You may think that your office has become a digital space, with employees staring at their screens all day and meetings over Skype, but important business matters still need to be conducted on paper. When you first hire an employee, they’ll need to a sign a contract and probably fill out some tax forms (Such as VAT) to be sent to HMRC. When you invoice a customer, the invoice will be printed and stored on paper. In particular, legal, healthcare, financial and educational businesses rely on paper documents. Such documents are stored excessively in filing cabinets and boxes, making accessing them at a later date a very long and painful process. Of course, there is also the risk that an important document may go missing. This is where going digital and converting documents can be incredibly useful.
What are the benefits of digitalizing the document process?
- You’ll have lower operating costs as scanning the documents means you no longer need to store the paper equivalents. You could even use the additional space for a desk for a new employee, bringing more value to your business overall.
- Reduces the risk of loss- Scanning documents means that you won’t lose them at a crucial moment which could result in a further loss of business, for example, if a customer gets too impatient.
- Improves employee productivity as a digital system of filing makes it easier for the employee to search for information and takes up less of their time.
- Access at any time and place- The majority of modern document scanners come with a sharing functionality so that you can upload documents to cloud servers or share them on email, making it easier to access them remotely.
- Improves information security as you can restrict who has access to the digital format of the document. Documents can also be saved as PDFs with digital signatures in order to prove authenticity.
- Disaster recovery- Investing in a scanner may seem costly, but it can help in the event of a disaster, such as an office fire or burglary, as documents can be backed up to cloud servers.
What to think about before you purchase a document scanner:
- How much do you need to scan?- The majority of modern scanners can scan many pages per minute, so you may wish for speed to be a factor. Alternatively, if you’ll only scan occasionally, you can go for a slower option which may be cheaper.
- What type of things are you scanning?- Different types of scanners are better for different materials. For instance, flatbed scanners are better for photos, whereas automatic document feeder scanners are better for scanning large batches of documents all at once.
- Portability- Are you regular outside of the office with clients? A portable document scanner could be an option- some even come with wifi functionality.
Examples of documents that you may need a scanner for:
- Client or supplier invoices.
- VAT receipts.
- Employee contracts or personal records.
- Business cards.
Clearly, a powerful document scanner can be a great investment for every type of business, but particularly for those who hoard a lot of paper documents. There are many different types of scanner available on the market, so do your research before you buy!