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5 Questions for Your Document Scanning Provider

Choosing the right document scanning provider doesn’t involve a dart board. Intentionally asking the right questions will help you select the company that is best for your needs.

1. Do You Offer Scan-on-Demand?

  • Scan On Demand allows you to receive a document digitally, anytime you need it, anywhere you are. You don’t have to wait until a hard copy file shows up. You just ask to have a document scanned and sent to you.
  • If your company has a large volume of both active and inactive documents, you won’t need to have them all scanned right away. Scan On Demand allows you to leave inactive documents in hard copy format until you need them. This can reduce the cost of scanning unnecessary documents.

2. Do You Use OCR Technology?

If your company would benefit from being able to search keywords or phrases in scanned documents, then Optical Character Recognition (OCR) would be a great benefit. OCR technology converts text from a hard copy document to a digital format so that characters can be recognized in a search and find. It also allows you to edit documents, incorporate them into web pages, and much more.

3. What Security Measures Are in Place?

Is the information in your documents confidential? If so, you need to ask:

  • Does the scanning service have a secure process for transporting, scanning, and storing of your documents and files?
  • Can files be encrypted?
  • Is there a pre-employment security check for all staff?
  • Do the facilities have 24/7 security systems in place?

4. What File Formats Do You Use?

Documents serve different purposed and unique preservation requirements. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the file format matches the document type. Here are a few examples:

  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics) and JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) are great for graphical content like logos, photos, and website images, but they aren’t suitable for documents.
  • PDF/A (Portable Document Format/Archival) is the ISO standardized format for preserving documents long term. It ensures images will be a true and accurate representation of the original.
  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) allows a high degree of compression and is great for high-privacy files.

5. What Is Your Service History Like?

A document scanning provider will be happy to offer you their subjective opinion of their quality of service, but you can get a more objective review from a variety of sources:

  • Consult business colleagues. Ask people you do business with or people that do business with you and see what document scanning provider they use. Find out the pros and cons.
  • Check online, crowdsourced reviews on Google, Yelp and TrustPilot.
  • Check your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the business is listed, is a BBB member, and if there are any unresolved issues. Founded in 1912, the BBB is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.
  • Do a search using a search engine like Google or Bing. A basic search of the prospective provider’s business name may return a range of information that could improve your understanding of their level of service quality.

These five questions will help you clarify which provider to use for your scanning needs. Records Management Center in Augusta would be happy to answer any of these or other questions you may have about document imaging solutions. Give us a call at 706-724-7982 or complete the form on this page.