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 and they have no Digital Document Management Solution.
Switching to digital is probably the most obvious answer to the problem of having too much paper. Digital documents take up much less storage space. They’re also easier to search, manage, and use in other automated processes, like accounts payable or expense reporting. But digitizing all your company’s documents and setting up a system to handle them can be hugely complicated, especially if you’re trying to do it on your own.
More and more businesses have found the best solution is to hire a document management partner to handle the intake and distribution of information. Instead of doing everything yourself, you hire a digital data expert to scan paper and manage your digital documents. The value proposition of outsourcing document scanning is tremendous. However, you’ll need to make sure your decision about which vendor to work with is closely aligned with your business goals.
Not all document management partners are considered equal. Researching all of your options is essential if you’re going to find the best partner for your needs. You’ll want to look for a vendor who maximizes the potential benefit of the intake process and creates a simple, effective means of bringing your processes forward. There are several important considerations when evaluating potential partners, and that’s what we’re going to discuss in today’s post.
1) Scanning Capacity
This is a no-brainer. The more volume your vendor can take, the better suited they are for businesses that need to adjust for expansion. Be sure to ask any potential vendor about their scalability. You need a software partner that can grow with your business, not one that will slow you down while they try to play catch-up. Make sure you ask how your vendor will handle unexpected spikes and if they have Digital Document Management implemented.
Keep in mind that there’s more to scanning capacity than sheets per minute. To make money, your vendor will always try to scan as much as possible. They can handle your expected volume, not all will have the capacity to stay agile. If your business sees huge volume influxes during peak seasons, having a vendor capable of maintaining the same level of service can make the difference between smooth document management and major nightmares.
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 a 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 before 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. When you’re looking for a document management partner, at bare minimum you’ll want one with a system that supports OCR and which lets them correct scanning issues before they become a major problem. There’s no reason to settle for anything less.
3) Data Acquisition Intelligence
Beyond strong intake management and good image quality, many vendors also offer document management software that keys from images where necessary. Go beyond OCR by selecting a software partner that does document indexing as well. A Digital Document Management system that supports document indexing creates a searchable index for virtually every aspect of the document. That includes all the information in the document itself (text, barcodes, etc.) as well as metadata about the document submission (date received, user who submitted, etc.).
The ability to index certain data points and critical fields adds an extra dimension to your business intelligence. Imaging is already a necessity, so why not use the same process to automatically capture as much data as possible? Being able to search or report on these details will give your company greater data insight than a workflow solely focused on imaging could provide.
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 either archiving or secure destruction. There are some documents you’ll want to keep paper copies of, at least for a while, and others that are best destroyed after the digital copy is made. Varying techniques pervade the industry and there are several potential avenues vendors use to manage paper.
Batch-style processes, which reconcile based on the total number of documents as a whole, have fallen out of favor in a big way. High-quality providers of Digital Document Management systems 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) Security and Ease of Access
When storing digital data, you need to keep your data secure from those who should not have access. But you also need to make it easy for people within your organization who need the data to access it. This means you must find a digital document management partner that prioritizes security and makes it easy for your employees to access the data they need.
Electronic data is both more accessible and more secure than paper files. The digital format makes it easy to search for exactly which files you want. It’s also easy to restrict access to digital files so only your trusted employees can get into your records. A reliable software vendor will be able to work with you to customize your security and set things up so only approved employees can access the different types of files.
Here at NextProcess, we make every effort to be the best digital partner you could ask for. We scale to your business’ needs. Our high volume mail center quickly gets your documents digitized, using both OCR and image indexing. We also handle paper as you see fit to keep all your on-paper information secure. Plus, we offer state-of-the-art digital security.
We’ll work closely with you to customize a digital solution that works perfectly for your business. If you have any questions, just get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to help you decide which Digital Document Management solution is right for your needs. You can also schedule a free demo and see how our software will work in your business.