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Blog for August 2010

The Document Scanning Industry – The Role of Outsourcing in the Movement Toward Scanning-to-Process
Author: Andy Schachtel
Date Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 07:42:28 AM | Comments (0)

The document scanning service industry has arrived at a critical juncture in its growth as a variety of new tools continue to make distributed scanning within the enterprise increasingly competitive. Scanning and capture outsourcing providers must continue to evolve and boost their ROI proposition in order to prove their value to clients.

According to a survey conducted by AIIM Market Intelligence, two primary factors drive companies toward scanning and imaging: knowledge management and productivity. Other concerns, such as saving space, reducing paper and security were clearly secondary. This should send a clear message to the industry that scanning to process, rather than scanning to archive is the pathway to growth.

Although new software and hardware have made it easier for companies to implement scanning-to-process initiatives internally, outsourced service providers maintain several key advantages that allow them to offer a superior solution if properly packaged and communicated to clients.

First of all, clients face a number of challenges when trying to implement advanced scanning procedures in-house:

1.Workers within the enterprise are resistant to change and will push back against procedures for consistent and proper indexing of digital documents.

2.Training of internal staff is time consuming and expensive. Turn-over forces constant re-training.

3.Oversight and maintenance of quality standards is difficult.

4.Staff from different departments will have difficulty integrating and coordinating data within business processes.

5.Purchase and maintenance of state-of-the-art hardware, software and processes is expensive and time consuming.

Providers need to capitalize on these challenges and emphasize to clients that domain expertise is required to implement a long-term scanning-to-process solution. That domain expertise encompasses the following:

1.Process integration specialization. Providers must offer value-added services including consulting on process integration, productivity specialists and indexing specialists.

2.Responsibility, oversight, continuity, consistency. By taking ownership of the process and delivering domain expertise, the client is freed from the burdens of management.

3.Efficiency of operations and costs. Providers have to control their own costs to ensure that clients can easily see the cost-performance benefits. Doing the legwork to optimize internal processes, such as adding an offshore component to indexing and quality assurance tasks, is already a major step in tilting the cost-performance equation in favor of scanning specialists.

While superior equipment does factor into the value proposition for scanning providers, it is clear that the most compelling aspects of an advanced knowledge-management and productivity offering are labor intensive tasks undertaken by trained specialists. At Sourcefit, our goal has been to create a rich resource of document management expertise that is articulated and enacted by expert staff capable of becoming a key element in an advanced knowledge management and productivity offering. Our goal is to make our clients indispensable partners for the enterprises that they service, rather than just a convenient option for document archiving.

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