Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is document scanning?
Document scanning is the process of using document scanning software and high-speed document scanners to convert the image of a paper document into a digital picture that can then be indexed and stored in an electronic document storage system. This gives your users the ability to search through millions of scanned documents in a matter of seconds.

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Q2. What benefits can I expect from document archiving and storing my documents in digital form?
Scanning your documents into digital form can bring you many benefits including:

  • Reclaiming your wasted filing space
    • Whether you have invoices, project files, correspondence, books/magazines, purchase orders or other documents to scan we can recommend the best way to do it and finish the job quickly, to a high quality and at a low cost! Typically you can store 3 filing cabinets of information on one CD ROM thereby saving thousands of Rands per year on document storage space.
  • Reduce your administration costs
    • According to a Gartner consultant’s survey, a typical office worker can spend around 40 minutes every day in finding documents upon which they perform their business tasks. Scanning your documents, in conjunction with a document management solution, will cut this time at least in half. Therefore a department with 20 staff could save over 250 hours in time per month. At a cost of say R50 per hour this equates to R12,500 saving per month per 20 staff!
  • Risk management & loss of information
    • Businesses today should have contingency plans in place to cover the catastrophic loss that could happen as a result of flooding, fire, terrorism or other disaster. Most companies have regular tape backups of their electronic data but what about backups of all your paperwork? A recent report indicated that companies which suffered a major loss of information due to fire typically went out of business within 12 months. Document scanning and archival enables you to have multiple copies of your documents on and off-site and these can be re-instated within minutes of any disaster so staff can carry on their work.
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Q3. Wouldn’t I be better off doing my own document scanning rather than outsourcing it?
Possibly! If you have small daily volumes of documents which need a quick turnaround time then it is generally best to do it yourself on a small desktop scanner. We can advise on which scanner and software combination would best suit your requirements.

Larger volumes of documents (i.e. many thousands) are generally best outsourced to a professional scanning company like Scan4U. Scan4U uses very high quality, high-speed scanners, which generate excellent image quality and keep costs down due to their ability to process large numbers of documents in a short space of time. You also benefit from our pre-existing QA procedures, which would take time and training to implement in house.

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Q4. How many document pages can I scan onto a CD?
This will vary to a large extent according to the information on each page but typically 20-30 archive boxes of A4 documents can fit onto one CD-ROM. You can see now the potential for cutting back those office floor space costs!

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Q5. How can I estimate how many document pages I have?
Typically a full lever arch file will contain 250-300 pages and an archive box approx 3,000 pages. See our Blog on Document Scanning for an article with more details.

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Q6. What types of documents does Scan4U process?
Virtually any business document, from business cards through to A3 width documents of any length. We have processed documents such as:

  • Invoices
  • Delivery Notes / Proof of Deliveries
  • Application Forms
  • Contracts
  • Insurance Claims
  • Legal Briefs
  • Medical Patient Records
  • FICA Compliancy Documents
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Q7. Don’t I need to keep the original scanned documents?
In virtually all cases these days electronic scanned documents are deemed acceptable by Government Agencies such as SA Customs, Inland Revenue and Courts of Law. The key aspect is to ensure that the documents can be proven to have been scanned, stored and managed with ‘due care and diligence’. Electronic documents are generally now being accepted in lieu of the original paper document in court virtually on a daily basis, but you should always obtain legal advice before destroying any document after scanning. All Scan4U’s scanning work follows industry standard best practises and a full audit trail of the scanning process can be provided.

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Q8. I don’t want my documents to leave site but we don’t have the capability to scan them ourselves. What do I do?
Scan4U offers an on-site document scanning service where we scan your documents using our own staff and equipment at your offices.

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Q9. How do I manage and access all my paper documents that have now been scanned, together with all the thousands of other word documents, emails and other files?
You would typically need an electronic document management solution (EDMS) that will install on your network and allow each document to be referenced by its specific details. For example, an invoice may be referenced on Inv no, company, value and date. You can then search upon any of these reference fields to find the specific document.

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Q10. How can I manage our documentation for archive purposes but not pay a huge amount on an electronic document management system?
By default Scan4U stores the captured index metadata, together with a link to the associated document image, in a spreadsheet which we offer free of charge with our scanning services. This allows you to sort or search through the index information using standard Microsoft Excel commands and to then click on an hyperlink to automatically open the document image. Although this facility does not offer the full features of a document management system, it is often sufficient for basic document management.

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Q11. I have hundreds of pages of documents that I need in MS Word / PDF format. How do I do it?
Just send us the originals and we can scan them in and convert them automatically (OCR) into MS Word, PDF or other format. We also offer a full checking and error correction service to ensure accuracy is retained.

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Q12. I have thousands of computer listings and reports and I need to extract addresses and other data from them. How do I do it?
Our data entry services allow us to use double key entry methods to verify millions of keystrokes a day at very low cost to you. All data is verified and can also be checked against postcode lists or other databases for cleansing and verification.

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