Offsite or Onsite Document Scanning Services - Which is Right for Me?

Many companies have vital information, data and documents living in both the paper and digital worlds. This can lead to issues not only for storage but also for access, security, and compliance. It is possible to find a solution that combines the best of both worlds allowing you to take your paper documents into the digital arena.

Document scanning services are the easiest way to take your paper (and even microfiche/film) documents and transfer them to digital files. You will have easier access in hand with secure storage that requires no physical space. Regardless of volume, the process is fast and affordable. Your organization will have all your data available in one place, improving efficiency and reducing costs.

Often, companies opt not to scan their documents as they feel this presents a security risk. However, if you have security concerns about shipping your sensitive documents to a scanning facility, you have the option of onsite scanning.

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From Paper to Digital

Scanning collects digital images, stores them and makes them accessible for future use. Your documents can then be accessed in the same manner as your electronic documents such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, etc.

The data conversion/document scanning process has many benefits including:

  • Easier document sharing and access to your information
  • Increase efficiency across all departments
  • Affordable storage solution
  • Less physical space for storage
  • Reduce compliance risk
  • Avoid loss of information in disaster situations such as fire, acts of nature, or break-ins
  • Increase data security
  • Environmentally friendly and sustainable practice

You choose which works best for you whether it is scanning your documents onsite or shipping your documents to a scanning facility.

The Types of Scanning Services

Both onsite and offsite services provide you with the same options and use the same technology. Information is captured from media including forms, applications, images and hand-written records. This saves a great deal of time without the need for labor-intensive manual re-entering of existing data already in a readable format.

Scanning services typically include the following steps:

  • Document Preparation
  • Document Scanning
  • Data Capture and Indexing
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Quality Control
  • Integration with your document management system or return via secure FTP, the cloud, or encrypted digital media

Digital Mailroom

Document scanning services can also come in the form of a digital mailroom, a process designed to ensure you never have to touch paper again. Your business receives, creates, stores and shares information in many ways. When faced with electronic, paper, fax, emails, and more, efficient response is difficult.  

A digital mailroom allows you to streamline the influx of transactions, correspondence, and general information and make it easily accessible using technology. It's accomplished by using scanning services to digitize the paper at the point it enters your office (mail, fax, courier, etc.). Scanning in hand with digital storage and workflow software collects, deploys and stores data.

Digital mailrooms offer many functions including:

  • Medical records scanning for revenue cycle management
  • Scanning of financial documents
  • Lock box scanning for Accounts Receivable operations
  • Application and onboarding for Human Resources
  • Invoice scanning for Accounts Payable

Onsite or Offsite?

Both onsite and offsite offer the same capabilities with very little difference including:

  • Document preparation and high-volume scanning according to your instructions
  • Choice to destroy and save originals
  • Process any-size document including wide-format engineer drawings and blueprints
  • Secure SaaS Cloud access or CD/DVD format
  • Media-to-media conversion based on your needs
  • Secure document archiving

Both onsite and offsite scanning have their advantages:

Offsite Advantage: Timing & Storage

One of the main differences for offsite is that it is ideal if you want to complete your conversions quickly. The facility operates around the clock, which makes it much easier to process large scale scanning projects. As well, although the documents do have to be shipped to the facility, pick up from your site is arranged to ensure safe delivery.

Documents can also be destroyed following successful conversion, so your office frees up space as soon as the documents are shipped out. Documents are destroyed using industry best practices to ensure they do not remain intact and cannot be accessed.

 The process is as follows:

  • You store your documents in boxes
  • The scanning company picks them up
  • They are transported to the secure facility
  • The documents are scanned and can be either shredded at the facility or returned to your site
  • The new digital files are stored in the cloud, or encrypted DVD or your choice of media
  • Alternative, files can be ingested directly into your document management software or ECM system

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Onsite Document Scanning Services Advantage: Convenience & Security

Although offsite is also a secure process, many organizations have highly sensitive information that cannot be shipped due to compliance challenges. Mobile units offer complete document scanning, imaging, and conversion capabilities without your documents ever leaving the premises.

Document scanning services ensure secure data storage for your documents while providing a more efficient method for access. Both offsite and onsite document scanning services offer the same benefits allowing you to choose the conversion process best suited to your needs. Document management becomes secure, efficient and accessible with consistency across all departments.