In the modern world, getting away from the digital space is all but impossible. We store our photos in the cloud, get our music from a streaming service, and communicate across the world online.

When it comes to keeping relevant documents safe, the digital space can become your safe haven. Electronic document imaging is a brilliant way to revolutionize your record-keeping within a business. 

At River City Data, we have a wealth of experience transforming documents from a physical burden into a digital dream.

What is Electronic Document Imaging?

As the name suggests, electronic document imaging refers to the conversion of paper files to digital images. The term ‘document’ could refer to a scanned image – e.g., of an existing paper document – or an electronic document from Word or Excel.

Electronic document imaging goes hand-in-hand with document management systems, which use five main processes to transfer data:

  • Scanning

The first stage involves scanning a paper document and converting it to an electronic document. This file is usually stored and saved in TIFF, JPEG, PNG, or PDF format. It can then be integrated into an automated workflow for ease and convenience.

The software you use will create an image of the document which has been scanned. The text included in the image is readable by people, but not machines; a computer will see it as a picture.

Next, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is used. This tool can recognize the text characters contained within images and convert the image to a machine-readable document.

  • Indexing

Once the OCR processing has completed, documents can be indexed. The report is stored using either the full text or additional metadata – information such as date, author, etc. This process helps the document to be found more easily once scanned. During the indexing process, searchable index information is attached to the electronic record. This stage helps boost efficiency and productivity.

Before scanning, documents can be fitted with a barcode page. This page contains metadata that can be customized, allowing a barcode indexer to index them immediately.

  • Storing

One of the benefits of electronic digital imaging is that it can be a brilliant space-saver. Space on an electronically readable media, such as a disk drive, is allocated for the document.

  • Retrieval

At this stage, you must ensure that the document can be recovered for viewing and printing.

  • Archiving

This step refers to the long-term storage of records – essential if you are required to store documents for compliance purposes.

What Is An EDMS?

EDMS refers to an electronic document management system. In short, this is a software system that allows the user to store and organize documents digitally. It offers a solution to storing large quantities of digital materials while improving searchability, retrieval, and efficiency.

Why Switch To Electronic Documentation?

Electronic documentation has a vast number of benefits, including:

  • Keeping documents safe

Paper is a material that can be very vulnerable. A flood, fire, or mold problem can render documents useless and illegible, or destroy entire libraries of data. Documents stored in an online server, do not have to worry about this. They are not physically present, and data can be securely backed up in a remote location.

  • Increase security

In a similar vein, opting for digital documents helps to boost security. When stored online, extra layers of authentication can be added to reports, making it impossible for the wrong person to read. Physical documents may be stored securely, but can, in theory, be accessed by anyone, any time.

In addition, files can be set up to allow different access levels depending on requirements. This protection protects confidentiality while ensuring that those who need to can access the data they require.

  • Faster retrieval of data

An electronic copy can halve the time and effort if you need to extract data from a document. With physical copies of documents, you need to navigate an elaborate filing system and physically locate it. Once achieved, you still need to find the information you need. The beauty of electronic management systems is that users can search for whatever they need.

This can also be beneficial if you re working with clients who require specific information quickly. Rather than lengthy processing times while you locate the required document, you can quickly search and supply. A great way to improve customer satisfaction and secure long-term relationships!

  • Share documents and data

In 2020, the vast majority of the world is online. By storing documents electronically, you can transfer and exchange information with someone across the globe in a split second. This makes it easier to work collaboratively, share research, and to exchange ideas.

The ability to instantly update files also narrows the potential margin for mistakes. Everyone involved will have access to the latest version of a document, avoiding confusion, which can result in errors.

  • Save space and cut costs

Storing files requires a lot of storage space, especially if compliance requires you to keep them for many years. Conversely, digital storage requires only a server to hold the same amount of information. Therefore, switching to electronic document imaging can be a real game-changer in terms of the required space.

In the modern real estate market, space equals money. If you do not need a secure storage area, you can rent or lease smaller sites or eliminate storage costs. This offers great space and cost-saving solution for your business.

Going digital can also allow you to save on staff costs; there will be no need to employ a team purely to manage documents. Instead, a single system can be set up, and all existing staff trained. This not only saves cash but boosts efficiency across the team.

The Future Is Digital

Here at River City Data, we have made it our mission to free business from the never-ending burden of physical paperwork. Our experienced team has the skills to scan, index, and store your documents, ensuring physical copies are disposed of responsibly.

Whether you are looking to speed things up, save money, or simply make life easier, we can help. Get in touch with the team today for an estimate, and take the first steps to digital freedom!

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