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Document Imaging System FAQs You Should Prepare For

June 03, 2017

The public awareness of document imaging has increased immensely in the past 20 years. Thanks to the standard capabilities on most MFP devices these days, almost everyone knows how to capture and store or share images. But this does not mean that they understand document imaging systems.  

A document imaging system typically addresses a group of documents related to a business process. This could be HR documents for employee onboarding, medical records for healthcare management, invoices in accounts payable, or contracts for customer management. Regardless of the application, your customers will likely have questions before moving ahead with the installation of a document imaging system, which can require considerable investment on their part.

What follows are some common questions you might hear, as well as some ideas on how to answer them—although specific use cases will demand more specific answers:

  1. How much is it going to cost? Probably more than the customer thinks. Customers will often quote services offering document scanning for as little as a nickel per page. You must explain that a document imaging system involves much more than scanning. There are elements such as data capture, workflow, storage, and more that not only will add to the cost, but also contribute to the ROI. A general rule is that if you can prove a 12-month ROI, an imaging implementation will be considered a success. Instead of focusing on the cost of a system, focus on the ROI.

  1. Do document images hold the same legal standing as paper? According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, a duplicate or copy of a document, produced by methods ensuring accuracy and precision, is given the same status as an original unless there is a question to its authenticity. Several states have also adopted uniform evidence laws that embrace imaging. There may be some specific scenarios when an original document is required by law (such as when a raised notary stamp is called for), so you can work with your customers to identify any exceptions, but the general rule is “yes.”

  1. Does OCR work? Many people have their doubts about automated recognition. That’s because in the past, it was frequently oversold and under-delivered. OCR works as long as the user’s expectations are set correctly. OCR is not magic for converting 100 percent of imaged text into usable electronic information. However, even field-level accuracy rates of 80 percent can greatly reduce manual labor and contribute significantly to an imaging system’s ROI.

  1. Can document imaging be deployed in the cloud? The short answer is yes, there is hosted document capture and management technology available today. However, there are considerations that must be made, such as bandwidth requirements for hosted capture and integration with other applications when considering hosted document management. To date, there has been a lot more adoption of hosted DM than capture, which is still in its early stages on the technology curve.

  1. Are there mobile apps for document imaging? Yes, most of them have to do with viewing and simple workflows such as document approval. There are also mobile apps that leverage the cameras on smartphones to capture quality document images. These are typically valuable to personnel in the field who only need to capture a few pages at a time. Ingram Micro also offers a mobile app to help solution providers assess their customer’s practice and provide help when it comes to configurations. It can be accessed at www.imconfigure.com.  

  1. Where do I start? That’s easy: Which of the customers’ business processes is the most paper intensive? Once you’ve effectively applied imaging there, move to their second-most paper-intensive process, and so on.

What other questions would you add to this list?