Tips for creating an electronic office.
Gone are the days of bulky cabinets and pesky folders with paper spilling over the edge, as business imaging becomes a popular way for small businesses to increase efficiency.
Essentially, “business imaging” involves scanning a paper document and saving it as an electronic file. This strategy is especially beneficial for title companies, financial service firms, hospitals, physicians’ offices or businesses with a large amount of legally required records. A technology consultant, or solution provider, can easily transfer company reports, checks, applications, renderings, maps and photographs to electronic form for storage and quick recovery.
“Imaging is the quickest and easiest way to get rid of paper documents and organize your business electronically,” said Russell Morgan, president of the nonprofit Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance (ITSPA). “Instead of having to waste time re-typing important documents, your business can utilize imaging to save money, increase productivity and have a paper-free office.”
Small and medium sized businesses can now take advantage of a previously unreachable goal: a fully electronic office. This process was once too expensive for smaller offices to implement, but now imaging strategies are easy, affordable, save the aggravation of lost files, and make tasks like audit management, problem assessment and tracking much easier to deal with. It’s also becoming more necessary for small and medium sized businesses to go paperless since many large clients are starting to require it as part of their own supply process.
Granite Microsystems, a technology company specializing in the design and manufacturing of medical imaging applications, sees the benefits of imaging from both perspectives. As a supplier of complete, turnkey solutions for medical original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Granite knows that customers ultimately depend on a paperless environment to control costs and maintain regulatory compliance. Granite Microsystems also strongly relies on paperless processes to keep its own costs under control.
“Imaging technology can facilitate something basic like electronic check processing, a complex project like manufacturing medical devices, or large-scale projects involving hundreds of thousands of medical records,” said Hans Dittmar, marketing and communications manager for Granite Microsystems. “The incredible benefits of imaging, including operational efficiencies, greater security and reduced labor fees, make this an attractive option for almost any business.”
Here is a quick guide to help small business easily convert to electronic files.
1. Get organized. By prioritizing your files, you can eliminate unnecessary scanning, saving time and money. One popular method is to begin implementing the imaging process in stages. A doctor’s office provides a great example: all new patient files are scanned in as they sign up, and old patient files are updated as they come in for yearly check-ups. This process allows a seemingly endless project provide immediate benefits and grow as your business does.
2. Buy electronic storage. After you decide what’s most important, figure out how much computer storage space you will need. Some businesses are more likely to need large capacity imaging storage, especially with images, graphics and multimedia. Adequate memory and a fast server can help accommodate the transfer and storage of larger files.
3. Back up your information. Once you have all your crucial information formatted into electronic files, you should remember to regularly save duplicate copies your information. It’s important to back-up your data regularly in the event of a disaster or disruption in service.
4. Work with a professional. Even though you might be tempted to scan your own documents, a solution provider who knows and understands your business can help determine the exact method that’s right for you. This will prevent loss of data and keep you in compliance with regulations. Contact ITSPA at [email protected] to find a local solution provider.
Submitted by the Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance, a national, nonprofit organization serving as an objective resource for businesses hoping to take advantage of the benefits of new technology.