I’m sure you already have a definition of your own for scanning, but for our purposes I’ll lay out a definition of scanning for business so we can all start on the same foot.

Scanning for business is the utilization of specialized photo capture equipment in order to create digitized image files from physical documents.

Scanning documents can downsize physical paper storage needs by digitizing documents and storing them in a secure server. Scanning documents can also be used to exact data utilizing Optical Character Recognition/OCR to index that data and then import it into any ERP, CRM or other database system. The primary challenge of scanning documents for any business which deals with large volumes of paperwork like invoices, POs, W-9s, Certificate of Insurance, etc. is to minimize scanning errors while maximizing scanning uptime. The best way to mitigate these issues is to invest in the right hardware.

When your total volume of daily scanned documents is still low, a scanner like the Epson DS-870 is perfect with 65 pages per minute speed and a daily duty cycle of up to 7000 pages. Anyone planning a large scanning project will want to look into using devices like the Kodak i5600 which boasts 175ppm and most importantly, no limits to daily duty cycle. Scanners in that tier are able to process 40,000+ documents in a typical workday and sport a similar number in MSRP. If you require top-tier scanning capabilities but aren’t looking to invest tens of thousands into scanners should look into outsourcing their scanning needs to a document management company like American Micro.

Scanning documents is always the first step in moving to a more data-driven business model. Utilizing OCR to extract and index data from your business documents gives you the power to put your data to work for you.

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