Scanning and Imaging FAQ

 




What are the pros and cons of document scanning?

There are many pros versus a few cons when it comes to document scanning.  Disaster recovery, ease of access, auditing, security, and less file cabinets are just a few pros of document imaging.  The major con is that it may cost a lot up front.  Conversely, the longer you keep your physical paper the more it will cost you in the future.  See our Scanning vs. Storage section for more on that. 


How can I calculate how much paper I have?

Figuring out how much paper you have can be quite easy if you just think about it logically.  Before calling any service bureau for a quote you will need to know approximately how much paper you have.  Please see our paper calculation page here to help you figure that out.


 
What do I need to get an accurate price quote?

You need to have a few things worked out in order to get a fairly accurate scanning price quote over the phone.  You will need to know approximately how much paper you have, how fast you want your project turned around, the amount of indexing fields and scanning resolution. 


 
What resolution should I scan at?

The industry standard for document scanning is 200 DPI.  This will yield a good image while keeping file size to a minimum.  If you require any type of OCR recognition on your documents higher resolutions of 240 to 300 may be ideal. 


 
Should I scan in color or black and white?

Everybody wants color but there are drawbacks to color imaging.  File sizes tend to be up 5 to 10 times larger than black and white images.  It also costs more to scan in color than black and white.  If you really need to see the fine details provided by color scanning the option is there. 


 
What is document indexing or coding?  

Document indexing is the process by which key fields are entered for your documents to be retrieved by later.  Organization is the key to finding documents quickly and reliably.  Lets say you store your documents in folders in file cabinets with little tags sticking up on each folder which contain a social security number.  The social security number would be a great example of an index field.  Each scanned document would have a social security number associated with it for retrieval purposes.  The more of these fields you have the more expensive the process becomes. 


 
Should I shred my documents after scanning them?

Documents can be shredded or stored at far away warehouses after scanning.  We hold documents at our facility for 60-90 days after scanning before sending them off.  Ultimately, this is a decision you will have to make for yourself.  Most of our clients typically shred the materials after scanning. 


 
My documents are private, am I allowed to outsource the scanning process?

Yes you are.  Even with laws like HIPAA you are allowed to outsource business processes provided your contractors adhere to the same standards your are held to. 


 
What is OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a process by which machine printed text is read electronically.  OCR can read an entire document for the purposes of building an index or for recreation purposes.  For example, you can create a word document from the scanned images OCR results to be edited later in Microsoft Word.


 
What formats can I get my documents back in?

Images are usually returned in the form of the industry standard multi-page group IV TIFF format, jpg or PDF format.  PDF's can also be fully searchable if requested.  OCR results can be returned in csv, doc, xls or even ANSI standard X12 837 formats.


 
Are scanned documents admissible in court?

As long as scanned documents are accurate reproductions of the original, it is usually admissible.  Photocopies, faxes and microfilm evidence has been accepted by courts as admissible evidence. 


 
Can my documents be viewed over the internet after scanning?

Yes they can if you choose to have your files hosted by us or purchase the appropriate software to do so.


 
What is forms processing?

Forms processing is process by which data is systematically extracted from a paper form and then output to a file like a spreadsheet or csv file. 

 

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