With the Prime Minister’s “Digital India” initiative in place, several organisations are planning to go digital for managing their official documents. The very first step that these organisations are required to take is to define the scope of work. This means that the person or the department who is in-charge of the digitization project should connect with all the other existing departments in the organisations to estimate the volume of papers to be digitized. Organisations should not rush into any decision of engaging a vendor without this data as the volume plays a vital role in deciding the cost of digitisation per document.
Once there is a consensus on the number and type of documents to be digitised, the second most important step is scanning. The physical records are scanned before they can be stored in a Cloud based or On-Premise Digital Document Management System.
With our experience working with several organisation from different industries, we have laid down the best practices that are to be followed during the scanning process.
Before the papers can be put into the scanner, all staple pins, clips and other kind of fasteners are to be removed. The persons undertaking this process need to be very careful to avoid damaging the papers. There are proper tools that are to be used to prevent tearing of documents.
Non-Standard Paper Size
It becomes easier and much faster if the documents to be scanned are sorted as per the paper size. This is because different scanners are required for different paper sizes. If all documents that are to be scanned are of the same size, Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) makes the life much easier by saving time.
After scanning a bunch of documents, the following checks are to be done to ensure quality:
- Random manual checking of the sequence of documents.
- The scanning that is done is proper and readable.
- In case of different sizes of documents or while using different kinds of scanners for different paper sizes, the documents are fastened or bound as earlier.
- When the scanning is done using different scanners, the scanned files are properly merged in the same order into a single file (PDF or TIFF)
- The resolution of the scanned documents is as per the required specifications.
- All documents are scanned and nothing is missed in between due to tea break etc.
Irregular Supply of Documents
While the scanning is in progress the scanning team should not face the problem of irregular supply of files and documents. Due to lack of communication within the departments of an organisation, or lack of accountability it has been observed that the scanning process halts as people do not know what to scan next. This results in a delay in the entire process of scanning and loss of interest in digitisation. This may also lead to increase in the cost of scanning.
Output File Size and Type
Some organisations that have already foreseen the need for digitising documents at a later stage do the scanning in-house. Due to lack of awareness the documents are scanned in high resolution making the files too heavy to retrieve from any cloud based document management system. In case of scanning a file with a large number of papers, the document should be split into smaller portions. The .pdf format is usually preferred and accepted by most of the document management softwares.