Scanning Process

What is really involved? 


To identify the need for Scanning Process Consulting it is important to go through the typical scanning process.  In each of the process steps there are many variables that need to be identified and then consolidated to develop the most efficient process. 


Let's start with a brief overview of the document scanning process.  Please note that the information below is simplified.


Document Scanning Questions:

  • How fast can you really scan?

  • How much Storage Space do you need?




Business Processes are typically based on paper documents.  This can be customer correspondence letter, a form, etc. 

Paper Documents have many limitations.  For an overview please check out the limitation of Paper Based Documents.



1. Document Preparation takes time

Do not forget the time for Document Preparation:

Typically documents are not ready to be scanned right away.  Time is spent preparing the documents.  This can be opening envelops, removing documents from file folders, removing staples, paperclips, sticky notes, etc. from the pages. It is entirely possible that some of the documents are not in great shape and have to have the creases or dog ears straightened out and you may have to tape documents that have been torn. 



2. Document Storage Requirements

How much will you scan and how much storage space do you need?

On average in a typical 4 drawer file cabinet, each file drawer holds about 2500 document.  This are 10,000 pages per file cabinet.  One scanned b/w page is about 50kB.  The 10,000 pages are about 50MB.  1 CD-ROM can hold about 10,000 page (CD = 650 megabytes). As rule of thumb, a basic CD-ROM can hold one four drawer file cabinet when the documents have been scanned.

It is highly recommended to add an additional 30% on hard drive space.  And MOST IMPORTANT:  Add the same amount of space for back up.  NEVER NEVER store files without any backup.  Back up storage media is very inexpensive these days.  For each project you should calculate the storage space requirements upfront. 



3. Scanning:


What Scanner?

Scanners come in all different sizes, speeds, functionality, and prices. Scanners normally include scanning software.   Independent scanning software programs will (usually) work with all of the scanners on the market. But the selection of a scanner and the software is highly dependent on the paper to be scanned and other factors such as the 1- or 2-sided, condition of the paper, color of the paper, and a myriad of factors.

This sounds pretty simple, but it can get quite complex very quickly when we consider that most businesses operate with thousands or millions of documents. In addition, a customer folder (for example) may contain applications, letters, legal documents such as a promissory note, photographs, and a variety of other documents. In a folder that is hundreds of pages long, it may become necessary to navigate through the folder by secondary indices that in essence serve as "tabs" in physical file folder.


Scanning of your documents

With Document Imaging you scan the paper based document into electronic file and store the digital document.  You can recall the document from your computer/PC. During the scanning process the paper document is being converted into a series of "bits or dots" that represent black or white portions of the page that was scanned.



4. Document Indexing: 

Indexing is time consuming!

Once the paper has been scanned, the document needs to be indexed so that you and people in your group find the imaged document.  For example, for a credit application, you may index the document using first and last name, SSN, account number and account type.


Key for Document Retrieval: 

It is absolutely necessary to index the documents correct, quickly and accurately when you are dealing with high volumes of paper.  The indexing has to be correct, regardless if you scan one page or one million pages. 


How long does Indexing really take?

Example:  If you have to scan and index 2,500 pages per day and each page takes one person 30 seconds to index, it would take that person:


Time for Indexing:  2,500 pages take 20.8 hours!


If we assume that a typical workday is 8 hours, it would take one person 2.6 work days to index our original 2.500 documents. In this case if the person indexed the 2,500 pages, there are an additional 13,500 more documents queued up for indexing. To complete the manual indexing in time you would need 2.6 people. 


How can you automate the Indexing Process?

Normally for volume above 100 to 200 pages per day, you would look at automated indexing solutions.  By using automated document indexing processes you will be able to reduce the indexing time to a fraction.  The time savings of automated document indexing solution depends on the amount of documents, the amount of indexing criteria and the complexity of the document index and and the location the document needs to be filed.



5. Document Filing

You still have to save the document to the correct location.  Depending what system you use the time for filing is included in the Document Indexing tim, but you can not always assume this. 

Several customers require the document to be filed to multiple locations, some documents need to be numbered (bates stamped) and printed. 

Next you need to set up automated processes for the data back up.  This all take time to set up, manage and monitor.




If you see a scanner with a speed or 40 pages or 100 pages this does not mean that you are able to file documents at that speed.  Depending on the documents, the document condition, the indexing criteria and the filing requirements the effective production speed is normally a fraction of the scanner speed.

Do the analysis how long it really takes to convert the paper documents into digital information.  If you do not know how to calculate this, contact us. 

vdocs has experience in the scanning process analysis and is able to provide you the most productive process.   Our services include scanning services, document management solutions, cost analysis and inhouse or outsource analysis. 



VDOCS can help you identifying your best solution for your document scanning needs.


With our professional services, technology and scanning services we can help you determining the optimal solution for your.


Contact VDOCS today to discuss your requirements.