How to Decide Between Offsite & Onsite Document Scanning: A Ready Checklist

Posted by MESHDS on Oct 13, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Scanning or document digitization lays the foundation for digital transformation. Undoubtedly, any enterprise that wants to go digital must start with transforming paper documents to digital! 

Of course, digitizing documents brings considerable savings in physical storage space—but it also facilitates better collaboration between remote employees (a handy benefit in our times, owing to the increased WFH in the post-pandemic new normal!). Fast search and retrieval features of digital document management give us near-real-time document distribution and sharing. Employees enjoy the convenience and flexibility to access documents using any device, anytime, anywhere. Digitization increases the efficiency of the workforce and allows managers to make data-driven decisions. 

Outsourcing works best for scanning business documents

The decision around whether to handle document scanning in-house or outsource it is a natural point to contemplate when you decide to embark on the digital journey. Carry out a realistic assessment of the physical and financial resources available at your disposal. While doing so, remember that your employees should focus on their core strengths and add value to your operations regardless of additional document digitization activities! 

Outsourcing document scanning to a professional document scanning company is more cost-effective than training your in-house employees and investing in high-quality scanning equipment. 

Document scanning companies offer state-of-the-art high-speed scanning equipment; with well-defined processes and services of professional scanning experts well-trained to handle documents carefully and transform all types of paper documents, microfilms, microfiches into digital format. 

Understanding the steps of the document scanning process 

The document scanning process starts with assessing types, sizes, and varieties of documents for scanning. An experienced project manager understands the nuances of handling large volumes of paper and the care required to handle old or fragile documents.

Professional scanning providers invest in best-in-class scanning hardware, including production-grade, high-speed scanners, specialized book scanners or check scanners that are brought into use according to the project requirements.

Next, the digitized documents are classified and indexed for quick search and easy retrieval. Then, a quality assurance check ensures that the scanned image is readable. Then it is time to store scanned documents in a central document management system for easy access, collaboration and affordable storage on the cloud. Last but not least, the paper originals have to be retained, archived, or destroyed based on the statutory regulations and compliances as well as retention policies of the company.  

The one decision you must make as an enterprise is whether you want the document scanning done on your premises, or would you prefer to hand over your documents to the scanning services provider for transport to their location of the document scanning company? This brings us to the issue of how to decide between onsite scanning or offsite scanning services.

Onsite scanning services: The pros and cons

Onsite scanning services require the document scanning company to set up the scanning facility at your location. The company will assemble workstations, set up the most appropriate scanning machinery specific to your requirements. Digital documents can be stored on physical devices or routed directly into your document management system or on the cloud, according to your specifications. The originals will either be archived or destroyed right there—depending on the retention schedules for your documents.  

The most important advantage of using an onsite scanning service is that your documents stay within your premises. If you have regulatory compliances that prevent you from handing over sensitive information to a service provider, onsite scanning is best for you. Besides, you won't have to spend time and money on packing and transportation either. On the other hand, remember that the onsite scanning team is not a full-fledged scanning unit with limited resources, so the process can take longer and may work out more expensive.

Offsite scanning: Pack up and ship off! 

If you opt for offsite scanning, you will have to take the trouble to properly sort, pack and store your documents in labelled boxes. The scanning company then picks up the shipment and transports it securely to their facility. The papers are scanned using production-grade equipment and processes within the professional setup offered by the scanning company. Offsite scanning projects are faster because scanning is done in a fully functional, dedicated scanning facility on numerous machines, sometimes even in multiple work shifts. The flip side is that records are no longer within your control, so you may not have immediate access to them. Thus, there is a concern of quick access of documents on demand during the project duration, as well as the cost of transportation. 

Choosing between onsite scanning & offsite scanning

  • Are your documents highly confidential and contain sensitive information? 
  • Do you have statutory compliances that prevent you from transporting documents outside your premises?
  • Do you have large volumes of legacy records or old and fragile documents to be scanned?
  • Do you need on-demand control of all your records to maintain undisrupted functioning within the organization?
  • Do you want to avoid the hassles of packing, sorting, and transporting documents?
  • Do you have adequate space for setting up a temporary scanning area within your premises?
  • Do you have sufficient time and budget for the scanning project?

If you answered yes to most of the above questions, then onsite scanning is the right option for your company. Contact the scanning experts at MES to validate your selection.

Now, on the other hand, if you answer yes to most of the questions below, then offsite scanning is the right option for your company. 

  • Do you have a stringent budget and timeline to complete the transition to digital?
  • Are you allowed to entrust your vital documents to another company?
  • Do you want to ensure faster, round-the-clock scanning? 
  • Do you work out of small offices? Do you want to save storage space? 
  • Is your preferred document scanning company located close to your office location? 
  • Do you have the physical resources to sort and pack your documents?

Contact us for a free quote for our offsite scanning services today!

Scan to Zero: An offsite document storage alternative

Scan to Zero is an option you have to avail our offsite scanning services in a staggered manner to suit your budget. You decide the budget per month, and MES will scan a specific number of documents each month. We will also provide safe and secure storage services at no additional cost to you! Plus, anytime you require a document urgently, we'll retrieve it and deliver it to you! 

Onsite or offsitewhichever you choose, MES delivers secure and affordable scanning services to take you from paper to digital! 

Request a quote now.

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