Document Scanning Blogs

2012

Contract management is often underestimated in importance and is also misunderstood as a business process within an organisation.

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Despite attempts to become more automated in the processing and storage of documents, the health sector is still awash with paper. We are not just talking about medical records, however, because like any other business they also have HR files, supplier invoices, purchase orders and documentation relating to the products they use, i.e. drugs and medication.

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The role emails play in terms of critical business documentation is often grossly underestimated. In fact, email is the most frequently requested document type by legislative bodies such as e-Discovery and Freedom of Information Act as it often contains indisputable proof of a wrongdoing.

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In the wake of world paper free day the subject of using less paper has again become a hot topic. Automating manual business processes is key to eliminating the amount of paper used in any organisation and has significant benefits.

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Document scanning software is used with a document scanner to convert paper documents into images or electronic files. It allows the scanned images to be stored in a pre-defined structure using named electronic cabinets and multiple search references for ease of retrieval.

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Document imaging is the conversion of paper based information into electronic format. The reasons organisations choose to do this are usually to save physical storage space, ensure the security of the documents and provide easier access to information.

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Many organisations which handle forms of any kind for example market research, customer surveys or mortgage applications, will employ a team of people to input the data from the forms into a system which will process it.

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Most law firms have large archives of paper files which have to be kept for long periods of time. Very often the only storage space available is in a basement or attic and these areas put the paperwork at high risk of damage or loss from flooding or fire.

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The arrival of cloud computing has changed the way people work and also the way in which they access information. There is now increased mobility and connectivity and a much greater range of technological devices to choose from.

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Any organisation which has a procurement department will be fairly large in order to have a dedicated team responsible for all purchasing. This means that there will also be large volumes of supplier contracts to manage, including keeping track of all renewal dates to ensure that they are not missed.

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Managing HR records in paper format can be difficult. Not only is it time consuming filing and retrieving files but it can also be expensive in terms of storage space and man hours.

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An online purchase order system automates the processes involved in raising purchase orders and can also facilitate purchase invoice approval.

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In the current economic climate businesses are being forced to cut costs and improve performance. Many areas of over expenditure are relatively easy to detect but there are some which remain hidden because of the systems and processes used to manage them.

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A paper based purchase order system can create all kinds of issues within an organisation, particularly where there is no control over the processes involved.

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Despite the arrival of online technology, paper forms are still extensively used for a whole host of functions, for example, ordering, claiming, reporting, checking etc.

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A recent survey has shown that UK workers are printing less business related documentation than they were a year ago. The most significant reduction was recorded for emails where 73% of people interviewed said that they are now printing fewer than before.

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Many organisations which have been established for a number of years will have records such as meeting minutes dating back to the year of foundation. Not only are these documents valuable historically but they are also unique and irreplaceable.

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Cloud based document management systems are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons.  The most significant advantage is that they give users the ability to view documents online anywhere and at any time.

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It has recently been reported in the American press that the Florida Supreme Court is moving from a system which permits electronic records to one which requires it. It will become mandatory that all documents filed with the court are done so in electronic format and this will gradually take effect by the end of 2013.

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There are many reasons for converting maps, plans and drawings into electronic format, not least to preserve unique single copies which may become unreadable over time or even suffer damage.

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It is estimated that between 60 to 80% of all business transactions have a related contract or agreement, particularly in HR, Facilities and Procurement departments.

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An EDM system is a highly structured repository for storing, retrieving and processing electronic documents.

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There are many different scenarios where data capture is deployed and it is important to select the most appropriate capture hardware for each situation.

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The use of a computer to key in data is absolutely fine on many occasions but there are certain situations where using a laptop may not be appropriate.

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Many electronic document management systems can be expensive, particularly for smaller businesses with a low number of users.  Licences can be costly and access to data is restricted to a local network.

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The recently published BS ISO 22301 sets out the requirements for the implementation of a Business Continuity Management System for all types of organisations, regardless of size.

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There is nothing more frustrating than having to log into several different systems to view data and documents which relate to the same subject or transaction.

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The question of whether the disposal of electronic records should be managed in the same way as the disposal of boxes of paper records is currently being debated by records management professionals.

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Online document storage is a secure web based method of storing data which allows access at anytime and in any place in the world.

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Managing proof of delivery notes (POD’s) in paper format can be challenging. Not only do they require a vast amount of storage space but they can be difficult to find and get lost or misfiled. Queries can take longer to resolve resulting in poor customer service which is not good for business.

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Finding the space to store large maps and plans for long periods of time can be challenging for any organisation. Government regulations decree that such documents need to be retained and companies, for example, involved in construction or engineering must comply with the legislation.

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Facilities managers have a wide range of responsibilities from office furniture and equipment to building maintenance and catering and vending.  One of the most important duties, therefore, is dealing with suppliers and managing contracts for each product and service.

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There are several key factors to consider when implementing an electronic records management system to ensure that issues of security and integrity are not compromised. This is particularly important when storing confidential material such as personnel files or medical records.

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Anyone who has applied for a mortgage will know how much paper is involved. Not only is there a loan application form but also a whole raft of other paperwork such as credit reports, appraisals and property surveys. Managing all this paperwork manually is labour intensive, costly and can result in delays in application approvals.

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For any organisation, managing the raising of purchase orders can prove to be a difficult task. It is even more of a problem where multiple locations are involved with only one group finance office

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As in any other profession clinicians have targets to meet and administration tasks such as updating patient records need to be carried out as efficiently as possible.

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For many organisations running a scanning and data capture operation is a remit outside their main business focus and in order to achieve the best results, requires a level of expertise which they do not possess.

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The speed of response to customer enquiries has never been as important with the proliferation of social media websites making it easier than ever for people to report both good and more especially, bad customer service. The centralisation of call centres and help desks also makes it increasingly vital that the most recent customer correspondence can be accessed rapidly in order to resolve disputes and meet service level agreements.

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The Health and Safety Executive state that work equipment must be regularly inspected ‘if your risk assessment identifies any significant risk (for example, of major injury) to operators and others from the equipment’s installation or use’. Inspection reports produced by an organisation must be kept securely and must be easy to access should they be requested by an enforcing authority.

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Processing purchase invoices manually is time consuming, costly and prone to error. The problems are further compounded when an organisation has multi-site locations, invoices go missing between offices and staff have to waste even more time searching through paper files.

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When we talk about electronic document management this also encompasses data capture, workflow, document scanning and automated processes.

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Managing large numbers of supplier contracts in paper format is a difficult task. The main reason is that they all begin and end on different dates and will be subject to different terms and conditions. It is time consuming , prone to error but more importantly, costly.

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The concept of records management, i.e. the organization and storage of documents from creation to disposition, was first introduced when the majority of records were paper based.

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For many organisations, raising purchase orders can be a very ad hoc procedure with each individual or department using different methodology. The result of this is incomplete information and unknown exposure in financial terms.

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Many organisations are now working electronically and storing emails and documents produced in house directly into a document management system without having to print off paper copies.

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