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Document Imaging for Small Business: Five Big Ideas
For years, only large corporations had the resources to create full-scale document management systems. Now, with the advent of affordable document scanning and imaging services, even small businesses can gain valuable competitive advantages by digitizing documents.
However, there is still a risk, from the perspective of a small business owner, that hiring a document imaging service may not pay off in significant cost savings and efficiency improvements. To maximize the return on investment of working with a document imaging service, its best to start with some basic considerations.
1. Short-Term Goals
For a small business that watches its spending closely, there is usually one particular aspect of document imaging that brings the buyer to the table. Imaging of invoices, for example, is a very specific document imaging application that has caused many a sale.
When beginning a document imaging project, identify short-term goals that can be achieved in short order. Taking this modest approach can help prevent grand plans from becoming wild goose chases.
2. Staff Considerations
Small businesses depend especially heavily on particular staff members. Therefore, it is a good idea to take input from particular staff members before and during the implementation of a document imaging solution. By investigating how people within the office are working now, problems with business processes often present themselves quite clearly.
3. Security Concerns
Lawyers, real estate types, and accountants are three types of professionals that use document imaging. The fact that these security-conscious, privacy-needed professionals use document imaging so heavily speaks to the fact that there are security measures that can be taken to protect sensitive documents.
However, security concerns inherently complicate document imaging projects. These complexities can be handled through easy-to-implement software, but it is wise to plan ahead for such needs.
4. Existing Technology
Always seek to work with a document imaging service that takes into account existing technology and what it can do. Using technology that is already owned is especially important for small businesses who cannot and may not buy their way out of a compatibility issue through excessive purchasing of new things.
Talking with a document imaging service about hardware and software that is already in place is a great way to gauge the readiness of a document imaging service to work with small business clients.
5. Listen Well
Document imaging is a rapidly changing field. With Microsoft SharePoint gaining immense traction, optical character recognition not terribly far away from being able to read handwriting, and mobile document imaging in its infancy but getting bigger, there are plenty of angles for document imaging salespeople to pursue.
Listen to those pitches closely. There could be a little something in that pitch that could, rightly applied, make a big difference in the performance of a small business.