5 Cost Factors That Will Determine Whether to Insource or Outsource Your Imaging Project

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Congratulations! You’ve been able to convince senior management that it is time to convert your paper records to digital images in order to increase efficiencies in storing, sharing and retrieving documents. The natural next step is to decide if you are going to insource or outsource your imaging project.

In order to do that you need to have a good handle on the factors that will determine your costs, and ultimately your ROI. This analysis needs to include any one-time scanning activities as well as the ongoing scanning of new documents.

Here are the five key things to consider when calculating the costs of the imaging project.

  1. What are your basic project requirements?
    To get an accurate cost for both insourcing and outsourcing you will need to start by determining:

•  project timelines
•  how many records will be scanned once and ongoing
•  how many scanning stations you will set up and how many staff you expect at each.

  1. What hardware and software do you need?
    In addition to cost of the scanning equipment itself, you should also calculate your expected needs and costs for:

•  computer workstations
•  prep tables and document carts
•  barcode scanners to assist with meta tagging
•  scanning software
•  records management software to accommodate the newly scanned images.

On an ongoing basis, you will need to set aside a budget for maintenance of the equipment and also for replacement of items like barcode sheets, ink and toner.

  1. What are your labour costs?
    While you will find that everything becomes faster after you convert your paper documents to digital images, this conversion will not remove the need for labour. During the project you need to assign someone to manage the process. In addition to a project manager you will need to assign various IT resources and also a conversion supervisor.Once your initial scanning project is finished and you are up-and-running, you will need resources for:

•  preparing the documents for imaging
•  scanning
•  file assembly and re-filing
•  data entry costs
•  quality control.

  1. What are your facility and utility costs?
    You don’t want to overlook the costs of the facilities (i.e. the price per square foot of the dedicated project space), or the utilities costs for the operation of the scanning equipment.
  1. What other costs could impact your ROI?
    Like all big projects, it is important to leave a buffer for miscellaneous costs on your document conversion project. Some of these costs include:

•  additional hardware
•  labour costs on overtime
•  HR costs associated with recruiting new resources
•  senior management and executive time on project.

The idea is to get as complete a list of costs as you can with the insourced model. Once you have a handle on those you can easily compare with an outsourced option to see which one will deliver a better ROI.

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