There is more to document imaging than you might think. In addition to scanning documents into the system, there has to be a system to prioritize and process paperwork, determining how to label the documents for easy retrieval, where to store them, and how to secure them. If your customers are looking to use document imaging to promote paperless office processes then they need help building an end-to-end document management process and training employees in how to use it. That’s where a document imaging training plan comes in.
An IDC research report shows that information workers waste time that adds up to $19,000 per employee per year because of poor document management. That adds up to a total loss of 21.3 percent of the company’s total productivity. Properly using document imaging as part of a document management system can restore lost productivity. However you have to train knowledge workers to make sure document imaging works effectively as part of a document management workflow.
To develop a document imaging training plan for your customers, be sure to include all the basic document imaging steps:
If you are creating a training program for document imaging as part of document workflow, be sure to remain focused. Don’t try to deal with the entire document management process but just the document imaging portion.
Start by creating a workflow diagram of the process. Determine when a document enters the data storage process and the steps it goes through to get through document scanning and archiving.
Create a checklist of steps that the document must follow for scanning and data storage. To simplify the process and make sure that anyone can understand the workflow, consider capturing the individual steps in the checklist or a routing sheet that accompanies the document so each step can be marked off.
Be sure to document the workflow procedure so there is a written record of the process. Chances are that over time the workflow will have to be revised, but without a written foundation it will be impossible to track changes.
As part of document conversion and storage you need to have some kind of cataloging system. How are documents coded for archiving? Is there a way to designate the type of document, author, department, key topics? Are there specific meta tags or keywords that are used with this particular document archive?
Storing important business documents has to include some means of tracking them for later retrieval. If there isn’t a system already in place you will need to create one. Be sure it matches the business practices of the client. For a law office, for example, be sure to include case numbers, dates, and anything else that seems necessary. For manufacturers you can reference product identifiers, part numbers, design dates; anything that will narrow the search for a stored document.
For regulated industries such as medical offices or financial services, talk to the in-house experts to determine how they need to identify documents for eDiscovery or to deal with a regulatory audit. Perhaps you want to adopt a data capture system such as a barcode to capture details about archived paper documents.
3. Document imaging
Once you have provided training in the preliminaries you are ready to train on the imaging hardware itself.
Provide step-by-step instruction in the proper use of the equipment for paper-to-digital conversion. Be sure to incorporate the preliminary workflow and cataloging procedures you have already covered so the converted documents are labeled and logged appropriately for indexing.
4. Document storage procedures
After the documents have been converted how are they being archived? What is the next step in the document management process?
The IT department will undoubtedly have specific storage systems designated for specific archives. Outline the storage convention and how scanned documents are actually stored. As always, document the process so that there is no confusion.
Too often companies leave responsibility for managing archiving of business documents in the hands of only a few employees. When those employees leave they take that knowledge with them. Be sure to carefully document storage and access protocols so documents can be retrieved as well as archived.
5. Document retrieval
As part of the training process, be sure to have a process in place for document retrievals. This could be as simple as knowing where files are stored and accessing an archive with a user name and password. Or there could be more steps involved to get proper authorization, etc.
Document retrieval procedures will depend largely on the nature of the documents. Some documents, such as departmental budgets or vendor contracts, may be easier to retrieve since they are referred to more frequently. Other documents such as product designs or sensitive intellectual property should be stored more securely, and should require additional authorization and protocols to access them.
These are just some of the basics of a document imaging training plan. Network administrators will require a different kind of training that includes discussions about security, encryption, mirroring and data backup, and the like.
If you can incorporate training into your document imaging sales program you can create even greater opportunities and make yourself even more invaluable to your customers. What types of customer training do you offer now? Is document imaging a logical extension to your current program?