Deciding to go paperless is one thing, but budgeting for a professional scanning solution is a different ball game. How do you know how much your scanning project will cost? In this blog, we outline the factors that determine the cost of your scanning project.
Volume of Images
One of the biggest factors that determines the cost of your scanning project is the volume of records you need scanned. A standard banker’s box holds approximately 2,500 pieces of paper. Scanning both sides of every sheet means you have 5,000 images. Your scanning provider will help you decide the total amount of images you need scanned and the corresponding cost.
Type of Documents
Besides standard- and legal-size documents, you may have millions of records stored on media, such as cardstock, maps, microfiche, microfilm, or blueprints. The format of the documents you want to convert determines the type of scanning equipment used, the digital conversion format, and the projected completion date of your scanning project.
When you invest in a document scanning solution, your scanning provider makes sure every piece of paper is ready for scanning. The document preparation phase includes:
- Removing staples, paperclips and sticky notes from records
- Flattening and repairing wrinkled and torn file pages
- Arranging documents in order
The more preparation you can do, the less lead time your scanning vendor needs to complete your scanning project and the lower your overall cost. Keep in mind that document preparation is labor and time intensive. Document scanning technicians are professionally trained to prepare documents of various sizes and conditions, including old, brittle historical paper records.
Indexing and Data Entry
You want your digital images ordered, sorted, and labeled according to your accessibility needs. During scanning, your document scanning provider indexes and captures data to your exact specifications.The more data fields and data entry fields you need, the higher your indexing and data entry costs.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
In a document scanning project, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is applied to convert the printed text on your documents to accessible digital data. OCR helps you pinpoint data in your digital files by typing keywords or phrases. Adding OCR to your scanning project increases your scanning costs but greatly improves the searchability of your digital images.
Project Completion Date
It’s important to make sure your scanning vendor can meet your project completion date. If you’re trying to meet a tight deadline with minimal lead time, your project will cost more. The more turnaround time you can give your scanning provider, the lower your scanning cost will be.
Post Scanning Services
If you need documents reassembled after scanning, the time needed to put them back into their original folders, binders, or boxes factors into your overall scanning costs. You may want your original documents securely stored or destroyed after scanning. Fortunately, some document scanning vendors offer records storage and shredding services. The cost for these services is factored into your project or quoted separately.
Considering these factors will help you plan a successful document scanning project.