ms. Stratton is also a dynamic national speaker and conducts private corporate seminars on a variety of topics in addition to providing keynote and educational speeches for organizations such as ARMA and the Lorman Seminar Group. Ms. Stratton has been recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership and excellence in information and asset management.