Tag: digitisation

Mar
2011

DIGITIZATION – King Without Crown of Business Universe

Why should a business have computers when all of the business’s information is on paper?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to have all of the documents available for viewing on the computer or having scanned images of documents on a device that can easily and quickly be connected to the computer. This is becoming increasingly true since PDF files can be viewed by anyone who has a PDF viewer (freeware) and going forward we can use PDF/A technology to make it more secure and long lasting with many add-on features.

Going by various industry reports, we found that:

On an average 7000 sheets are used yearly by an employee in any office which costs to about Rs 2500 / employee / year. About 10% of the employee effort is used in filing and storing of documents and about 20% of employee effort is wasted in retrieving a document. 5% of the documents are lost or misfiled and about 30% of effort is wasted in reconstruction of these documents, and most important is the space used to store these documents at premium office location which is almost 15% to 20% the total space. So around 70% of the effort is wasted to perform 30% of the job efficiently.

Storage of these physical files requires filing cabinets costing as high as Rs 15,000 for a standard five-drawer lateral filing cabinet, with the average filing cabinet using 15.7 square feet at an average cost of Rs 25–Rs 30 per square foot, which come to about Rs 350 per filing cabinet per year, furthermore, 40% of the files in those cabinets are duplicate information, and 85% is never accessed again.

Whereas, if we consider digital storage, a single CD is can save twelve thousand documents or one full filing cabinet and a DVD can save upon 1.5 lacks documents or ten full filing cabinets. For companies which require bulk volume of document scanning and document conversion can be a big problem unless a proper document scanning solution is in place.

But how many of us have broad view of the digitization process (Document Scanning)? And how many realize that decisions made at every step – especially in the procurement of the scanner itself – will affect total costs of the digitization? In fact, the failure to analyze correct equipment and associated software is often the cause of higher-than-expected scanning costs. These costs include the “cost of poor quality,” which an organization might incur months or even years after a document has been scanned, when the document is found to be unreadable and unusable.

The best way to avoid this kind of additional cost is to automate the digitization process by minimizing the dependency on man and machine. To achieve the optimum combination; invest appropriate time in select scanning equipment and digitization software. Please remember the fact that the cost of world’s best workflow and document management software’s (storage/archival and retrieval system for scanned documents)  price is negligible in front the cost of scanning the documents, so have more emphasis to reduce the cost of scanning, even a paisa (Indian currency) saved on every page can result in saving of millions or billions for overall scanning volume, now see where stands the cost of workflow or document management software, now this doesn’t means that you can have any workflow or document management software, pay attention of the features, robustness and scalability.

Selection criteria of scanning equipment (scanner) depends on its feature like dynamic image processing technology, automatic de-skewing, border removal, and other features that ensure clean, crisp usable images, straight paper path, image capturing technology, speed, paper handling mechanism, duty cycle, after sale support etc. The up-front investment in quality will reduce the need for rescans, speed up the quality assurance step in the value chain and minimize the chance that a poor quality image will slip through undetected, creating problems down the road.

Similarly the criteria for selection of digitization software depends on its feature like ISIS/TWAIN driver, view image while scanning, easy to replace, insert, delete at variable locations easily, auto categorization of documents, auto scan on different modes, image compression, available file formats, advance image processing options, customized scanning parameters for different types of documents, easy and customizable indexing/metadata entry provision etc.

And the most important is to judge that all our effort has delivered the right results so the best way to ensure quality, also reduce manpower count is to look for Automatic Document Quality Analyzer which does all types of image quality analysis automatically on more that 50 parameters and ensures that no below standard image moves to final archival software.

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Swati Pandey
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