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Frequently Asked Questions

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Document scanning is the process of using a scanner to convert your paper documents into digital images. The images can then be stored and indexed in a digital archive

Why do organizations scan?

The key reason that organizations scan their documents is to improve their find-ability. When you put business documents in a file cabinet, warehouse, or off-site storage, they are forgotten or lost. Scanning makes it easier for employees to quickly locate and access documents instead of wasting time searching for or recreating the ones that go missing.

Why should I store my documents digitally?

When you scan your documents, you eliminate the need for physical paper storage, which means no more file cabinets, file folders, filing processes, or the associated staff to manage it all. Scanning also allows you to reclaim valuable office space. Paper requires a lot of physical storage, mainly in file cabinets.

What are your document storage solutions?

Docufree provides an online storage solution called Docufree On-Demand. It’s a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application which means you only need a browser to access to your documents. There is no hardware or software to be installed and you don’t have to keep track of DVD’s.

What if my company already has a Document Management solution?

Your documents can be delivered via SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) so that the images and their indexes may be loaded into your Document Management solution.

What if I don’t have a Document Management solution?

You can use Docufree On-Demand. Or, you can choose to store the documents on a DVD. One DVD can hold 15,000 to 20,000 images, the equivalent of two file cabinets or eight boxes (and some two-sided) worth of paper.

How does scanning provide security and disaster recovery?

A paper-based filing system leaves your documents susceptible to being misplaced, lost, stolen or destroyed from fire or water damage. When you convert your paper documents to digital, you’re getting a layer of security unmatched by paper. Scanning helps you manage your policies for compliance and record retention. Besides, you never know when a disaster could hit so why take the risk? You always need a back-up plan when it comes to critical data. Scanning your documents can help you prevent data loss and keep your documents safe from disaster.

Why outsource scanning when I can buy scanner and do it myself?

If you have a small amount of documents you could certainly do it on your own with a desktop scanner. But, if you have a large volume of documents (hundreds to thousands), it’s best to outsource your scanning project to document scanning specialists like Docufree. We use state-of-the-art high speed scanners to produce outstanding images and our certified scanning specialists perform quality checks at every step. This allows us to turn your scanning project around quickly and accurately. If you did it yourself, you’d have to deal with the hassles of purchasing and maintaining the equipment, training your staff, and managing the entire process to make sure your project stays on course and within budget. In the end, outsourcing is generally far less costly and of better quality than bringing it in-house and doing it yourself.

What are document indexes and how are they applied?

Indexes are unique labels or tags that help you find a document you need later. When searched, indexes make instant retrieval of a document possible. Once your documents have been scanned, the file name of each document can be saved with indexes that you define. Searching by index allows you to retrieve the relevant document you need from among hundreds of other documents in seconds. For example, a typical index for accounting might be the invoice number or vendor name. Indexes can be applied automatically through a manifest and barcode or through data entry by a specialist. Docufree may use third party transcription service providers that specialize in this type of data entry. These service providers are required to maintain security policies substantially equivalent to our own and are subject to our periodic review or audit.

What does manifest mean?

A manifest can be used to identify all of the file folders and/or documents in your file box. A manifest may simply be an excel spreadsheet listing all the files in a box. It is a great way to keep track of what will be scanned and may even be used to generate bar-codes for creation of indexes that you can use for searching later.

What types of documents do you scan?

Paper documents of any kind can be scanned from small sizes like receipts or business cards, to large sizes like engineering drawings.

What is OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) extracts every text word from your paper documents and stores it as data that can later be searched. OCR is used to create a searchable PDF.

Can you scan handwritten documents?

Handwritten documents can be scanned as easily as typed text. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is not typically used for hand-written documents. Handwritten documents use indexes for searching which is the best way to find your documents.

What file format can my images be saved as?

We can scan your documents and save them to searchable PDF’s or TIFF images. TIFF is often used if you are viewing images in a document management system such as Docufree On-Demand whereas searchable PDF is used when you are keeping the images on a disk or network drive.

How secure is the facility where my documents will be scanned?

Docufree is highly committed to secure processing and protection of information by completing the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) program. Access to Docufree’s facilities is strictly controlled through biometric sensors in every room with only authorized employees accessing the data center rooms. Closed loop video surveillance cameras track activities and there are clean rooms to manage sensitive data and biohazard rooms protecting against biochemical concerns. Docufree associates go through an extensive criminal background check, credit check, and participate in our periodic drug screening program.

I don’t want my documents to leave my office but I cannot scan them. What now?

Docufree can provide scanning at your location or at the Docufree Client Operations Centers. The choice is yours.

What if documents have staples, wrinkles or tears? Do I need to do anything?

Preparation for scanning can be done by Docufree specialists. The Docufree team will remove staples, paper clips, binder clips, post-it notes, and do triage or repair of torn documents for scanning. Depending on the extent of wrinkles or tears the scanning specialist will choose to use an automated feeder or will place the documents directly on the glass for scanning.

Will I be able to perform a search on my document images?

Searching is performed by the document indexes. Indexes are saved in the file name or the indexes can be stored as separate file. A separate file is typically used to load the indexes and images into a document management or departmental solution. Searching may also include content searches if the images are stored as searchable PDF.

What’s the image quality like?

The image quality depends on the Dots Per Inch (DPI). The higher the number, the better the results. Most scanning is done at 200 or 300 DPI.

Can you convert my documents into MS Word?

No. We only support conversion to TIFF or searchable PDF.

Can you scan to color?

Yes, however, we charge additionally for color scanning. By default, scanning is done in black & white which meets the vast majority of your needs. Should you request color scanning, the price of your scanning project would be adjusted to reflect this service.

How will I be involved in my scanning project?

From the beginning until the end. We want to make sure that you are satisfied with the quality of our scanning services. Upon scanning your first box of documents, we’ll ask you to review them. Docufree scans to an online solution allowing you to view the images and participate during the scanning process, not just at the end when it’s done. Throughout your scanning project, if questions arise, we will ask you to provide input.

What happens if I need one of my documents while you are scanning it?

Docufree will allow you to request your document through a “Document Pull” process. You can tell us the document you need and we can scan it and send you a secure link so that it will be immediately accessible to you.

Will I get my original, physical documents back?

If you want them back, we can return them to you. However, the majority of our clients prefer to have us to shred their documents for them. Your documents will be returned or shredded once you have reviewed and approved the scanned documents.

What are the costs? How do you determine pricing?

Docufree has unique box pricing. We’ll consult with you on what you need such as indexing or returning your box and from that we’ll determine your box price. We’ll then be able to give you a fixed price based on the number of boxes you give us.

Can you collect and scan documents as they come in from postal mail?

Absolutely. Docufree handles day-forward scanning for many organizations. Clients use a Docufree post office box where documents are picked up for scanning every day. This is a great, convenient service when you have a ton of documents that come in daily.

Can you host and store my document images online?

Yes. Docufree’s On-Demand document storage solution is a software-as-a-service application that allows you to retrieve and store images online. There is no hardware or software required – the digital images of your documents are instantly available to you with features like secure email, annotations, quick searching, and more.

Can I upload and add files to your online storage solution?

Yes. With Docufree On-Demand, you can easily upload any file type, giving you one place to retrieve and store your scanned documents and electronic files together online.

Can I upload files and scan documents is as needed?

Yes. You can use a desktop or multifunction printer (MFP) to scan documents in as needed into Docufree On-Demand.

What is render?

Documents can be rendered to view them without having the application it was created in. For example, an engineering document can be viewed without having AutoCAD installed.

What type of quality control is used in scanning?

Not all scanning vendors provide the same types of quality checks so be sure to do your homework and ask lots of questions. Quality control begins with the inspection and identification of everything in your box. The documents should be prepared for scanning by physically removing paper clips, staples and more as well as the insertion of bar-code separator sheets that will be used during scanning. Scan specialists should visually inspect a high percentage, if not all, of the documents that are being scanned. Next, a percentage of the scanned work should be routed to another person for an additional quality control check. Make sure you know the process the scanning vendor you work with employs – or you may not be happy with the end result.

Do you retain my physical documents?

Docufree will retain your documents for 30 days after they are delivered to you in a final format. This gives you the time to preview them and make sure they are to your satisfaction. After the retention period, we can shred your documents or return them to you.


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