Questions to ask a document imaging provider – Part 1

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Choosing a document imaging partner isn’t an easy task. Document conversions are often large, high-profile projects, which means the stakes are high and you want to be sure you get it right.

Another big challenge is knowing what to look for. Different imaging providers offer different services, so how do you know what’s really important?

The following questions will help. Based on our experience with hundreds of imaging projects, these questions cover all the key aspects of document imaging outsourcing. By discussing these with a prospective partner, you’ll help ensure that they meet minimum standards of service and incorporate best practices into the process.

Download our full guide to selecting a document imaging provider »

Key questions

  1. What exactly does the quote include? Many document imaging providers will offer a quote based on a per-image scanning fee. However, it is important to find out exactly what is included in that fee because not all quotes include the same set of services. Many organizations have learned this hard way!If the quote is presented as a “comprehensive” quote, it should at least include document preparation, indexing, quality control, and return of documents after the scan.
  2. Do the scanning staff understand RIM best practices? And my industry? Throughout a document scanning project, many decisions and judgment calls need to be made. For example, how will you apply classifications or metadata to scanned documents? What happens when a misfiled document is discovered during the scanning process? Will anyone even notice in the first place? As you can imagine, if the scanning staff have no knowledge of records management practices – or of your business – then the chances are that these issues won’t be handled properly. This can lead to delays and errors that ultimately hamper the overall success of the project. Knowledgeable and experienced staff are essential for managing project risk, ensuring compliance and delivering positive project outcomes.
  3. Can you ensure that the documents will meet end-user requirements? During the up-front planning process, a good provider will have a methodology for understanding how staff will actually search for and use scanned documents. This understanding should be carried through to the actual scanning process so that the imaging output matches these requirements.
  4. How will you provide access to records during the scan? During most scanning projects, staff members will require access to documents in order to maintain normal business operations. Make sure the provider uses a tested methodology for providing document access throughout the project. Nothing adds to the stress of a scanning project like slow or intermittent document access. Continuity is key!
  5. How will you secure records during the scan?Throughout the process, you need to know exactly where your documents will be stored and who will be handling them. Find out what steps the provider takes to safeguard the scanning facility. This should include security staff as well as monitoring systems.It’s also a good idea to ask whether all scanning staff are bound by confidentiality agreements and that the provider has conducted background checks. This extra bit of diligence is important for overall risk mitigation.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider, and there is more! Next week we’ll explore additional questions to ensure that your imaging project is in good hands. Stay tuned!

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