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Document Scanning Considerations

There are two separate aspects to cohesive records management and governance: Document Management and Records Management. To most people these sound like one and the same thing, but to businesses it should be clear that these are two very separate processes. Both are vital to the efficient operation of a company. Here is an overview of what each entail. Document Management This is how your office processes paper and electronic information flow. What items are archived physically, and what information is archived electronically. How your filing system works.   How you store emails.   It is important to have a consistent plan in place for all of your employees so that information flow processes can be smooth, efficient and continuous. Many offices’ filing systems are thrown together by the employee of the month, i.e. there is no cohesive system in place. Document handling may vary from department to department. In some cases it may even vary from office assistant to office assistant. This can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to personnel change or office consolidation, not to mention the day-to-day inefficiencies that this inherently creates. Studies show that managers waste up to 4 weeks per year waiting for misfiled or lost paper to show up; 70% of retained paper is not necessary for operations or compliance; Up to 5% of all records are misfiled and; Office workers in general waste up to two hours a day looking for misplaced paperwork. It behooves companies to have a stringent and effective Document Management System in place. Records Management This is how your office keeps track of and governs the handling of records from the time of their creation to their eventual destruction. Who created the record? When was it created? Who is accessing records? Who is altering records? Are your records compliant with industry standards? Government standards? A comprehensive Records Management System is crucial to a company to ensure that information is handled properly. It will create an audit trail to ensure that accountability is in place. Where to begin It makes sense to have document management and records management office standards in place for all employees to follow. This will streamline your information flow processes and create numerous efficiencies...

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If you are like most cemeteries and funeral homes across the state, you represent a small, family-owned business that has sustained itself for multiple generations. When every dollar needs to be used as efficiently as possible, information technology (IT) resources tend to sink to the bottom of the priority list – which not only means you may not have the latest computer system, but you have amassed boxes upon boxes of paper records. These boxes are taking up storage space, and in many cases, they are overflowing into valuable office space. They are susceptible to destruction from violent acts of weather, changes in climate, mildew, and even consumption by rodents and other hungry critters. Most critically, they are unprotected from unwanted, snooping eyes. Records must be preserved and maintained for business and compliance reasons, but keeping them in boxes – whether in your storage room, basement, or attic – puts them at risk. So what’s the solution? There are options to explore without the need for an IT services team. You could rent out storage space; send your boxes off to a file storage facility; or, you could scan your files and store them electronically. Many factors need to be considered with each of these options. Let’s look at the pros and cons. Renting storage space can be affordable and quickly gets those boxes out of your hair. If you are not accessing those files frequently, this can work well for you. However, in some areas self-storage costs per square foot may be equal to, or even greater than the on-site space you’ll be freeing up. Most are not climate controlled, so you are still running the same risks as storing the boxes in your office. If you need regular access to your files, this will now become a time consuming and costly exercise. Without rigorous inventory controls, finding the needed file may be close to impossible. Protection of your files from vandals and thieves is now completely out of your hands. Contracting the storage of your files with a file storage facility presents many advantages over renting your own storage space. Most facilities are climate controlled and impervious to violent weather situations. Security in these facilities is normally...

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Have you ever wondered how scanning gets priced?  This post may clear up some of the vagaries of scanning. There are four main components in quoting a potential scanning project. In ascending cost: Scanning  Although this is the purpose of the project, this is normally the most inexpensive phase of the project. This cost is determined by the size of the documents and the speed at which the documents can be fed through the scanner. Quality Assurance  One of the most important steps in assuring that all images are converted accurately.  All images should be checked for clarity, proper orientation, blank page removal, data completeness, page overlaps, file sequence, and file completeness. File Naming  Although Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has progressed, it is not yet a reliable, cost effective method for naming your files.  The more complex the file structure and naming conventions, the more time required to complete the project. Preparation  Preparing the documents for scanning is typically the highest cost component of a scanning project.  Besides the obvious need to remove staples and paperclips, the documents need to be examined and repaired to ensure that they are not damaged as they pass through the scanner, and to make sure that they themselves don’t harm the scanner. Other costs to consider are pickup, delivery, storage (physical and electronic) and document destruction. Keeping these points in mind as you look over stuffed filing cabinets and disintegrating banker’s boxes, imagine information a click away and storage space transformed from an expense into a source of income.   See Steve’s Blog Boxes, Boxes … Jim Geldermann Director of Technology BizDoc Storage, LLC (847)910-3010...

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