There’s a fine line between document scanning and document management. With more companies going paperless and relying on digital methods to store, organize and share their information, it’s worth knowing the difference. Here, we contrast document scanning and document management and explain how they are part of the same solution.
Understanding Document Scanning
Document scanning is the process of converting your paper records to electronic documents (e-Docs). A professional scanning service uses specialized equipment and software to streamline the imaging process and ensure high-quality digitization. Screened scanning technicians handle each step of the imaging and conversion process, including:
- Application setup
- Pre-scan file preparation
- High-speed scanning
- Document indexing and coding
- Text and image publishing
Quality control procedures are implemented during each phase of the project to ensure accuracy and readability. Document scanning eliminates paper storage costs and labor-intensive records administration processes incurred in paper-based offices.
Understanding Document Management
Document management refers to the systems used to store, organize and track your records after they are scanned and converted to e-Docs. There are various types of applications used for document management:
- DocuData ActiveWeb EDM
Some of these can be hosted locally on your internal server, and some are designed for cloud hosting.
Document management can also include a hosted image solution which reduces IT hardware, software and personnel costs. No matter which system you use, your document management solution should enable your e-Docs to be easily captured, classified, viewed and distributed, regardless of their size or format.
Document Scanning and Management Work Together
If you simply replace your paper-based records with an inventory of PDF files, you’re only slightly better off than before you scanned. You will have addressed your paper document storage concerns, although sharing and tracking PDF files may be just as inefficient as using paper. Without proper document management processes and software, you could be left with a confusing jumble of digital files.
Document indexing is a critical step in the document scanning process. All metadata in your paper files must be transferred to your e-Docs. Professional document scanning technicians manually enter this data into a database, and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is used identify keywords that make the entire contents of PDF, TIFF, and other digital files fully searchable.
After scanning and indexing, the e-Docs are merged into your preferred document management system. Your document management system should offer the following:
- 24/7 access to your e-Docs
- Tracking and logging of user, access and modification data
- Retention scheduling and review
At any time and from anywhere you should be able to view a complete audit trail of activity for your digital files. After all, besides streamlining your workflow processes, document management should also help your business become and remain legally compliant with information protection laws.
Document scanning and document management go hand-in-hand. Yes, each has a distinct process all its own, but they have something in common: each can help your business cut costs, increase productivity and stay compliant.
FileBank offers document scanning and management solutions to businesses throughout Canada. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.