August 17, 2022

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Whether You Know It Or Not, You Are On A Digital Conversion Journey

Director of Commercial Operations & Engineering for Electronic Restoration Services of SE Michigan & Greater Toledo.

Whatever industry you serve, your digital journey has begun, and it is imperative that you are ready to contribute. There is no doubt that our world is becoming more dependent on our digital devices every day. As this dependence grows, so does the need to convert analog paper documents into digital assets to be used within new and upgraded workflows. Before we get ahead of ourselves, conceptually we need to ask, “Where does my organization fit into all of this digital noise?” Whether you are a small home-based business or a large corporation, you are on a digital conversion journey that is yours alone and very custom.

Embarking on a digital conversion process is not the same as adding a “temporal gadget” to your established workflow but rather is a very important step to making you more competitive and safer in our ever-growing digital world. Here are some compelling reasons to begin on your analog-to-digital conversion project sooner than later that you may not have thought of yet.

Natural and man-made disasters happen every day, and paper documents are the most vulnerable. Customer files, accounting files, medical records, legal records, historical archives and documents with retention rules should all be considered important records to preserve digitally before fire, water or mold damage occurs. When important documents are stored in file rooms and basements, they are exposed to the threat of flooding due to pipes breaking and severe weather. Preserving your documents through scanning can be a cost-effective way to keep and use them for years to come with no worries of physical damage to the paper.

According to Record Nations, “More than 70{35cbf20be41bfd45e10dd383dd0604b9495e63d3ec33f53174e2303ed13e9012} of businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.”

Would you like to use that paper storage space for productive office space? Retention laws for documents and sensitive records require you to make space within your office for physical file storage. This space is valuable real estate you could be using to make your organization money with added personnel or production areas. Scanning these documents will allow you to manage your retention criteria while opening useful and profitable workspaces within your office. Productivity can also be improved by digital indexing and searchability of the files. Once files have been scanned and organized, they can be found by a user with a simple query to the system. This can save your team time in retrieving an archived file. Imagine the efforts saved if that file was previously misplaced?

Security of physical documents is a real hazard. The fear of unauthorized personnel within your organization gaining access to sensitive records is a constant issue that could result in dire consequences. Once the sensitive materials have been scanned, they can then be securely disposed of leaving only a digital copy with appropriate security protocol attached. If you choose to use a cloud service to store and manage your database, be sure to discuss the various options for HIPPA compliancy, file redundancy for backup in case of an emergency, dark repository, security procedures for critical information, and file transfer safety, to name a few.

An Inc. article notes that, according to the EPA, by scanning old documents and going paperless, “A paperless office saves roughly $80 per employee (annually) in costs related to paper, ink, toner, storage space, and postage. If you have an organization with 400 employees, this could total more than $32,000 per year.”

Once you have a working “living and breathing” digital record management system, your ROI will be realized both monetarily and environmentally. Paper that has been scanned can be recycled, saving the load on obtaining raw materials from our planet’s surface. Your new digital workflow will greatly reduce and, in most cases, eliminate the need for paper and its purchase.


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