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Desktop Scanning and Document Management:
Best Practices to Help You Succeed
By Laurel Sanders, Optical Image Technology, Inc.
Web-based electronic document management is one of the
most useful resources companies have available to keep
their managers, staff, and customers informed. Managing
files effectively is an ongoing challenge, but a well-planned
document management implementation makes it significantly
easier. Scanning, which ideally is the entry point of data into
the active life of a document in the document lifecycle, can be
ineffective if careful thought is not given to the imaging and
indexing process. When it is done properly, however, scanning
ensures that the data stored in the document management
system is valid, readable, secure, accessible, and useful throughout the enterprise.
Scanning in general, and desktop scanning in particular, facilitates the collection and
management of information for managers, staff, and even customers. Convenience and ease
of use in a desktop scanning solution make it tempting to scan everything for easy access. In
reality, however, desktop scanning only promotes efficiency if it is understood, used wisely
(for the capture of useful data), and implemented correctly.
To maximize the productivity that any imaging solution provides, you must understand your
goals, the document types that support your processes, the usefulness of the data contained
within those documents, and more. This article is intended to help readers evaluate when
desktop scanning of documents and images isand is nota cost-effective and appropriate
solution. It also details critical steps that must be taken to ensure that the electronic data you
capture is useful both now and for your future needs.
Understanding where you are headed and why you are scanning
Generally speaking, desktop scanning is most viable when you have active files with data
that will continue to be needed, at least in the short term.