In most scenarios, it has been proven to be more cost effective to outsource the document scanning services of paper-intensive business applications in companies and organizations of all sizes.  As companies continue to trim their workforce and concentrate on their core competencies, they are seeking new business partners that can improve upon internal operations that involve scanning and indexing business documents.

In other cases they have reached a frustration point with a current vendor and seek alternative companies to provide the same services, but in a completely different environment and with better oversight.

In either situation, companies and organizations expect an outsourcing vendor to provide similar services at a lower cost and with improved quality . . . and they should!  A professional document scanning services provider has mastered their craft and operates in environments that are often superior to in-house operations that were established to meet different requirements in a better economic climate.

So what should you consider when evaluating an outsourcing document scanning services vendor?

  • Employee background checks – We live in a world of identity theft, loss of personal information and security breaches.  The quality of the employees has never been more important when selecting a company to scan and index your business information.
  • Confidentiality agreements – Paperwork should be signed between vendors, sub-contractors, employees and visitors that clearly state the service provider’s obligations in protecting information in their possession.
  • Building access – Doors must be locked and secure.  Entrance procedures must be well documented to know when every non-employee, visitor or customer enters the building.
  • Employee training – How often are employees trained and updated on company procedures that protect client information and who has access to it?
  • Data protection and encryption – Your service provider should be willing to meet with your IT team to design the proper protocols to protect your data and images when they are being transferred from the facility to your internal systems.
  • Security system – How is the facility protected when nobody is there?  How are your documents protected when in the vendor’s possession?
  • Hosted information and business continuity – As companies become more comfortable with SasS applications and web-hosted storage and retrieval repositories, internal systems will become critical criteria in the selection of your document scanning vendor.
  • Hardware and software – A professional outsourcing scanning provider will update their software and hardware on a regular basis, and certainly more frequently than companies and organizations that must justify new capital equipment requests in challenging economic times.
  • Facilities Tour – Nobody (we hope) is going to select a vendor to handle their most critical business documents without an in-depth tour of the facility that will scan, index, manage and store your information.  Visit the facility, talk to the employees, see how your work will be processed and work closely with the vendor to develop a Statement of Work that will assure a quality scanning project.
  • Experience – One word says it all.  What kind of experience does the company have in our industry?  How active is the executive team in industry associations and activities?  How supportive are they of local chapters of national organizations?  What do others say about them?  Reputation and experience should be at the top of your list when evaluating new business partners that you will entrust your most important business documents to.  Don’t take it lightly.

In today’s environment, you must evaluate your document scanning service provider with a different set of standards.  You must expect, and demand, that they will secure your information and provide an effective chain of custody when documents leave your facility.  Your information must processed in accordance with new standards, be delivered on time, on budget, and fully secured until data and images are back in your possession!