Almost every inquiry we receive regarding a potential scanning project includes a discussion and focus on the scan resolution (commonly referred to as Dots Per Inch, DPI), file type (PDF or TIFF), logistics of pickup and drop off, prep and re-assembly. Very few of the discussions initially focus on the indexing or categorization and organization of the files. It is mostly an afterthought by the potential customer, as if the entire project is all about the conversion and not about how they can benefit from having the documents easily accessible.
Over the years we have determined that the value of our services is not really in the quality of the scans or how well we re-assemble. We know we do those things very well and those project elements are critical to a successful conversion. But the real value in what Millennia Group provides is the organization and rationalization of the information so that users can find what they need quickly and have confidence that they have the full picture.
Let me describe a scenario that is fairly typical. I have used employee files in the example, but the concept is the same for all types of files and records. Let’s assume a company has 2,000 employees and their employee files consist of personnel records, benefits documents, I-9’s and all the other documents typically found in the employees folder or folders. Many companies will look at these files and start scanning the documents because it seems simple to have a temp just scan each employee folder as one PDF file and save it to a network drive. So that one PDF for that one employee has all the documents in it including the I-9. Let’s say that file is for Mary Adams, so it is saved as maryadams.pdf. Seems pretty straight forward.
Looks can be deceiving. First of all, Mary gets married and is now Mary Reynolds. Hopefully someone will remember to manually go and rename the PDF to maryreynolds.pdf. Secondly, if there is an audit of the I-9’s, they will have to go dig out the paper files because the auditors should not have access to all the other documents in the PDF like the background check or the medical information. How about the fact that managers really should only have access to the employees in their region, not easy to do on a shared folder on the network. How about the annual review PDF’s that are stored in a different location on the network? Should those be merged into the other PDF for Mary or should users just know to go look somewhere else? How about terminated employees, are their files moved to a different location in the shared folder so that the retention schedule can be activated? Would anyone ever like to audit the files of all employees in a particular office? Can’t be done if they are named the way we named the PDFs.
These are just some of the reasons that organization and indexing are so important in every scanning project. This effort is what really justifies the cost of scanning – cost savings from more accessible and complete information.