Document Scanning Blogs

2010

A recent survey carried out by AIIM reports that 39% of organisations are now using less paper. The percentage is set to quickly rise as document scanning and data capture solutions are becoming more widely acclaimed.

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Many companies are still trying to reduce the amount of paper they produce and are storing more and more data electronically. Whilst this seems like a step in the right direction, unless a structured system is in place, randomly saving files in different drives and machines, can be just as disorganised as having mountains of paper.

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Most insurance claims are assessed by a professional who visits the site to inspect the damage and then implements a remedial action plan.

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A recent report has highlighted the increasing risk businesses are facing by not being able to retrieve critical data. Changes in the way people work, advances in technology and the availability of low cost data storage capacity has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of data companies are retaining.

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There are many reasons not to store critical information such as supplier and client contracts in paper format. Not least is the prospect of a fire breaking out and destroying the documents.

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A recent survey has reported that the average British worker spends about 35 working days a year on basic administrative tasks such as inputting data, compiling reports and filing paperwork. Out of all these tasks, data entry was found to be the most time consuming with many employees spending in excess of six hours per week doing it.

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Most people would agree that they would like to see more policemen on the streets. The truth is, in fact, that a large proportion of a police officer’s time is spent back at the station dealing with paperwork.

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According to new research carried out by AIIM, more and more companies are becoming aware of the importance of good information management.

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With the cost of paper set to rise by at least another 10%, now is a good time to look at how electronic document management can help to save money.

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More and more delivery companies are now discarding PDA’s in favour of the digital pen. Handheld data capture devices or personal digital assistants were, for some time, regarded as a technical revolution and many courier companies embraced it as a new and ‘modern’ way of recording signatures for goods received.

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One of the five national priorities set out in the NHS Operating Framework is to improve the patient experience. The sharing of critical information between GP’s and clinicians ensuring that the most up to date patient record is consulted can greatly enhance the comfort and confidence of a patient and this has become a high priority across the whole of the UK healthcare service.

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Property inventory reports record details of rented accommodation such as the type of property, fixtures and fittings in place, meter readings and decorative order etc.

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Many companies lease systems and software on an annual basis and have to find a way of keeping track of renewal dates. Unfortunately, many software suppliers fail to notify customers of renewal dates and either continue to take direct debit payments or disable the software when payment is not received on time. Both can be equally detrimental to a business.

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A recent survey has shown that many organisations only need half the office space they currently occupy. If a business property lease is due for renewal, it is worth considering the possibility of downsizing to smaller premises and saving money on rates, rent and other overheads.

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Missed deadlines and renewal dates for contracts can cost a business dearly. Duplication is also an issue when multiple departments have agreements with several suppliers for the same service. For every vending machine, photocopier and company car, there will be a contract or agreement and to manage and control the processes and documentation manually can be a nightmare.

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Personnel records very often have to be accessed both by field workers and central management and sometimes at the same time. Sending files by mail or by fax can raise the risk of inadvertent disclosure and/or lost documents. Photocopying pages can lead to unnecessary duplication and result in multiple copies being generated which again, could compromise the security of data.

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A digital mailroom operates in a similar way to the traditional mailroom inasmuch as post is received, opened and distributed. In a digital mailroom, however, as soon as the mail is opened, the documents are scanned and indexed so an image of the document is captured immediately and then automatically routed to the relevant recipient, electronically.

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The first requirement for any business case put forward to promote the implementation of an electronic document management system is to prove that cost savings will be made.

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There are two new standards out for public consultation which relate to archives/records management:

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It is not uncommon for businesses with sites in several different locations to have a centralised HR function, usually at Head Office. This, however, can present challenges in terms of acquiring up to date information on employees.

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A recent report has revealed that 47% of organisations still have problems managing electronic documents. On the plus side, however, those that are starting to structure their electronic information are doing it to save money and improve efficiency rather than for regulatory compliance.

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Electronic workflow is used by organisations to automate business processes. Documents are scanned or created from on screen templates within a document management system and then passed around electronically to individuals or teams of people who then carry out relevant actions. The workflow system is governed by a set of pre-defined rules which includes the facility to re-direct documents to another user if action is not taken within a fixed timescale.

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Recent research has shown that document scanning is set to increase considerably over the next few years.

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The 1998 Data Protection Act states that companies must not keep certain types of information for longer than it is needed and that it must be destroyed securely, particularly if it relates to employees or clients.

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Almost every printed business form can be converted to digital pen and paper technology. Some minor alterations may have to be made to the layout of a form in order to optimise the results but overall, most forms work successfully when printed onto the special Anoto paper which is used in association with the digital pen.

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Recent research has shown that over 50% of British firms do not have a procedure in place to control the retention of documents relating to their business activities. By the same token this renders them totally unprepared for any legal proceedings against them where documentary evidence is required.

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Storing records electronically is undoubtedly the ideal solution for any business, however, the cost and benefits of converting high volume archives is not always financially viable.

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It has recently been reported that the UK scanner market has been predicted to grow at about 18% per year between 2010 and 2014.

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A purchase order is a legally binding document and provides suppliers with proof that services or products were ordered. Purchase orders also provide confirmation of costs as they can be matched up to invoices and delivery notes.

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In business, there are many types of paperwork which have to be retained for long periods of time in order to comply with legal requirements. Examples of these are financial information, product manuals and employees pension details.

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In these current challenging economic times, businesses need to keep an even tighter rein on expenditure and stop unnecessary purchasing. Any Finance Department should be able to track every single purchase order which is raised within an organisation and have complete control of all purchasing activity down to the last penny.

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A recent survey carried out in the USA reports that 62% of company executives believe that the US economy is showing signs of growth but 50% also fear that it may take at least three years to become financially robust again.

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Recent research has shown that over 50% of employees openly admit to not being able to find documents which have been stored on the company’s network or intranet. A high majority of these people blamed the lack of guidance as to how files should be saved.

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Many construction companies are reporting savings of up to £10,000 per year after implementing an electronic document management system.

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Even though more organisations do now have a business continuity plan in place, there is still a very high percentage that do not. The financial cost of lost business is often more than people anticipate but the really damaging impact is the loss of customers and reputation.

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The world is seeing a vast increase in the volume of international trade and traditional paper based systems are becoming too slow and costly to manage the ever growing amount of trade transactions.

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MoReq2 is a Model Requirements Specification for the Management of Electronic Records, version 2. Published in 2008, MoReq2 is an upgrade of MoReq1 which was released in 2001.

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The most significant difference between the digital pen and a PDA is that a PDA requires more technical knowledge and invariably involves training. PDA’s can have complex menus to navigate and small fields in which to record data. The digital pen, however, is no different than writing on paper with a standard ballpoint so there is no or very little change management required.

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Many organisations are unaware of the costs associated with the storage of paper records or grossly underestimate the amount of money which is spent on the creation, storage and retrieval of critical business information.

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On April 6th, 2010 the Information Commissioner’s Office will have the power to enforce fines of up to £500,000 upon any organisation which seriously breaches the Data Protection Act. This will apply to the private, public and voluntary sectors and it is hoped that the new law will, in particular, give local authorities the impetus to radically overhaul their document management strategies.

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The Electronic Patient Record is no new concept and many hospitals have now implemented an electronic document management system to manage their medical records. The next step is to look at making other paper processes more efficient in other areas of the ‘business’ and to show time and cost savings throughout the whole organisation.

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The success of any business rests, in part, on the selection of the right technology. The difficulty, however, is finding a single solution which can manage large volumes of customer information.

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Every company has to keep financial documents, employee files, legal records etc., in order to show compliance with statutory requirements. The concept of losing this business critical paperwork through fire, theft, accidental destruction or simply wear and tear is nothing short of a crisis and a policy to protect such vital data is essential for any organisation.

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The implementation of an electronic document management system has proved to bring substantial cost benefits to companies, some seeing a return on investment within three months of deployment.

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Every time a flight is delayed, airlines lose money. When mechanics make checks on a plane prior to take off, they need to access flight logs and inspection records before they can carry out a service or replace parts. All paperwork relating to an aircraft has to be kept for as long as it is in operation and is usually stored in filing cabinets at Head Office.

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A recent survey has reported that many document management processes which used to be carried out inhouse, are now being outsourced.

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Getting approval for a new drug is a lengthy and complicated process. Extensive tests must be carried out in order to assess the safety and effectiveness of the product and this inherently requires the collection and recording of large volumes of data. At the same time, however, the timescale within this can be done, is critical – the sooner the new drug is approved, the earlier it can be used to cure a patient, start to earn revenue and also stay ahead of other competitive pharmaceutical companies.

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Recent research has proved that companies with email archiving strategies in place experience significant benefits such as reduced storage costs and greater compliance with e-discovery and data protection.

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A recent survey revealed that whereas 80% of UK companies have a document retention policy in place, only 41% of those policies demonstrated compliance with electronically stored information (ESI) disclosure. ESI disclosure is the capacity to present computerised information to assist in legal investigations whenever requested and within a given timescale.

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