Document imaging is, well, just document imaging with a scanner. Does it need any kind of management?
The answer is, yes, document-imaging management is needed.
If you are a very small business, with few document-imaging requirements, you can be efficient with an inexpensive desktop scanner. (Actually that too is a document-imaging management decision—you looked at your needs and selected a solution that is appropriate.)
For larger organizations, however, much study will typically be needed to identify the specific document imaging requirements, their volumes, quality requirements and so on. Based on these findings, the best configuration of solutions needs to be identified.
The solution could include production-level document-imaging equipment controlling many scanning stations and highly sophisticated software for completing many quality-control and processing tasks.
There are many vendors in the document imaging market with slightly differing offerings at different prices. Only a proper study can help you get the best deal that would meet all your requirements.
You might even come to the conclusion that certain types of infrequent or specialized imaging jobs are best outsourced to specialist document-imaging service companies. You might also decide to retain these companies to provide training and other support services for your own in-house document imaging work.
Selection of equipment and software is not simple where the document imaging requirements are large and varied.
For example, scanners come in desktop, departmental, and production level models. Under each, there are models with differing capabilities, such as page size, scanning speed, sheet-feeder capacity, and so on.
While there may be a high proportion of poor quality original documents that need to be imaged, you might decide to obtain a scanning system with sophisticated features. Such scanners can produce images that are better than the originals. This might come in handy where the original documents are difficult to read owing to poor contrast etc.
Organizations that receive a large volume of regular mail, and employ several people to sort, batch, scan, and distribute these, can obtain sophisticated mailroom equipment. These equipment can extract documents from envelopes, scan them, OCR them, and perform other related tasks at high speeds. Only one operator would be needed to handle sizable volumes.
- List imaging requirements
- Note the typical volumes against each requirement
- Identify the typical problems likely to arise, such as illegible documents, varying forms, odd shaped or outsized documents, and so on
You can then consult a specialist and begin identifying the kind of facilities you should establish. You can also identify the specialized document-imaging tasks that are better outsourced. Your consultant will also be able to help you identify the specific features you should look for.
Document-imaging management involves identifying your document imaging requirements and selecting the right equipment with the right features. This is not a simple task and you might need some specialist help. You should seek such help because there are too many offerings in the market with varied capabilities on offer. Selecting unnecessary features, or omitting needed ones, can result in unsatisfactory document-imaging functionality.