Now that you have purchased your Document Management System, how do you get your firms printed documents into it?
A good DM is required in today’s paperless offices, but every office still has the same problem of moving documents that are currently in printed form to electronic versions within your DM.
The idea sounds simple enough, but as many have found out, through months of frustration; what sounds simple, doesn’t always provide you with the end results you are looking for. So, let’s get into it…
What are you doing today?
a. If you are like most companies you scan the document to one of a few locations and try to remember to move this over to your DM.
b. Maybe you scan to email with the best intentions of saving it to the DM when you get back to your desk, or maybe your plan is to scan this to a network folder or desktop location and save several files at one time.
c. You might already own a “connector” into your DM from many of the scanning solutions, only to find out that this was not only a waste of good money but of your users time, as no one is using it today.
I often wonder if these programmers have ever seen how the users in firms actually use their system to scan documents into their DM. Just because it works, it doesn’t prove that the workflow will support a user using it.
Whatever your plan is, respectfully, most likely it’s not ideal, as you and many others ask the same questions and have taken the time to read this article. Don’t feel alone as every (yes, every) office I have been into has this same problem at some level or another.
So the question to the first problem of “how do you get your printed documents into your document management system” really becomes, what works?
The 10 answers or tips I will provide you are simple. However, once you have solved the first problem, finding the solution that works too, has proven to be the second problem; don’t worry, you will get that answered too.
- 1. Don’t over complicate the process. Automate what you are able to such as user ID, client matter, Doc Type, and Author. An example of this would be theCopitrak eClipse scan to DM. By having the user login and pick a valid client-matter number the Copitrak can use this user as the default Author, use the client-matter number as location and the user can easily scan into a folder and name the document with only two more questions.
- 2. Offer the ability to select a different Author but default to the logged in user. This is another example of giving an option of changing the Author on those one time scans, but leaving the logged in user as the default author. Copitrak can allow the logged in user to be selected as the Author but with full firm look up can provide the option of selecting any user in the firm if this needs to be changed.
- 3. Eliminate need to scan to email with email links to the document within the DM. Copitrak can scan to your DM and at the same time send the logged in user an email with a link to the document. This has significantly decreased the need to scan to email as the link can be shared within the firm.
- 4. Default the document to be OCR (Searchable). We are creatures of habit and one of those habits are the leave the defaults alone unless we need to change them. By leaving the default on the scan to DM to OCR the document you end up with a document ready to be worked with as soon as you get back to your desk.
- 5. Use built in features on the DM to assist in asking less questions of the users. One example of this is to default a Doc Type to each folder so that you do not need to prompt the user to say what the doc type is. This doc type is needed within the DM, but seldom changes based off of the specific folder.
- 6. Monitor your users. Copitrak is one example of a system that allows you to print reports per user on who is using the scan to DM feature. The best planned system has to be revisited per user to make sure that everyone is still using it. Commonly we install a system in a firm and hope that the users will use it. The best installs are the firms that monitor this usage and work with users that are not using this feature.
- 7. Take the time and acknowledge the users that are using the system. We know its not the 1st grade anymore, but gift cards to the months highest percentage of scanned documents to the firms DM can become a goal to push you to actually save the document in the correct location.
- 8. Have a scan to folder location available, but limit the time in this location to 48 hours. This will allow you to save a document to another location other than your DM, but not allow you to have it gather moss.
- 9. Limit email size from the scanner. Copitrak Scan has an option that allows the user to select scan to email and if the size of the document is larger than a preset size can save the document to the folder location mentioned earlier. The idea is to make the easiest place to scan a document the DM and the users will just save it there.
- 10. Ask your users for ideas. We learn more from our clients each day by simply asking how they work with the documents. We try our best to take best practices to each new firm, but have found many times that great ideas are waiting with your users and all we have to do is start the conversation.
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