Outsourced Scanning vs. In-House Scanning

When it comes to document management, there are several procedures that could be done in-house or left to the professionals. Scanning is one these. How do you decide if it’s worth doing it yourself or if it’s best to release the task to a competent and reliable document scanning service? Here’s some things to consider before making that decision.


Scanning a minimal quantity of documents that doesn’t require extensive indexing can easily be handled on a desktop scanner by adding it to the daily tasks of administrative staff. Larger volumes of scanning will require heavier scanning equipment which will increase cost and require trained staff and more advanced software. Quantity of scanning is one factor that determines whether it’s better to scan in-house or outsource your scanning.


You may have an abundance of historical documents, receipts, or files that need to be scanned because your business is moving to digital, or perhaps you’re moving your business and need to scan everything. These one-time scans are the perfect project for outsourcing.

Cost Effectiveness

To determine the cost of setting up your own scanning department, consider these expenses:

  1. The purchase or lease of scanners that match the size of your projects.
  2. The cost of consumables, like paper, ink, maintenance. and occasional downtime.
  3. The cost of software licensing fees and upgrades.
  4. The physical space needed to do your own scanning.
  5. The staff, time, and operating costs to maintain the equipment, including replenishing and maintaining the consumables.


You will need easy access to your scanned documents, so they will need to be indexed. This requires manual data entry and a system that makes it easy to find the file you need at any time. It is possible to purchase the software to set this up and to train your staff to use it, but it is often more cost- and time-effective to outsource this.


Standard document sizes are manageable using a standard desktop scanner. If you scan larger documents on a regular basis, you will need a large-format scanner. Outsourcing will avoid the ownership and operational costs associated with larger equipment.

Deciding whether in-house or outsourcing is the best route to take will likely require the combination of each of the above considerations. Each organization must determine their own needs based on budget, space, staffing, document load and service they provide.

American Document Securities provides an array of document services, including document scanning, for businesses throughout the State of Georgia. To discuss your needs, call us at 877-527-5237 or fill in the form on this page. We’re here to serve you.

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My staff and I had the pleasure of participating in an ADS Consulting Shredding & Storage Workshop in April 2011.As a new business, it was critical for us to get off to a good start. The workshop provided us with useful information and practical applications that helped us do that. The ‘hands on’ training experience we received in a successful, working document destruction and storage business environment was invaluable.Renee and her staff were very personable and helpful and continue to be valuable business partners to this day.I highly recommend the ADS Workshop to both new and existing businesses

Rob Giannini, C.O.O.Commonwealth ...