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Backfile Scanning Strategies

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Reducing paper and increasing employee productivity is a top priority for most companies.  However, many companies adopt document management systems for day forward conversion of paper records.  Companies that do not adopt backfile conversion strategies may find that they are wasting money on storage and employees are still spending too much time searching for archived information.   Document imaging technology has come a long way and outsourcing your back file scanning may save you time and money.  PiF Technologies has seen and heard it all – records stored in unsecure attics, basements, garages, and off-site storage areas, records damaged or lost to fire and flood, records misfiled, lost or improperly disposed of.  Developing a paper reduction and back file imaging and conversion process helps reduce wasted time, increases security and lowers risk.

Types of Backfile Conversions

Full Backfile Conversion. A full backfile conversion converts all existing documents and pre-loads the system prior to going live. “All documents” include active working documents and archived documents that are still within the official retention period, and any records you would need to get your business back up and running in the event of a disaster.

Partial Backfile Conversion. A partial backfile conversion allows you to limit the total number of documents initially converted.  Partial conversions often involve documents that are still being worked on regularly.  Subsequent conversion may be scheduled to bring other records that are no longer used regulary into the system.  Sometimes organizations will convert all documents back to a specific calendar year.

Day Forward. Day forward conversion starts with documents that are being received once the system goes live. There is no backfile conversion.  Only new documents are scanned.

On-Demand. An on-demand conversion means that when a document is requested and pulled from the file room or archived, it is scanned.

Developing a Back File Scanning Strategy

  1. Usage – how often do you need to access archived documents
  2. Resources – what resources do you have available to convert your current back files
  3. Budget – what is your budget for conversion
  4. Cost of Storage and Access versus Cost of Conversion – what is your annual hard and soft cost for storage including physical space, filing cabinets, security, transportation, employee time.
  5. Remaining Retention Period – how many years do you need to retain your records
  6. Data Privacy Requirements – who can handle your archived records and what is your current level of risk
  7. Permanent retention requirements  – some documents and vital corporate documents should always be converted
  8. Post scanning document destruction – what is the cost of and how will your ensure the proper disposal of your documents after conversion
  9. Indexing – how will you need to find your documents in the future

Once you understand your current costs, future requirements and potential security risks its easier to adopt a back file scanning strategy for the future and decide whether you need outside assistance.  PiF Technologies uses best in class scanning technology to fulfill large volume backfile conversions for customers.  Our secure, high quality scanners allow us to convert your paper for your faster and at a lower cost.  We specialize in high volume backfile imaging, handling thousands of records securely.  For lower volume projects we create a plan during your system implementation to help you complete your back file scanning in house.  Get a quote here.

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