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Should You Use A Scanning Bureau Or Do It Yourself?

by securedatamgt | 16 Feb 2015

Office Scanner

The word digitisation in itself  can be quite daunting and certainly it is a word that has close associations with the unknown in the minds of many. However, with the proliferation of the office scanner one can say with some confidence that document digitisation is a lion that has been tamed.

The scanner has become as commonplace as the printer and petty office gossip. As the office scanner has become an increasingly familiar sight its flaws have become more apparent to those who frequently use it. Many have come to question its utility and the office scanner has proven itself to be problematic in areas including:

  • Health and safety
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Efficiency and reliability
  • High volume suitability
  • Cost and training

Another key consideration is the time-consuming of scanning work. Preparing documents by removing staples, unfolding corners and taking into account various paper sizes is tedious work normally – let alone on a commercial office scanner.

Why Consider Using a Scanning Bureau?

Many businesses are realising the perils of using an onsite scanner and instead are turning to offsite record management companies for their scanning requirements. As companies become more reliant on digital business operations they may require bulk scanning of legacy paper files.

Most office scanners simply aren’t built for demanding archival projects and can only cope with small volumes of documentation.

Using sub standard scanners for large projects can take up a huge amount of your employees’ time and it is likely that the digital copies you end up with will not be of the quality you require.

To learn more about the advantages of using an offsite scanning service check out our blog post: Offsite Scanning Services: Document Digitization made Easy

Drawbacks of Scanning Records In-House

Whilst high volume scanners for office use are readily available they can be expensive to maintain and difficult to use. A common complaint is the amount of space and noise they produce.

Most offices will perhaps have both desktop and high volume scanners, although desktop scanners are notoriously slow when it comes to high volume scanning so it is likely one will be far more popular with employees than the other.

Another problem associated with onsite scanning is the quality of the end product. A number of different variables can affect the clarity and utility of a digital copy. The type of lens the scanner uses and the condition of the manual document can both affect the clarity of a digital copy, whilst dust trapped in the scanner glass can also be a recurring nuisance.

In order for your scanner to deliver the quality you and your clients expect you will have to invest in regular maintenance. A scanner’s lamps and lens should be checked as often as possible to avoid long term complications. Maintenance and supplies for high volume scanners tend to be more costly than for regular scanners .

Office scanners are useful if it is the odd document you are looking to scan and there are now compact scanners that sit upright, as opposed to their flatbed predecessors – they are known for their space saving practicality. However, when it comes to high volume scanning you are far more likely to be happy with the finished product offered by a scanning bureau.

The Key Benefits of Using a Bureau

A competitive scanning bureau should offer a service which only utilises the most efficient high volume scanners, scanners that will protect your original copies in the process and give you a digital copy that you would be willing to show to clients and investors.

After your documents have been scanned a competitive facility should be able to store your digital copies in a format of your choice, for example in a secure backup format like a data tape.

What’s more, first rate record management companies should offer scan back services so that you can quickly have access to a copy of a manual document that is stored offsite. You might find that an offsite facility will include a full audit as a part of their scanning service so you can find out the retention schedules of your documents which is key for effective record management.

A competitive record management company should provide you with an offsite scanning service that is both hassle free and reliable. As companies seek to continue augmenting their online presence their scanning needs expand leading to increased instances of high volume scanning projects. These projects are both too specialized and too important to be left to the deficiencies of the office scanner.