Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (Click on a Q? below for Answers)
What is document imaging?
What is electronic document management?
Why do I need document imaging and records management?
How does Document Imaging enhance information retrieval?
Why do we need an E.D.M program? our recorded information is already electronic?
How does records management help achieve regulatory compliance?
What kind of ROI should I expect?
(Download PDF for a complete ROI)
How should I plan for an Imaging project?
How much physical space is saved after going digital?
At what DPI should I scan my documents?
Can we have our 100,000+ documents digitized,indexed, ocr'ed and recorded by next Week?
What is the Business Case for outsourcing your document imaging projects?
What is document Imaging?
Document Imaging, also known as Digital Imaging and often referred to as just Scanning is the process where by a paper-based document is converted from its original human readable format into a digital computer-readable format. The resulting images can be stored on a variety of media, such as computer disks, CD-ROMs/DVDs, magnetic tapes, and computer servers. One can think of it as a photocopy of an original that can be viewed on a computer.
What is Electronic document Management?
Next to people, Business Records are the most important assets any organization has. Information is the Engine of Business, any Business and Electronic Records Management gives an organization effective policy and procedures for systematic control of recorded information and mandatory regulatory compliance.
Why do you need document Imaging and Records Management?
Information is the engine of business. Any business. It is the most vital, strategic asset any organization possesses. Recent regulatory requirements, namely the sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 make managing information both a business priority and a legal obligation that demand the attention of corporate executives and boards of directors. Recently, formal records management practices have become an important part of conducting business within government organizations and private industries. This is due in large part to ever stricter legislation and compliance regulations aimed at securing and archiving critical information. If that does not convince you, take a hard look at the following research study.
According to the following stats revealed in a study conducted by Cooper & Lybrands:
|"There are over 4 trillion paper documents in the US alone growing at 22% a year."
|"90% of corporate memory currently exists on paper."
|"7.5% of all documents get lost and 3% of the remainder get misfiled."
"US companies spend an average of:
$20 in labor to file a document.
"$120 in labor to find a misfiled document and $220 to reproduce a lost document"
How does a Document Imaging program enhance information retrieval?
Information is useless if it cannot be retrieved quickly and
conveniently when needed. A DIM program adds value to recorded
information by making it easier and less costly to retrieve and use.
Through a combination of manual and automated approaches, DIM
initiatives can reduce labor costs and improve the retrievability of
For paper documents, DIM professionals can develop effective systems
and procedures that promote completeness of documentation, define
filing categories and arrangements, and specify responsibilities and
methods for file creation, maintenance, and control. These initiatives
will reduce operating costs by making efficient use of clerical labor,
filing equipment, and supplies. They also will improve productivity by
minimizing time-consuming file searches and expediting transaction
processing, responses to customer inquiries, and other business operations
that depend on the timely availability of recorded information.
For business applications with demanding retrieval and control
requirements, DIM professionals rely on computerized document
management technologies, such as electronic imaging, for rapid
retrieval, display, printing, and dissemination of information. Properly
selected and implemented, these technologies can reduce labor
requirements for file creation, maintenance, and control while
expediting information-dependent business operations. They also
conserve office space, a costly resource, by storing actively referenced
Why do we need an Electronic Document Management program given that a growing percentage of our recorded information is electronic?
DIM concepts and methods apply to recorded information in all
formats, including electronic formats. While computerization is
sometimes viewed as the solution to a company’s information management
problems, electronic records are subject to many of the same issues
and concerns as paper documents. They also pose unique problems of
their own. To cite a few examples:
- Like paper documents, databases, word processing files, e-mail
messages, electronic images, Web pages, and other computer records,
including backup copies in offsite locations, are subject to discovery
in civil litigation and government investigation.
- Computer records accumulate on hard drives as their paper
counterparts do in file cabinets. In many organizations, the voluminous
accumulation of daily e-mail messages alone can push available
computer storage to its limits.
- Technical innovations have dramatically reduced the cost of
computer storage, but those innovations have had little impact on
the conversion of recorded information to the form required for
computer processing. Such conversion remains labor-intensive,
time-consuming, and costly.
- The mere fact that information has been computerized is no
guarantee that it can be retrieved when needed.
- Retention periods for electronic records are often longer than
the usable life spans of the media on which they are stored. Data
migration policies and procedures must be developed to ensure
that electronic records will remain readable throughout their
How does document imaging help us achieve regulatory compliance?
Non-compliance is typically attributable to a lack of knowledge and
inadequate procedures rather than to willful disregard for laws and
government regulations. Compliance depends on accurate identification
and systematic implementation of recordkeeping guidelines. A Document Imaging and Records Management program
can help in these three ways:
- A major factor in compliance is determining which of the thousands
of laws and regulations apply to a company’s records. This requires
thorough research, which must be updated periodically to encompass
new legislation, such as the previously discussed Sarbanes-Oxley
Act of 2002. Working with published compilations of government
regulations and other reference tools, RIM professionals identify laws
and regulations that apply to specific types of corporate records.
These recordkeeping requirements are then discussed with corporate
legal staff to evaluate and confirm their applicability.
- Once it is determined that specific recordkeeping requirements are
applicable to a company’s records, RIM professionals integrate them
into existing business processes. Written policies and procedures
clearly designate which business units are responsible for retaining
- To prevent foreseeable acts of non-compliance, RIM professionals
develop training initiatives to ensure that corporate employees are
fully aware of recordkeeping requirements and the procedures
necessary to comply with them. They also develop monitoring
and auditing procedures to determine conformity with retention
guidelines, identify potential compliance problems, take corrective
action where indicated, and modify existing practices to prevent
What kind of ROI should I expect?
Eliminates Physical Storage Costs and Overhead.
- Clerk filling error suppression.
- Eliminates time-consumming retrievals.
- Eliminates misfilling errors,No more lost documents.
- Complete Records Access Audit Trail. (Who, What, When, Where)
- Easy Online access to records round the clock.
- Industry-specific Regulatory Compliance. (HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, FERPA)
- 100% Document Security and Record protection.
- And much much more...
How should I plan for an imaging project?
After identifying which records to scan, consider the following:
- Document preparation
Staples and paper clips must be removed, and the documents unfolded. Preparation also involves weeding out duplicate material and organizing the records in such a way as to promote application of retention periods and disposition actions (if more than one series of records is involved).
- Indexing and metadata
Indexing determines how the images will be retrieved. Indexing is the most time consuming and expensive step in the imaging project. The more elaborate the indexing schema, the more costly. The index should include metadata, such as record name or topic, date created and modified, or keywords, that will assist in searching and retrieval of the images. Metadata elements should be defined and built into the indexing plan before scanning begins.
- Image type
Determine the image type to use. This will require some testing and will be based on the condition of the original documents, space limitations, and desired image quality.
- Policies and procedures
If the scanned images replace the original documents as record copies, policies and procedures should exist to show that the digitizing occurs in the regular course of business. Additional procedures should exist to show that the system and images are secure and not subject to tampering. Having adequate procedures in place increases the likelihood that the system will be deemed trustworthy and reliable if the validity or integrity of the images is questioned.
- Quality control
The quality of the images will need to be checked against the original documents before the original documents are destroyed. Problems associated with skew, resolution, or contrast may require a rescan. Quality control steps should be included in the scanning procedures.
If an outside vendor is used to scan documents, costs will vary. Estimates can range from $.06 - $.15 per image (or higher), with indexing (data entry) and document preparation adding to the cost. If you plan on scanning the documents in-house, you must factor indirect costs for staff time and equipment maintenance/upgrades.
- Time and scanning rates
Run several trials to estimate how long the scanning project will take. Include in your estimates scanning, indexing, and a percentage of rescans. The total time to complete your scanning project also will be influenced by how much backfile conversion you wish to accomplish. If you want to convert documents to digital images going back to day one, you must devote more time and resources to the project than if you elect to scan "day forward."
How much valuable Real Estate is saved after going digital?
Consider this: Approximately 14,000 units of scanned 8.5 x 11 paper at 200dpi can be stored on a single compact disk (650MB).This is the equivalent of 30 Reams of papers containing 500 each(Imagine the physical space requirements in your mail or copy room.)
Remember, the more black ink on the page, the larger the scanned image.
A 34x44" size scan can be smaller in file size than a 11x17" size scan if the 11x17" contains a lot of detailed print on it. Shaded regions, pictures and thick black lines increase file sizes.
At what DPI should I scan my documents?
DPI stands for "dots per inch". A scanner usually measure the intensity of a document(A drawing, a Card, Paper etc...) to measure the intensity of the "Reflection". In newer file formats such as JPEG or TIFF, you can have a 24 bit image. The scanner's camera uses several shades of grey for each intensity. This is also true for color scanning. So the higher the resolution(more dots per inch), the higher the number of shades of grey or colors. It is important to note that there's a difference between a capture resolution and an output resolution.
Can I have my 100,000+ documents scanned, ocr and indexed by
You've come to the right place. We get this kind of request every week through our web site or customer service line.We're very well equipped and have a systematic process in place to handle any work load on any deadline.We can take your documents in any kind of shape or form and turn them into digital files with a conversion format of your choice. (see our Imaging process). We can do it on-site(at your place or off-site at our state-of-the art production center). Off-site Imaging is about 1/3 the cost of On-site work. So think bottomline.
The Business Case for Outsourcing your Document Imaging.
Why Outsource My Document Imaging?
Better Resources Utilization
Eclipse Technology offers a range of document outsourcing solutions and services to companies of all sizes and to state and federal government agencies in need of a document Management Solution and services without the willingness to tap into their already-overextended in-house resources who may or may not have the expertise in Electronic Document Management and Records Archiving techniques and processes.Outsourcing of functions that are not central to your core business allows employees and other physical resources to be redirected and utilized effectively toward core business needs rather than intangible non-bottom-line -oriented activities. This is particularly true with document imaging services,where specific technical and operational procedures usually differ from other other bottom-line-oriented activities.
Bottom-Line and "Best Value"
In today's economy and regulatory compliance world, businesses are forever mindful of wasteful expenditures and are pressed to justify every single penny of expense. In other words, it's all about the "Bottom line" and "Best Value" for private businesses, state and federal government agencies. Eclipse Technology has over the years continually heavily invested in sophisticated,state-of-the art modern imaging technologies and equipment to maintain its competitive advantage and performs the work at a much, much lower costs and better quality than our customers can. It's all about the economy of scale.