Document Archiving – The Top 3 Methods

So you’re interested in document archiving. The usual reasons for this are because you’re running out of space, you need more space or you’re just looking to declutter. More often than not document archiving is referring to documents that aren’t used on a regular basis but may be needed again in the future but are effectively sitting there taking up valuable space. However sometimes you want documents archiving that are in regular use too. These solutions apply to both types but some are more appealing than others.

Many will choose traditional methods when it comes to storing away documents often not realising that there are superior and more modern choices that are highly beneficial to your company’s wallet as well as the company itself.

In this article we will go through three of the top choices when it comes to document archiving both traditional and modern in their technique. So let’s start with the traditional:

1. Traditional Document Storage

Document storage does exactly what it says in the title. You store your documents away in a storage facility that specialises in, hopefully, secure storage. This is often the choice for those that for whatever reason prefer to keep their documents paper based but would like to store them somewhere that isn’t their own offices but is accessible when they wish. Although traditional document storage is on its way out in comparison to more modern methods, a lot of larger corporations still prefer to use it as their first choice, mainly as they can probably afford it.

Which brings us onto the disadvantages of document storage. It’s expensive. You are essentially renting a property purely to store your documents and on top of that a lot of document storage companies will actually charge retrieval costs for the documents themselves, so keep this in mind when exploring this venture. With their own retrieval also comes the fact that you can’t come and collect the documents yourself but have to wait until the storage facility do it for you and mail or courier it over to you. This is both expensive and time consuming, especially when you need a document as soon as possible.

2. Document scanning to digital document management.

Document scanning is quickly becoming the fastest growing form of document archiving. There are specialist document scanning companies that will take your documents and scan them to digital files such as PDF and will then supply them on a disc, via FTP or into a digital document management system for you. This means that all your documents are still available to you at your office but they no longer need to be there in physical form. This also makes for more flexible and productive work as the documents are easily accessible and can be shared, emailed and printed as and when staff require.

While a lot of people swear by this as their archiving tool of choice, others sometimes deem it as not as secure as it should be, but this can be easily altered with secure software and by locking folders on your computer that contain the documents so they can’t be deleted or removed accidentally or otherwise.

Document scanning is also relatively cheap depending on the amount of documents you have.

3. Scan on Demand

Scan on Demand is a relatively recent innovation. What scan on demand offers is a flexible way of document archiving which is the best of both worlds if you’re not sure you’re ready to make a complete transition to digital just yet. The scanning company you choose will store your documents, usually as very low rates to compete with document storage companies, and as and when you wish to have a document digitised and sent over to you for use, you simply call or email the company to request it.

A lot of companies are choosing this option as a viable middle ground between the other two choices above. It does of course come with a storage cost, but the fact that you can request a file at any time and get a digital copy back to you, makes it a better choice than standard storage for many. After that you choose if you want to keep the paper copies or have them destroyed. When using this choice, make sure that the company can offer a quick turnaround of the scan on demand otherwise it is fairly pointless to use it in the first place. A reasonable document request time for a digital file should be around 48 hours.

There are more archiving options out there but these are the top 3 and for good reason. If you want to know more about document archiving options, please feel free to visit our website and get in touch.

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