Pillar - EDMS (1)

Document Scanning

What is Document Scanning?

Scanning captures images of physical paper documents, transforming them into digital files and storing them electronically - a process known as digitisation.

Bulk Scanning and Production Scanning describe techniques that use high-capacity imaging machines to digitise documents, each with distinct features.

What is Bulk Scanning?

Bulk scanning describes large-scale transformation projects, such as archive digitisation.

What is Production Scanning?

Production scanning uses intelligent Document Processing (IDP) to integrate data from images into company processes - powering workflow automation and information management.  

If you want to learn more about the differences between Bulk Scanning and Production Scanning, check out our blog Bulk Scanning vs Production Scanning: Choosing the Right Path for Digitisation

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What Is the Purpose of Scanning Documents?


Scanning documents ensures adherence to record-keeping standards. Digital copies can be securely stored and easily audited, supporting organisations in meeting legal requirements.

Enhanced Document Management

Accessible electronically, digital documents use dynamic full-text searches and index data to retrieve documents swiftly, share information in real-time, and enable global collaboration. 

Environmental Impact

Embracing a paperless approach decreases the demand for paper and minimises the ecological footprint associated with printing and disposal.

Space Efficiency

Scanned documents stored in cloud-based solutions ensure data accessibility from anywhere, minimise costs, and allow you to repurpose space for productive use.

Security & Backup

Digital documents are protected by encryption and access controls, safeguarding sensitive information. Electronic backups provide a reliable data recovery solution for loss or system failures.

Workflow & Optimisation

Digitisation is the foundation of automated workflows that accelerate document routing, processes, and teamwork. Optimisation translates into improved productivity, reduced operational costs, and faster response times for critical tasks.

Digital Preservation

Ensure the longevity and preservation of critical and historical information by protecting documents from physical deterioration, loss, and damage. Securing continuity for future generations.

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How to Scan Documents

If you're considering starting your own project or outsourcing to a dedicated bureau, there are three stages of scanning to consider:

Scanning Specifications

Colour or Black & White
Decide if colour or black and white images are needed depending on the content and purpose of the documents.

File Type
Choose an appropriate format for your scanned documents, such as PDF, JPEG, or TIFF.

Balance Quality for Purpose
Determine the required scanning resolution and image quality based on how document's use.

Batch Design
Indicators like barcodes are used to signal changes in the specifications during scanning. 

Once scanned are documents to be held or securely shredded?

Document Preparation

Remove staples and Paperclips
This protects the scanner from damage to ensure clear images.

Repair torn or damaged documents
This preserves data integrity and protects against further damage during scanning.

Unfold corners
This guarantees the capture of the entire document. 

Align corners and face in the same direction
Aligned documents are fed more efficiently through scanners.

Remove adhesive attachments
This ensures no critical information is covered during digitisation.

Post Scan

Document Indexing
Assign titles, dates, categories, or other relevant information to help with document organisation or use existing databases to populate pre-determined index fields.

Quality Control
Sophisticated quality control software automates the review of scanned work, adding another layer of confidence that images are appropriate for use.

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The Power of Production Scanning

Scanning opens the door to various other digital services.

As the initial step of a more comprehensive process, scanning sets the stage for specialised services that optimise information management, streamline workflows, and enhance overall efficiency.

Outsourced Document Services

Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS)
A centralised platform for storing, organising, and retrieving digital documents. Organisations enhance document control, improve collaboration, and streamline business operations.

Automated Invoice Processing (AIP)
Leverages scanning technology to extract invoice data and integrate it with accounting systems, accelerating payment cycles and giving valuable insights into financial operations.

Virtual Mailroom Service (VMS)
This service saves time and resources associated with physical mail handling. Outsourcing mailroom operations, converting it into digital format. Routing it electronically to relevant recipients.

Hybrid Document Services
Scanning creates solutions that seamlessly integrate physical documents with electronic databases allowing businesses to access and manage information flexibly and compliantly to diverse operational needs.

Digitisation and Digital Transformation

Digital transformation entails a holistic shift towards technologies that optimise processes, improve customer experiences, and drive business growth.

At the core of this transformation lies the digitisation of information.

Planning a purpose-driven document scanning path that aligns digitisation efforts with broader business objectives allows you to embrace a future where information is agile, accessible, and a key growth driver.

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How Much Does it Cost to Scan a Document?

The cost of scanning a document depends on several factors, including the type of document, the volume of copies, the desired quality of scanning, and the level of additional services required. However, outsourcing can lead to cost-effective scanning solutions.

Factors that Influence the Cost of Scanning

Document Preparation
The condition of the documents and the need for any pre-scanning preparation can influence the overall cost.

Volume of Documents
Bulk scanning projects offer economies of scale, reducing cost per image.

Scanning Resolution
Higher scanning resolutions result in more detailed and higher-quality images, which may increase prices due to longer scanning times and larger file sizes.

Document Type and Size
The complexity and size of scanned documents impact the cost.

OCR and Indexing
Additional services like OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and indexing incur extra charges but provide added value regarding searchability and data extraction.

Document Format and Output
The preferred file format for the scanned documents and the desired output options can affect the overall cost.

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How is OCR used in Document Scanning?

Optical Character Recognition converts image-based text into machine-readable, searchable and editable content. OCR and the introduction of AI have revolutionised information management.

Extract Context Over Content
AI-powered document management systems derive context and meaning from images, identifying relationships between different pieces of information.

Decision-Based Workflow
AI takes action based on content. For example, incoming invoices can be automatically routed to the appropriate department for approval, reducing manual intervention.

Pattern Recognition
AI-powered systems excel at pattern recognition. This can be beneficial for identifying exceptions and taking corrective action.

Edit After Scanning
AI and OCR enable post-scan edits and enhancements, such as improving image quality or vectorisation. Where legal admissibility is a concern, maintaining an audit trail of changes is critical to verify the authenticity and integrity of the documents.


Scanning Solutions


High Capacity Document Scanning

High capacity imaging machines provide well-suited solutions for organisations looking to manage the quantity and quality of their physical archive in a digital space.

The Advantages of Digitisation

  • Accurately capture entire documents.
  • Precise control over image quality and resulting file size.
  • Barcode recognition automatically adjust settings during batch scanning.
  • The flexibility to switch between colour and monochromatic, file types, quality, and destination.
  • From small receipts to A3 charts - all are complied in to one virtual location for management.

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare: Efficiently file and rapidly search vast medical record libraries.
  • Human Resources: Compliantly store sensitive employee case files.
  • Government: Modernise critical administrative processes.
  • Finance Departments: Consolidate receipts and invoices together for processing.
  • Legal Firms: Collaborate on documents while maintaining a BS10008 audit trial

Large Format Scanning 

Large-format scanning services are specifically designed to cater to industries that deal with oversized documents where repeated use can lead to the degradation content.

The Benefits of Large Format Scanning 

  • Precise imaging can be scaled for inspection
  • Exercise precise control over image fidelity and resultant file dimensions.
  • Apply modern tools to vectorise physical plans.
  • Prevents deterioration and maintain the integrity of drawings.

Who can benefit?

  • Architectural Firms: Digitally store and swiftly retrieve extensive plans and drawings.
  • Engineering Companies: Move intricate drawings and schematics into CAD.
  • Museums and Historical Archives: Preserve and make accessible wide-format historical materials.

Microfilm and Microfiche

Microfilm scanning services are tailored to industries seeking to transform microfilm archives into digital formats for improved accessibility and preservation.

The Advantages of Microfilm Scanning

  • Access the Unseen: Enable swift access to vast document collections, amplifying productivity.
  • Safeguard the Fragile: Digitisation preserves images indefinitely and prevents physical deterioration.
  • Expanded Accessibility: Modernising microfilm makes information more accessible to a broader audience. Remote users can now conveniently access and collaborate on digital documents.

Who is it for?

  • Libraries and Archives: Digitise and safeguard delicate microfilm collections.
  • Research Institutions: Easily access and share historical documents in digital form.
  • Government Agencies: Modernise data storage and retrieval from microfilm archives.
  • Newspaper Publishers: Preserve old newspapers and make them accessible digitally.
  • Historical Societies: Convert ageing microfilm materials into lasting digital formats.

Digitise Your Documents With Datatron

Datatron provides our clients with a wide range of production scanning services, so whether you have a one-off requirement or an ongoing project, our efficient services will meet your demands.

We pride ourselves on the ongoing support and constant development we offer our customers.

Get in touch for a free consultation with digital transformation experts, or give us a call today!