Scan or Store? Document Scanning and Archiving Advice for Walsall Companies
7th January 2010
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It’s a situation that I come across frequently, companies all around Walsall that have too much paper.

At first, a paper filing system seems more than adequate for all those essential business documents.  The documents, purchase invoices, delivery notes, contract files and such like are used and abused and then put into the inevitable filing cabinet.  When the cabinet is full another one is bought and the process (with variations) carries on until eventually there’s no space left for any more cabinets.

At this point, the point of distress, decisions have to be made and someone will say, “Let’s scan them all.”  This is great news for my company Quantor, based in Brownhills, Walsall because we provide Document Scanning Services, but let’s be sensible about this and take a closer look at the pros and cons of document scanning compared to archive storage.

Document scanning does cost more than simply putting the documents in a box and sending them to an off-site store.  However, there are limitations to archive storage, not all companies provide a controlled environment where the temperature and humidity are maintained at just the right levels and even some of the best companies can have devastating fires.

On the other hand, there is a great deal of work involved in converting those paper archives into retrievable images, especially if you want to comply with best practices for legal admissibility.  To help people faced with making these decisions here a few key questions:

1.    How many documents are there?
2.    Who looks at them and why?
3.    How many people need to look at them at the same time?
4.    How often are they looked at?
5.    How do they find what they are looking for?
6.    How quickly will they need it?
7.    Who says that you have to keep them?  (Possible answers are HMRC, FSA, MoD and for American owned companies Sarbanes Oxley).
8.    What are the consequences of not finding a document?

The answers to these questions should help you decide whether document scanning or archive storage is the best solution.  They will also help in calculating the cost of the scanning.

The next big question is should you scan yourself or use the Quantor Document Scanning Service?  I will give you a few tips next time about this or feel free to get in touch.

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