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Millennia Group Blog

We Have Seen the Light, and We Want You to See it Too

We have been busy searching for the meaning of Scanning so to speak. Millennia Group has been a scanning service bureau or scanning services company for 17 years now. We have always put customer first and that has meant providing our valued customers with scanning services that they wanted and were willing to fund. There is no question that when the economy was really good, the willingness to fund scanning projects was far greater than it is today. The underlying reasons to scan have not changed, but the willingness to fund them has, shall we say, tightened up a bit. And we understand that. This has caused us and our clients to look deeply at the reasons for a scanning project. The results of that look are really not surprising.

What we have come to fully embrace and advocate is that scanning needs to be looked at as part of business process improvement. Scanning is not a means to empty a basement full of boxes or to Go Paperless. Scanning is also not just a means to satisfy the disaster recovery team or to eliminate some file cabinets. While it is true that those things can be the result of scanning, scanning must be tied to business process improvement to get past the justifiable financial scrutiny.

For this reason, over the past year, we have been starting the conversation with companies that call and want us to “scan all of their documents” with this simple question – Why? What is this project going to do to improve your business? Will it turn a paper based routing and approval process into a paperless process with tracking, notices and an audit trail? Yes, we are on board and we can help you with that. Will it give your dispersed and mobile workforce better access to customer and project documentation and let those remote users upload new documents? Yes, we are on board with this too and we can definitely help.

Be willing to have a thick skin and maybe look hard at some internal processes that may not be optimal or in fact broken. Embrace some well thought out change. Now scanning is really going to improve your business. Will a centralized, trusted, online repository of your business documents empower your mobile or dispersed workforce? Yes, we can help get your there.

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For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at

Checklist Length Doesn’t Matter

We have been very busy meeting with people in a variety of companies and disciplines but one area that has taken great interest in our online document checklist continues to rise to the top and that is human resources. When we meet with someone in the human resources world and we start to describe the concept of an online checklist that helps you track and gather a set of required documents, we have been surprised by a simple response – we need to collect one or two documents from many employees.

The concept of an online document gathering system seemed to us to mean a list of many documents that needed to be collected and because it may be a long list or at least a list used over and over again, some control, organization and automation would be really helpful. Turns out, it is very helpful in those situations but a short list sent to many people is also difficult to manage and our system can help with that too.

For instance, a company with a division of 300 employees in a state that changes insurance requirements means sending out new disclosure forms and beneficiary designation forms to all of those employees and gathering up all the signed copies. That is a lot of email and file attachments and a nightmare to monitor and manage. Well, not with CollectDocs. Load the list of employees and the blank forms and send out a batch Request and let the system tell you when all files are collected. Simple. Even simpler with digital signatures.

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For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at

A Slippery Slope

Our blog title – “Tackling Mountains of Docs” is very top of mind lately. We have just launched a new service aimed squarely at Iron Mountain – controller of mountains of boxes of documents. Our service is a combination of technology, hard work and process but in the end, it is just common sense. We call our new service I:S Cubed as in Inventory: Scan, Shred or Store.

The point of the service is if you use some basic logic in making decisions, it is not all that painful to make that decision. Iron Mountain and other box storage firms have grown very large and accumulated a vast amount of boxes because its difficult to make decisions about the mysterious contents. Rather than sweep the boxes under the rug so to speak, take back control. As our service clearly states, start with taking an inventory. Find out what is in those boxes. Once you have the inventory you can make the decisions that need to be made – Scan, Shred or Store.

You should compare that inventory to your records retention schedule or at the very least talk to your accountant and attorney to find out best practices for retention of various document types. Armed with this information you will find it easy to make good, common sense decisions. You will not only save money in the long run, you will be surprised at the important corporate knowledge that you find and you will sleep better knowing you are effectively managing your litigation exposure.

If you are just starting to accumulate boxes in off-site storage, keep a very detailed inventory in a database or spreadsheet. Don’t start sliding down that slippery slope.

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For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at

It’s Not about the Scanning

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.

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For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at

One Super Versatile Tool

The concept of putting a checklist application online and incorporating file attachments has really sparked a great deal of interest. Like our last post, the interest has come from business areas that we did not anticipate. Therefore, we are starting to casually refer to CollectDocs as the Duct Tape application – it has a million uses.

The number of uses has increased with our addition of Tasks and Data collection to the types of items that can be part of a checklist. When CollectDocs was first created, it only allowed items to be file attachments. Now a checklist can be file attachments combined with some tasks that need to be completed and even some data points that need gathering. Behold, a simple workflow tool.

  • Tax preparer – use it for collecting the client’s w2’s, 1099’s, real estate taxes and other receipts and documentation
  • Accounting Department – use it to gather all the sub-reports needed for the quarterly financial statement preparation
  • HR Department – use it to gather the on-boarding or new hire documents
  • Procurement Officer – use it to gather the w-9, ISO certifications, materials content statement, the contract, the NDA, etc
  • Leasing Agent – use it to gather the background check, the lease, the prior landlord recommendation, the income verification, etc

And on and on. Such a simple idea that every company uses throughout the organization only now it has actual functionality and can significantly improve a process.

If you use a paper checklist or a folder system on the shared drive to manage the collection of information, we would love to hear what that process is. Thank you.

Contact us today for more information or to get started today

For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at

When is a Million Not a Million and Who Cares?

Most of our customers and prospects look at a wall of file cabinets or room full of boxes and immediately think “there must be a million pages here”. They may be right, but they may be wrong. The correct answer or as close as you can get to the correct answer is extremely important in terms of the total cost of your imaging project and justifying your project.

If the cost to scan, prep, index and re-assemble (I don’t like just saying the “cost to scan”, since scanning is far more complicated than a single step) is $0.10 per page it makes a big difference if you have 1,000,000 pages or 100,000 pages. There is a huge difference between a budget of $100,000 and $10,000. As an example of how important page count is to the total project budget lets see what the budget is if we increase the cost per page by 50%.

If the project includes 100,000 pages and the cost per page increases by 50% to $0.15 per page, the budget increases from $10,000 to $15,000. $5,000 is a lot of money, but that difference is not usually a show stopper. So if a prospect call us and says “I need a quote to scan 100,000 pages”, we can misjudge the complexity of the project by 50% and not really jeopardize the budget or shock the prospect.

If the prospect had said, “I think we must have 1,000,000 pages to scan”, then it really doesn’t matter what the price per page is, the nominal amount of the budget increases so dramatically that it does become a show stopper. Of course 1,000,000 pages at $0.10 is $100,000, much different than $10,000. Even if we are off on the price by 50%, $150,000 is really not in a different league than $100,000.

This is why page count is so important. Take a close look at the documents in the file cabinets and in the boxes. Maybe there are documents that really don’t need to be scanned, which may significantly reduce page count. Take some test counts of the pages in each box or each folder and try to accurately extrapolate out the total number of actual pages that will be scanned. You might also be able to split the project into smaller parts to spread the budget out over a longer period of time.

Price per page is important and there are many variables that go into the cost of any project. However, an accurate estimate of the total page count will typically have the largest impact on total project cost.

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For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at

Compliance and Audit – Imaging Helps

Two business areas that can benefit, or suffer, from imaging are compliance and audits. Here is why – unless your imaging process is tightly controlled, the risk of mis-information is equal to or greater than a paper based system. What could be some control points. Centralized scanning could be. This might create a bit more consistency in how documents are classified and saved vs leaving that task up to every individual user in the company. There will undoubtedly be spelling errors, mis-interpretations, mistakes and duplicated efforts, some of which might go away with centralized operations. A review step can also help, but that adds a layer of management and cost on the process. Structured file names. Can work, but round things don’t always fit into square holes nicely. Workflow rules. That is a great way to ensure consistency and accuracy. A component of Workflow is source data as in matching invoices to the source accounting entry in the accounting system or matching the contract to the customer in the CRM. More to come.

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For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at

Cost Benefit Analysis of Imaging

Who doesn’t smile when they order a turkey sandwich for $5 and it comes piled high with carved turkey, a pickle, a bag of chips and a drink – That is a positive cost benefit relationship. But that same order might cost $20 – That is a negative cost benefit relationship for most of us I presume.

Is there any way to ensure the positive outcome each and every time for each and every customer (User)? You can plan as best you can, but there is probably no way to please all people all the time. You may serve great turkey, the best pickle and all the other good stuff they wanted but the mustard you provide is way to spicy.

How does this relate to document imaging project planning? In the end, there is going to be a need to identify the really critical areas that the users focus on and demand for their daily work. Take a deep look at need versus want to get these answers. How often do I need to see these documents? Exactly which documents are important to which users? Are documents for in-active accounts important? Maybe for only the first 6 months (only scan active accounts and in-active accounts that are less than 6 months old). Does each folder only have 10 pages in it? Consider scanning it as one – 10 page document instead of the more costly 10 – one page documents (each named and dated which takes time and hence money).

Most of the cost of an imaging project is invested in the categorization or indexing of the documents so they can be retrieved later with simple searches. There may be 20 different relative items for a single document, but maybe 98% of the time only 4 or 5 would be used to find it. The cost of capturing all 20 would be far greater than the 4 or 5 yet not provide the overwhelming majority of users with satisfaction.

These are just some of the ways to look at imaging projects. The process to arrive at these answers is well worth the effort and will help ensure that you get the best possible Positive cost benefit relationship.

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For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at

The Beginning

We have all seen or used a checklist in our lives. In business in particular, a document checklist is ubiquitous. There are lists of documents to collect for bringing on a new customer or vendor. Every new employee has a list of documents that are required. There are lists for gathering loan documents or for buying a property. There are extensive lists for acquiring a company.

One list that is not generally thought of as a list are the file folders that have been set up on the computer or in SharePoint or Aren’t the collection of folders just a list of sorts? The folders are used to store the digital files that are shown on the list. Granted, some documents are still in paper, but most users would prefer to have all the files electronically.

The only thing is, the list and the folders are separate. This phenomenon struck us as an oversight of a simple solution. So we created, the features of a checklist and file storage all in the same place.

So now there exists an online document checklist with the power to also store the files. It goes well beyond that, which I will discuss in future posts. The reason for the blog is that this is a difficult concept to get across. So I am asking for help to determine why a checklist with file attachment is not as common as one would think and also to find all of the potential uses of such a tool.

I greatly appreciate your feedback and I look forward to talking about all the great uses we discover.

Contact us today for more information or to get started today

For more information on Millennia Group, please go to or email us at