Document Imaging: The Complete Guide (With Examples)

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Last Updated on 5 days

Document imaging is critical for enterprises that need to digitize paper documents, as well as retain and store digitally converted documents. Organizations waste a lot of time dealing with paper documents, which is why they should think about document imaging solutions to save digital documents and make them simpler to retrieve, with the ultimate objective of running their businesses more effectively.

Document imaging is the process of converting paper documents into digital images through a scanning process. It is considered the most basic method for converting paper documents to digital. In comparison to other technologies, just a digital snapshot of the file is captured.

It only takes one catastrophe to recognize the value of a document. Converting paper documents to electronic format can assist you in maintaining, preserving, and archiving your most critical documents.

Imaging a document simply means taking a snapshot of the paper document on the day it was captured, converting it to a digital image, then compressing and storing the image into computerized storage and does not account for any subsequent modifications.

What Is The Use of Document Imaging?

The use of document imaging allows organizations to remove most of the paper in their operations by converting documentation and storing it in an electronic format. Companies would ultimately be buried beneath their own paperwork if they had to preserve physical copies of every record they created.

Saving electronic versions of papers eliminates the need for a warehouse and allows users to more easily access the stored documents by pulling up the stored record in the archive.

Document imaging
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What is Document Imaging Process?

The document imaging process consists of scanners, image compression/decompression, mass storage devices, and indexing/retrieval software.

  1. Scanners: Devices that convert a paper document to a digital format. Before deleting the paper document, it is critical to ensure that the digital copy is of the highest possible quality. it is important to note that at this stage the text in the image is human-readable but not machine-readable.
  2. Image compression/decompression: To make the most of the available digital storage space, images of documents should be compressed to lower sizes without sacrificing quality.
  3. Mass storage devices: The process should address where and how digital records will be preserved for future access and archiving.
  4. Indexing software: This sort of software will index the digital document, allowing users to search for text inside the image. When you convert a paper document to digital, the text inside the image is not recognized by computers by default, which is why sophisticated technologies like OCR are required.
  5. Destruction of paper documents: After being scanned, the majority of the original paper documents may be destroyed and recycled, helping to conserve the environment. It is also necessary to ensure that the original document is no longer required for any legal, governmental, or industrial responsibilities.

What is Document Imaging Software?

A document imaging software converts paper documents to images, indexes them, and stores them in a central repository. It has various advantages, such as an intelligent file structure, extensive searching capabilities, mobile and remote access, and so on.

Document imaging capabilities are an essential component of any good electronic document management system.

If you want to digitize your documents and have complete control over them, it is recommended that you invest in a document management system that includes document imaging capabilities as well as a slew of other features that will help you manage your electronic documents throughout their lifecycle.

I strongly advise reading the below two articles that will give you an extensive idea about DMS.

What is Document Management System? The Complete Guide (theecmconsultant.com)

Top 8 Powerful Open Source Document Management Systems (theecmconsultant.com)

Document Imaging Benefits

The key benefits of document imaging include decreased storage space for paper, faster and simpler access to information, enhanced information security, disaster recovery, increased employee collaboration, audit compliance, and a significant reduction in paper consumption.

Here are the top 6 document imaging benefits:

1- Reduced Storage Space

Converting paper documents to digital reduces the demand for physical storage space in your offices to keep these papers, freeing up office space that can be used to produce more income for your business.

Paper documents take up a lot of storage space, while digitized ones are saved on electronic devices, which are less expensive for storage, backup, and disaster recovery.

Did you know that maintaining your documents on paper costs 80% more than keeping them on electronic counterparts?

2- Easier Access To Documents

When documents are digitized, they become easier to find. Searching for information is expensive and time-consuming for employees, but with proper management and digitization, the time spent seeking critical data may be substantially reduced.

Document imaging simplifies file access throughout your company. Documents will be easy to find without having to go through piles of paper.

3- Enhanced Information Security

Digital imaging enhances document security for your organization. Access and distribution of digital records are easily monitored and tracked. Most of the well-known systems available provide the full capabilities to track each operation made on the document.

Furthermore, document access control may be managed in a reasonably simple manner. Administrators may control who has access to which papers, who can download attachments, who can delete and change documents, and so on.

4- Audit Compliance

Depending on their industry, almost all major corporations are required to follow various laws and regulations.

Personal information should be kept for a certain length of time, and financial reports should be reviewed on a regular basis. Documents should not be discarded until they have been thoroughly vetted.

Document imaging facilitates your company’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

5- Boost Collaboration

Did you know that 55% of employees spend more than an hour replicating the work of others?

The majority of your employees spend a significant amount of time collaborating on documents as part of their daily tasks. Digitized papers make the process easier and increase productivity.

6- Disaster Recovery

Paper documents are particularly vulnerable to fires, floods, and other natural disasters. Document imaging can help your business recover faster in the event of a tragedy. Organizations often backup their digital images on tapes and hard disks, which are then stored in a secure location.

Check out the article below for a detailed list of the advantages of document digitization.

What is Document Digitization? Why Is It Important? (theecmconsultant.com)

Problems to Avoid in Document Imaging

As previously demonstrated, document imaging may give several benefits to enterprises when done correctly. However, I will discuss with you, based on my own experience, the problems that you may encounter and how to prevent them.

There are two negative issues related to document imaging that can have an impact on the result of digital images. The first consideration is image quality; ensure that the image quality is appropriate to your company. Second, in order to improve the process, you need to teach your personnel about it.

Other considerations might include:

  • Reduce or remove text highlighting in paper documents. Text highlighting may have an impact on the outcome of the document imaging process.
  • Ensure that your business is using high-quality scanners with various settings to maximize the output digital image. Scanner selection should be based on volume as well as criteria such as the sorts of documents to be scanned.
  • Before executing everything at once, do a quick test on a small batch of papers. You won’t believe how many clients had to retake their scans because they discovered later in the process that the image quality was unacceptable.
  • If you are working with a large number of paper documents, you must verify that your system is capable of batch scanning and direct digital document import.

Do you have a common problem concerning digital imaging? Share them with me in the comments below.

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