If you’re like most companies, paper documents are flooding your filing cabinets and seeing papers scattered across your employee’s desks is a familiar site you’ve grown use to. Endless piles of paper can make things appear cluttered and unorganized, not to mention pose security risks if sensitive documents are left unattended. The good news is, document scanning is a simple and cost-effective solution for reducing the amount of paper circulated within your business.

A professional archive and scanning provider will scan and index your documents for you, freeing up valuable space in your office, and reducing the time and money previously spent on purchasing a scanner and storing documents. Locating a trustworthy and reliable document scanning company will save you from the hassle and costs involved in purchasing your own scanning equipment. When you outsource your scanning needs, you are essentially leaving sensitive information in the hands of somebody else; therefore, it’s critical that you choose the right scanning provider. Choosing the wrong company could lead to unauthorized exposure of your critical information.

So what should you keep in mind when seeking your scanning provider? Here are 6 qualities to look for when determining who to work with.

Reputation – A good scanning company should have a great reputation in the community, and in the document storage industry. An excellent way to verify this is through reading/requesting client testimonials, as well as researching how long they have been offering scanning and storage services. A trustworthy provider should list this information on its website, as well as any awards/recognition they have received in the past.

Security Systems –  It is critical that the facility has the necessary security measures present on its premises; this includes a fire prevention system, security cameras, and modern alarm systems to ensure the building remains secure at all times. Any access to your documents by employees or clients should be controlled and monitored at all times.

Information Security – Your scanned documents need to be shared and redirected back to your company. Request information in regards to how this is done and what the process involves. Ideally you want to be sure that your scanning provider make an electronic archive of your scanned material. Access to these digital documents should be password protected to ensure only authorized employees can view the information.

Scanning Technology – The scanning equipment and software used should consist of the most advanced versions available and up to date with industry standards. Scanning providers that stay on top of cutting edge technology should be regularly updating their infrastructure. Don’t be afraid to inquire about the tools they use for scanning. Ask what type of software they use and whether it is designed to accept large quantities or not.

Document Storage – Following the scanning process, you’ll need to sort through which documents you are to keep and which to dispose of safely. A reputable supplier will assist you with determining which documents need to be retained due to specific regulations set out by the law. For audit purposes, you are required to retain certain documents for a period of 5-10 years; working with a records management company who can assist with both your scanning and storage needs is ideal.

Document Destruction – Because you will likely have documents to dispose of, working with a scanning provider that offers secure, document destruction is your best bet. Companies that are equipped with shredding machinery will safely destroy your confidential documents so there is no risk of leaked information. Dumpster diving is a real occurrence and sensitive documents are often found in public waste sites. This could be severely damaging to a company if confidential data is exposed to the wrong person. Don’t risk this unfortunate possibility; allow professionals with a reputable background in document destruction to take care of your shredding requirements.

Sherri Taylor

Posted By: Sherri Taylor – President/Managing Partner

Sherri Taylor is the Managing Partner and President of Armstrong Archives, one of the largest independent records and information management companies in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.

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