Going Digital—Is Scanning All That Matters?
There are many types of scanners as well as companies offering outsource scanning services to convert paper and microfilm documents to digital files. The technology used in scanning paper or microfilm documents is mature and if proper equipment is selected for the specific requirement, documents can be productively scanned.
However, beyond the actual scanning of the documents, there are a couple of issues that need careful consideration:
- Are the scanned digital documents usable? Simply put, are the documents readable, legible, and printable in a digital system of workstations, smart phones and tablets?
- Are the documents indexed or mapped to a metadata system so they can be quickly accessed in a digital system when needed?
Both issues are not directly a function of scanning the document. They require additional steps in the process of converting paper or microfilm documents to digital files.
Image Size: Are Your Scanned Images Really Usable?
To assure useful, readable documents, the conversion process must include steps for properly sizing images at the time of conversion.
“If you find a bad scan, we will rescan the document.” Have you heard this before? Is this a process to assure quality? This approach is of no value since the original document may no longer be available or must be found and rescanned which defeats the purpose of scanning documents for quick access and integration into a digital system. Simply scanning a document, internally or through outsource services, is not enough. If your quality guarantee includes rescanning “bad” scans, the process fails; it is a guarantee of system failure, business interruption and increased costs.
Are Your Digital Document Images Indexed and Retrievable?
Today most documents are created in digital systems. In fact, so many digital documents are created each day, it is a challenge to keep up with indexing and storing them in a manner that assures immediate availability. Similarly, when converting paper or microfilm documents to digital formats, it is important to create or maintain an indexing system or to at least capture metadata describing the documents for purposes of retrieving or sharing them in a digital world. File names that fail to be unique, meaningful or indexed will be of little help in quickly accessing a digital document image.
When initiating a scanning project, don't forget to pay careful attention to the additional steps in the process that are necessary to assure success.
Software that provides image enhancement, indexing and metadata capture is available as well as reputable outsource service providers who achieve consistent, high-quality scanning results. By using Tameran ImagePrep software
or outsourcing to our service bureau
, you can assure that those extra steps that make a difference will be achieved on your next scanning project.