Every document conversion project is different, but that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch when planning out the details. The team at TAB has completed countless imaging projects over the years, and we have learned what works and what doesn’t.
Here are some of the key practices to keep in mind for your project:
- Plan with the future in mind
While your document imaging project has likely developed out of a current and imminent need, it is important to think further down the road to what the needs of the organization might be and then plan accordingly. Make sure that when you speak with your provider you discuss the short-term goals of your conversion and also the growth of the organization and your potential plans for expansion. For example, if you are developing a solution for your current location or department, you may want to assume that other groups will need to leverage your solution. This would certainly be something to factor in to your new design.
- Ensure high quality images are being produced
When planning your document imaging project you will want to determine the minimum level of quality required for the images. If you are employing optical character recognition (OCR) as part of the solution, then a certain minimum scan quality will be essential. Different document types and different use-cases could also dictate that some images require higher resolution than others.As part of the conversion project you will want to make sure your provider has a rigorous quality assurance process, checking for the image quality, image orientation, page breaks and other imperfections. These should be detected and addressed early on in the process, not after the system is handed over to your team.
- Tag images with metadata
Applying accurate metadata to each scanned image is essential for enabling quick and accurate search and retrieval of the new electronic records. You and your team want to be heavily involved in outlining the index values and the naming conventions to ensure that the retrieval of the records is swift, smooth and logical for users. The conversion to an electronic retrieval processes is supposed to make their lives easier!
- Make certain physical documents are secured
During and after the imaging process, it is very important to secure physical documents being scanned. When planning the project, ensure that only authorized staff will have access to the scanning stations, and that documents being processed are locked or otherwise secured. And when the project is complete, be sure to every document is securely re-filed or destroyed as required.
- Ensure staff are comfortable with the new system
Just because you build a new system, it does not mean that your teams will flock to it and instantly fall in love with it. To set your organization and the end-users up for success you want to make sure that there is a plan for educating them and training them on the new system. Be patient with your team and realistic in your timing as there may be some short-term pain for long-term gain.