So you've decided to take the plunge into document imaging. Whether your goal is to go completely paperless or just to reduce some of the hard copy archive taking up valuable space in your file room, document imaging services are an excellent option for streamlining business information.
To get the most out of the move to digital records, here are some steps you should take now to get organized and ready for the transition:
1. Review your records management plan
There are varying degrees of how formal and comprehensive your records management plan might be, but what's most important is that you do in fact have a records management plan in place. It doesn't have to be complicated, but it should at least spell out which records your company generates that need to be saved, which ones contain sensitive data, and which ones need to be saved and/or destroyed on a particular schedule.
Before having your paper records converted to digital format, review the plan to make sure you're not wasting time and resources on records that will soon be destroyed or would not benefit your business to be digitized.
2. Review your retention schedule
As part of that plan, your records retention scheduling process should help you identify which of your paper records need to be saved and for how long. In some cases, this is regulatory. For instance, real estate records should be kept indefinitely while certain tax records must be saved for a minimum number of years.
By reviewing your retention schedule and cross-referencing it with your existing paper records, you will be able to remove any paper records that are beyond their usefulness and flag how long the digital copy should be kept for the rest of the records you plan to save.
3. Choose an imaging partner you can trust
While the physical act of scanning your documents and saving them to a CD or DVD may seem simple, it's important to remember you are entrusting your company's reputation and the ongoing security of vital records to the partner you choose to handle your document imaging services. Don't just choose the lowest bid and leave it at that.
Look for a scanning partner with:
- Experience with all areas of records management
- Expertise in the process, use of equipment, and necessary security surrounding document imaging
- Options and flexibility that meets you needs
- Qualified, helpful staff willing and able to answer your questions.
Once you've taken these three vital steps, your business will be in the best position to benefit from the organizational, convenience and compliance benefits of document imaging. To learn more about all of the ways our professional records management company is prepared to care for your sensitive information, find out 5 questions to ask your document scanning partner and contact us today.