Embarking on a document scanning project can seem like navigating a maze of choices and processes. Whether you’re looking to transform a mountain of paper into a sleek digital archive or ensure seamless access to your business’s vital records, understanding the journey from paper to pixel is crucial. 

In this article we continue with the next batch of five vetting questions you should ask when looking for a document scanning service. These include gauging the project timeline and uncovering the additional services that add value, selecting your digital format and maintaining access to critical files during the transition, and the significance of a scanning provider’s experience. 

(if you haven’t read our first article in this series, you can find it here: 5 Vetting Questions For A Document Scanning Service)

#6 – How long does a scanning project take?

The duration of a scanning project is largely determined by two main factors: the volume of records to be digitized and the condition of those records. Naturally, the more documents there are, the longer the project will take due to the sheer number of scans and processing required. 

However, the condition of the documents is just as critical. This refers to how prepared the records are for scanning. Preparation involves removing staples, paper clips, rubber bands, extracting pages from binders or folders, unfolding pages, and repairing any tears with tape. Often, this preparation stage is the most labor-intensive part of the project, even more so than the scanning itself.

Hourglass on top of a calendar

Post-processing steps also play a role in the timeline. These include indexing, which is the digital labeling of records based on predetermined criteria, and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) processing for text searchability. These steps are essential but add to the overall project duration.

#7 – What else is included in a scanning project?

A scanning project is more than just converting paper to pixels; it’s about preserving the accessibility and integrity of your records in a digital format. Beyond the basic act of scanning, several critical services are often involved to ensure the usability of your digital files. OCR technology is a game-changer, turning images of text into editable and searchable data. Quality assurance and checks are the safeguards that ensure every page is scanned correctly and every file is named and sorted according to your system’s needs.

Digital puzzle pieces symbolizing teamwork

The final deliverable—how you receive your scanned documents—is tailored to your requirements. Whether you need industry-standard PDFs, high-resolution TIFFs for archival quality, or versatile JPGs for everyday use, the output should align with your organizational needs. And for those seeking a more integrated solution, platforms like Digital ReeL offer a hosted application that provides not just storage but also easy retrieval and viewing capabilities.

#8 – What digital formats can I receive my images in?

The digital formats available for your images are varied, with PDF, TIFF, and JPG being the most common. The choice of format may depend on the requirements of your document management system or the desired quality of the image. For instance, a bi-tonal TIFF might be suitable for black/white images, while a JPEG could better represent grayscale and tonality. If you’re unsure of what you need, we can provide recommendations based on your project’s specifics.

Image of various digital file types in an abstract swirl

The selection often depends on the end-use of the documents. Will they be accessed frequently or archived for long-term storage? Do they need to be integrated into a document management system with specific format requirements? Understanding these nuances is key, and a knowledgeable scanning partner can guide you through these choices, ensuring your digital files meet both current and future needs.

#9 – What happens if I need a file during the project?

A common concern is accessing records during the digitization process. Our system, the BMI Request System (BRS), allows for file requests through a responsive web application that bridges the gap between physical and digital. Should you need a mid-project document, our system ensures you’re not left waiting. Upon request, our team prioritizes the scanning of the needed file, typically making it available within 24 to 48 hours, though this can be adjusted to meet your project’s needs. This system reflects our commitment to not only digitize your records but also to support the continuity of your business.

Visualization of a business woman retrieving digital files through a computer

#10 – What’s your experience with document scanning?

When you’re looking for a good document scanning company, you should ask them three simple questions:

How long have you been doing this?

A company that’s been around for a while is usually a good sign. It means they’ve kept their business going and their customers happy for a long time. But remember, just because they’ve been in business for many years doesn’t mean they’re the best. It’s just a hint that they might be worth a closer look.

How many scanning projects have you done?

It’s good to know how many projects they’ve finished. A company that’s done lots of projects has probably seen all sorts of situations and learned from them. This experience means they’re more likely to do your job well because they’ve had the practice.

Have you worked with businesses like mine?

This is really important. You want a scanning company that understands your type of work. If they’ve helped businesses like yours before, they’ll know what you need and how to handle any special situations that might come up.

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Next Steps

Reach out to us today! Click the “Get Your Quote” button below, fill out the form, and we’ll quickly reply to you to discuss your project.

Further Reading

5 Vetting Questions For A Document Scanning Service
How do you choose who you’ll work with for your document scanning project? In this article we’ll give you five vetting questions that should get you started on the right foot.

The Definitive Guide To Bulk Document Scanning
Bulk document scanning is essential for large conversion projects. This guide dives into high-volume document digitization, offering insights into its benefits, the equipment and tools utilized, and best practices to ensure optimal results.

Building Block Approach To Digitization
Digital conversion projects can be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not manageable. To improve your chances of success, and also keep your stress levels down, utilize the Building Block Approach to digitization.