Gone are the days when enterprises preferred physical paper copies for maintaining records. New-age businesses need to be agile in their day-to-day operations. Increasingly, employees prefer digital workflows and online documents as they save time and increase productivity. Many organizations have actively taken up digitization initiatives of their legacy documents to keep pace with the changing times. With the advent of digital signatures, optical character recognition, and cloud storage, digital records have become more effective than physical documents in the modern workplace.
What is document digitization?
It is the process of converting paper documents into digital formats. These include text formats, spreadsheet formats as well as image formats. After digitization, you can store the documents on cloud platforms for easy access.
How does it boost process efficiency?
There are several ways in which digitizing documents boosts efficiency.
- On-the-go access
Hybrid workplace models are here to stay. Document digitizing services enable your employees to access office documents on the go. It is critical if your business relies on field agents for sales and service. Your employees need not visit office premises to get the physical copies of documents they need in the field or while working from home.
- Easy Search
Advanced digitization techniques such as optical character recognition (OCR) help identify the text from scanned images of documents. It makes it easy to search through the content of scanned documents. Also, tagging and indexing digital documents make it easy for your employees to search for relevant content instantly. Employees do not have to waste time hunting for documents in countless stacks of paper in cabinets.
- Easy Collaboration
Digital documents enable your employees to collaborate online. Collaboration tools can help you manage access rights and versions of each document. With these features, multiple team members can work on the same file simultaneously. It increases productivity and enables faster turnaround.
- Quicker workflows
Digital documents adapt to automated workflows better. For example, consider a recruitment process that involves HR personnel reviewing hundreds of candidate resumes. If these resumes are available in a digital format with OCR services, they can be filtered quickly based on keywords, educational qualifications, and work experience. Additionally, you can upload them into HR tools for requesting approvals from recruiting managers. The entire process becomes streamlined and faster when it is paperless.
- Automated audit trail
Implement state-of-the-art security protocols with digital documents and protect them from being downloaded or copied. Define role-based and designation-based access to digital files for your employees. Also, view detailed time-stamped logs of each change made to the documents. It streamlines the access controls in large enterprises spread across various locations.
- Space savings
Online documents eliminate the need to store physical copies unless required for regulatory reasons. You do not even require printers, shredders, or copier machines. As your business grows, this can save enormous amounts of storage space. It can enable you to design better workstations for your staff in a smaller area and directly save on rental and lease costs.
While increasing the productivity of your business, digitization also ensures the safety of your documents. Physical documents are susceptible to natural calamities and fires. It is also a costly endeavor to retrieve physical documents from affected premises. Digital files, once securely stored, can be preserved without any such danger.
How does it reduce carbon footprint?
Using paper in an office environment leads to massive amounts of wastage. Most documents are unnecessarily copied or printed multiple times, and a majority of them end up in the trash can soon after. While your team may choose to store physical documents, there is a high probability that most may get spoiled or have to be shredded after some time.
So, how does document digitization reduce the company’s carbon footprint?
- Saves Trees
It takes one tree to manufacture the number of paper sheets an average employee uses annually. Restricting paper usage at scale can save thousands of trees annually and make our world greener.
- Saves energy
The entire paper manufacturing process requires machines powered by fossil fuels. Besides photocopying physical copies, mailing and delivering documents also leads to a staggering carbon footprint. You can restrict it considerably by uploading digital documents and emailing them as required.
- Reduces toxic chemicals
Chemicals used for printing like toner and ink are particularly toxic to the environment. Using digital documents will reduce your employees’ exposure to these chemicals and reduce the toxic waste from your office.
Ready to get started?
While digitizing documents inherently introduces efficiencies that help you save on business costs, you can save even more by outsourcing the task to established companies providing document digitizing services. They offer skilled resources, the latest automation platforms, and industry-standard processes to ensure a smooth and error-free experience.
The first step is to plan the initiative with your outsourcing partner. It includes identifying the documents that need to be digitized, collecting them from various departments, and arranging them for scanning. It is followed by scanning and converting the documents to text output with OCR. Established providers also offer services such as proofreading and indexation of documents to ensure top-quality results. Once the legacy documents have been converted to digital format, you can work with your teams to automate your business processes and minimize paper use.