Responsible digital record keeping helps organizations remove operational friction and maintain a fast-paced environment.
As the saying goes, time is money — and saving time means staying efficient. Efficiency isn’t a single action, though, so organizations need to refine their processes from the ground up. For many, the digitization of records is a good place to start, as it increases the ease with which organizations can process information, reference data, and store documents.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to record digitization for any organization, and how it can increase operational efficiency across departments. But first, let’s look at the key considerations you should make before transitioning.
Find out more about how digitization can reshape your business for the better with our guide, The Complete Guide to Digitization.
Key considerations of record digitization
Shifting from analog to digital record keeping is going to be a process, and it needs to be well thought out to avoid any structural, procedural, or organizational errors. Consider these factors before you begin:
- What problems are you trying to solve?
- How long will you keep digital records?
- How much time can you invest in digitizing records?
- Once the records have been digitized, how and where will they be stored?
- What are the legal requirements for your business’ digital documents?
- Who will oversee the digitization of records and archives?
- Who will have access to digitized records?
- What departments in your organization are affected by the change?
These questions will guide your strategy when transitioning to digital record-keeping, with scalability in mind. Some organizations have a few hundred records that need to be digitized, others have hundreds of thousands. Consider how much storage space you’ll need and whether you’ll be using a cloud storage service or physical hard drives.
You also need to account for the labor and hardware of the transition. These two factors are tied together intrinsically, as even the most effective employees will struggle to digitize documents quickly without an efficient scanner, for example. If you’re looking for an effective solution, Ricoh’s business-level fi Series scanners are an excellent place to start.
Moving physical files to a central digital repository makes it far easier to organize, categorize, and access documents across an organization.
Land records digitization is a real-world example of the benefits digitization brings. Citizens can access land records for municipalities throughout the United States without visiting a physical office, simply by searching a database for the information they need. It’s not unreasonable for a business to have the same number of records as a land office — or possibly even more — across several disparate locations. With the sheer number of documents, organizations can benefit greatly from creating a searchable database for their own internal information.
Transferring physical files is also prone to human error, an issue that can prove to be costly and time-consuming to fix. Physical records that are lost or destroyed can be impossible to recover, which can result in significant financial loss or legal trouble depending on the type of document destroyed.
One of the greatest added benefits of digital record keeping is the amount of space saved within a building. Boxes of physical documents can fill entire rooms; digitizing records allows you to discard certain documents entirely, saving you space that can be used for other operational activities.
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On top of being a more efficient system for managing information, digitized records can reduce and eliminate certain operational risks, like a document being lost forever, whether the damage is caused by human error or another factor. This is especially beneficial if your organization is at risk from natural disasters like flooding and fires.
Physical documents are also at a greater risk for mismanagement from employees. Documents can be stolen, damaged, and misplaced, and it may take some time to notice the issue. However, digital records can be stored more securely, with stricter access protocols and less likelihood of abuse; digital records can be backed up and restored easily.
Did You Know?:PCMagazine described the fi-8250 as a “...well-made and capable sheetfed/flatbed combo scanner ideal for front desks, small offices, and workgroups.” Click here to read the full review and learn why it earned an “excellent” 4.0 out of 5 rating.
Those in the market for a high-speed document scanner to assist with the digitization of records have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi and SP series scanners.
Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, the fi and SP Series scanners are capable of processing tens-of-thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.
There’s an fi and SP Series scanner for every organization, with cloud-ready capabilities that make sorting digitized records a breeze. Whether you have a bustling office or a small store, you’ll find that there’s a scanner to fit your budget, size, and speed requirements.