Document Scanning FAQs

What is Bureau document scanning?

IPC's bureau document scanning service uses high performance document scanning software and high speed production document scanners to convert paper based documents into a digital format. Using software settings relevant to each client's type of paperwork, the highest possible image quality is achieved. Each image or group of images is then indexed with relevant alpha numeric fields so that the scanned files can be easily retrieved for viewing. The images can be Tiff or PDF format and with the relevant indexing headers, can then be sent back to client on memory stick (USB). Alternatively, the images can be made available via a secure web server, for the Client's IT department to collect, or IPC can offer a low cost, subscription based UK private cloud hosted EDM solution, into which client scanned data can be imported, and will give greater search options.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

What are the benefits of storing documents in digital form?

The benefits of storing documents in a digital format are many.
Firstly keeping images digitally, with the relevant IT back up procedures, means that the major business continuity risks of paper based documents (e.g. fire / flood) are negated. IPC's Bureau service will also keep a backup copy of scanned images for a period of time (unless data protection rules do not allow us to) as a 'belt and braces' approach to client's security of information.

Secondly, electronic image documents can be imported to a network directory where they can be accessed and shared by all those with security clearance - even remotely - unlike paper based information.

Then there are the cost savings in terms of not having to keep or print paper based information - filing furniture and the space it takes up, paper, toner, and of course, the hidden cost of people’s time used to handle, file and distribute paper based information. And scanning is a 'one off' cost, unlike the ongoing cost over many years, of storing documents physically, in offices or an external warehouse facility.

In summary, using IPC's Bureau scanning services will reduce your organisation's carbon footprint.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

Is it better to scan our documents in house or to outsource?

Professional document scanning services are ideal for larger volumes of documents i.e., archives or backlogs, or large volume ongoing projects. For a client to invest in the relevant hardware and staff to handle large volumes or documents over A3 (such as drawings or plans) would usually be too expensive, and so are generally best outsourced to a professional scanning company. IPC uses very high quality and high-spec scanners, which generate excellent image quality and keep costs down due to their high speed. You also benefit from our Quality Assurance procedures, and ISO Quality Standards, which would have an impact on time, training and costs if they were implemented in house.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

What types of information can you scan and store in digital form?

IPC can scan anything such as Accounts paperwork - purchase and sales ledger, HR and payroll files, sensitive medical records, lab books and  large format drawings (up to A0). IPC will select the right scanners for the individual client project requirements, optimised for quality of the image produced and speed. We also have flatbed facilities for books or fragile / difficult paperwork (e.g. expense claims and their supporting documents).

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

How can I estimate how much a scanning project will cost ?

As price is always a key issue for estimating the scope of a scanning project, giving IPC's Bureau team an estimate of the number of pages involved will aid both parties.

We would suggest taking 3 sample files - a small, mid range and a large volume file- and see how many pages are in each. A visual check of the filing system can then give a rough idea of the number that fit into each category. A simple maths sum can then be applied to ascertain the potential size of any project.

IPC's bureau scanning service can also work with clients on a budget basis, to avoid project overruns.

As a rough guide, a 4 drawer filing cabinet (full) may contain in the region of 30,000 sheets of paper. A full lever arch file some 250-300 pages and an archive box approximately 2,000 – 3,000 pages

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

Do I need to keep the original scanned documents?

The temptation for some clients is, after scanning, to retain the original documents.
At IPC we can store your original documents, after the Bureau scanning process, for a period of 3 months (free of charge) and can then, as we do in most cases, arrange for documents to be confidentially shredded.
Clients should, of course, take their own advice on this matter e.g. some would advise that physically signed copies of items such as contracts should be retained, but in virtually all cases these days’ electronic scanned documents are acceptable to all  Government Agencies such as HM Customs, Inland Revenue and Courts of Law.
The key aspect is to ensure that the documents can be proven to have been scanned, stored and managed with ‘due care and diligence’, which is the service that IPC's Bureau scanning facility provide you with.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

What happens if we urgently need a document?

When a client’s physical files arrive at IPC House for the scanning process, they are booked in and cross checked with the client supplied lists, so we know the order and location of the documents, whilst they are on site. If a client file is required urgently, and has already been scanned, it can be emailed to a secure mailbox at client's request.  If the file is still in paper format it can be quickly out sorted, and scanned and emailed, or if necessary, be sent physically by secure courier to a client location.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.


Document Storage FAQs

What sort of boxes do we need to use for storage?

Boxes should be of sufficient construction for stacking on pallets and should not contain material that weighs more than 20kg for each box. IPC can advise clients on suitable boxes if required. IPC retain the right to reject boxes delivered to the IPC  facility if overweight or of poor construction.

All boxes must be marked by number by client (min 2 box ends) in order for tidy stacking and data base entry. Numbering / colour coding can be used as required by client.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

Where are boxes stored?

For over 20 years IPC has had a separate document storage warehouse facility based near Kings Ripton, Huntingdon, which is secure, alarmed and with intruder fire / smoke detection. Boxes are rack mounted on pallets.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

How quickly can boxes be returned from storage?

Options include standard 48 hr turnaround from client retrieval request, to an emergency 24 hour service. IPC can have boxes delivered via our secure courier service or clients can elect to collect requested boxes from IPC head office.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

Do you provide a retrieval and scan option?

Yes, retrieval of individual sets of paperwork (non urgent) from stored boxes will be undertaken, based on client instruction as to the individual file information box (es)location. Charges will be for box retrieval plus time to locate paperwork and email to a nominated recipient, based on IPC’s Bureau day rate current at the time.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.

Is there a minimum contract period?

Yes, the minimum contract period for storage is two years.

Last update on 25/05/2021 by IPC.