The capture and imaging of paper records, is an increasingly popular strategy for educational and administrative organizations as well as those offices looking to manage their records electronically.
Organization records/ documents that are scanned are required to be authentic, complete and accessible and relied on as evidence.
- Scanning is not a substitute for development of good records management practices. The problems caused by poor record and filing systems will not be improved in a digital format and will get worse without a plan.
- Scanning should be implemented as part of a larger information management strategy which should be addressed by the organization or departments /unit.
- Is there a need for imaging?
- Do benefits outweigh the cost?
- Is imaging a “nice to have” or a “must” system?
- Will imaging system make the department more efficient and effective to all staff?
- Does current staff have the time and resources to implement the imaging system?
NEEDS ANALYSIS AND COST ESTIMATION
Before embarking on a digitization program, units/departments need to assess whether digitization is an appropriate solution for their records management needs. In general, digitization is best implemented in cases where quick, simultaneous, and/or distributed access to records is necessary for fulfillment of a department’s responsibilities, or when such access would significantly increase the efficiency of a department’s operations.
1. Determine Your Overall Project Requirements
A great place to start is understanding the scope of the project and what will be required. You will need to estimate the following:
- Project duration
- Number of images to be scanned
- Number of staff required
- How many records to be scanned per month
- Number of records to be scanned
- Number of images to be scanned per month, Clarity about these numbers will enable you to create a cost framework for the project from start to finish.
2. Scanner Investment
Obviously there are actual scanner costs, both in terms of the equipment purchase and the associated labor required, and these are a significant part of any overall cost assessment.
When considering the cost of equipment, think in terms of:
- Total hardware costs ((i.e. how many and what type of scanners, bar code scanners, computers, carts, etc. will be required)
- The cost to maintain the equipment
- Consumable costs (i.e. bar code sheets, ink, toner, etc.)
2.2 Labor Costs
Aside from equipment costs, there are associated labor costs including:
- The actual manual scanning process
- File reassembly and re-filing
- Preparing the documents for imaging (i.e. pulling out staples, repairing damaged pages, affixing odd size pages to carrier sheets, etc.)
- Data entry costs
- Applying multiple quality control steps
3. Management Costs
Don’t forget that any imaging project will require management, and this adds additional personnel cost considerations, including:
- Project Manager for conversion
- Various IT resources including database administration, development support, and project management
- A conversion supervisor
4. Facilities and Utilities Costs
When it comes to calculating imaging project costs, it is easy to overlook the hard facilities and utilities costs. Be sure to include these numbers in your assessment:
- Price per square foot of dedicated project space
- Cabling and networking
- Electrical and utilities usage
5. Miscellaneous Costs
As expected with all big projects, there are a wide range of miscellaneous costs to consider as well. Some of these include:
- Additional hardware and consumables required
- Inventory clerk and labor to print separator sheets (PC’s, servers, network equipment, displays, furniture, etc.)
- Office consumables (tape, folders, copier costs, etc.)
- Labor costs on overtime and/or beyond the established project timeline
- Attrition costs from staff turnover
- Unemployment insurance costs
- HR costs associated with recruiting, managing, firing, promoting
- Cost of living increases for longer projects
- Senior Management/Executive time on project
WHEN THINGS GO BEYOND YOUR IN-HOUSE CAPACITY
Obviously, there are significant resources and costs associated with an imaging project beyond just buying a scanner and employing someone to run it. At Kenvision Techniks Ltd, we can help with your imaging project, on-site at your facility. If partnering with a provider makes sense for your organization, then you may consider contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org
One effective way in which you can sort out the Digitization Project issues is by capacity building your staff. We have a training program that we provide to those willing to be champions in their organizations to optimize their capacity to initiate and participate in a digitization program.
Book this program for your staff to get more details and share experiences with other attendees