5 Critical “Must-Haves” for Your Digital Document Management Partner
Managing massive amounts of paper has been a problem for business owners for years now. Most companies struggle to manage it because they simply can’t create an internal process that allows them to deal with fluctuations in volume as well as meet business intelligence needs. More and more businesses have found the best solution in finding a document management partner to handle the intake and distribution of information. However, not all software partners are considered equal. There are some important considerations when evaluating potential partners.
1. Scanning Capacity
This is a no-brainer. The more volume your vendor can take, the better suited they are for a business who needs to adjust for expansion. But there’s more to capacity than sheets per minute. In order to make the most money, your vendor has to make sure that they’re always scanning as much as possible. So while they can handle your expected volume, they may not have the capacity necessary to stay agile. If your business sees huge volume influxes during peak seasons, having a vendor that can maintain the same level of service can make the difference between smooth document management and major nightmares. Be sure to ask any potential vendor about their scalability and how they handle unexpected spikes.
2. Imaging Intelligence
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology has taken the document management industry by storm. Every year, developers make strides towards improvement. However, there is still significant opportunity for variable success rates. The main obstacle is image quality. Not all scanned images are created equal. Having consistent, clean images is critical to making the most out of your OCR technology. Many high volume scanners provide image visibility prior to loading the scan into a document workflow. This gives the scanning operator a change to correct the image or re-scan it when necessary. Resolving these issues early on increases the efficiency of data acquisition.
4. Document Control Procedure
One of the most important processes you could evaluate in a potential vendor is how they control their hard copies. They should have a concrete process flow from intake to archiving or secure destruction. Varying techniques pervade the industry and there are several potential avenues vendors use to manage paper. Batch-style processes, which reconcile based on total number of documents as a whole, have fallen out of favor in a big way. High quality providers have a unique identifier for each document they encounter, even marking individual pages to try and identify possible separations. These identifiers let vendors instantly trace documents back to a date, time, and sometimes operator. This is critical to simplifying reconciliation and dealing with any potential problems.
5. Data Acquisition Intelligence
Beyond strong intake management and good image quality, many vendors also offer document management software that capitalizes on OCR technology as well as keying from images, where necessary. The ability to index certain data points and critical fields adds an extra dimension to your business intelligence to the workflow. Imaging is already a necessity-why not use the same process to automatically capture as much data as possible? Being able to report or search on these details will give your company greater data insight than a workflow solely focused on imaging could provide.
The value proposition of outsourcing document scanning is tremendous but your decisions should be closely aligned with your business goals. Researching all of your options is essential. Find a vendor who maximizes the potential benefit of intake process and creates a simple and effective means to bringing your processes forward.