Bulk Scanning
| | Duncan Lord

Impact of Bulk Scanning on Government Document Management

Government organisations at the federal, state, and local levels increasingly recognise the need to transition from cumbersome hard copy documents to more efficient digital solutions, with a focus on streamlined processes such as bulk scanning. This shift towards digitisation, particularly through the adoption of efficient bulk document scanning services, addresses the challenges posed by high-volume records, ensuring they are effectively digitised. This trend is evident not only in major cities like Sydney but also in regions across the country.

Yet, the journey toward a leaner and streamlined system is not without its challenges, especially when dealing with high-volume documents spread across vast geographic regions.

The surge in the adoption of bulk scanning of documents within government organisations stems from the escalating costs associated with maintaining, accessing, and researching historical documents.

For example, recently a federal department with a nationwide presence conducted an extensive audit of its physical records spanning across Australia. From Sydney and Townsville, all the way across the Nullabor to Perth, the department discovered over 30,000 boxes of documents, each with substantial retention periods. They desperately needed a more sustainable and cost-effective solution, so they turned to providers of bulk document scanning services for a solution to digitise their archive.
 

Challenges Faced with Bulk Scanning of documents

Managing and providing flexible access to such a high volume of hard copy material across a large geographic footprint posed significant challenges for the federal department,

Firstly, the sheer volume of documents, spanning numerous locations from Sydney to Perth, necessitated a robust archival system for organisation and retrieval.

Secondly, the diverse range of information contained within these records, each with its own retention requirements, added complexity to the management process.

Lastly, the geographic dispersion of the records meant that ensuring consistent and timely access for relevant personnel posed logistical challenges.

The department faced the task of developing strategies to effectively manage, organise, and provide access to this vast volume of physical documents while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and standards.

The options were stark: either accept the perpetual need for long-term storage and its associated costs or embark on an ambitious large-scale digitisation program, dealing with the data capture of a high volume of documents. The latter option, while promising, required careful planning and execution.
It required a strategic and well-coordinated approach to ensure a smooth transition while restructuring workflows and integrating new technologies.

Digitising also meant the department had to embrace technological innovation. Even though it necessitates significant investment in the short-term, it would save them in the long term.

The department set medium-term goals focused on closing down storage sites, starting with moderate volumes and progressing to larger and more strategic locations. To execute this large-scale digitisation initiative, various service providers, specialising in bulk scanning of documents, were approached, including companies based in Sydney.

Those that simplified the process and facilitated the seamless integration of digital files into the Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) were rewarded with ongoing digitisation projects.

 

The benefits high-volume document scanning for government departments

Government organisations are realising the benefits of bulk conversion of physical records into digital assets.

Digitising records offers significant cost-saving benefits for government departments. It reduces storage expenses by eliminating the need for physical space and lowers administrative costs associated with manual record management and retrievals. In addition, the onerous task of maintaining paper documents is negated.

Additionally, digital records streamline operations, leading to time and labour savings. There are also reduced paper and printing costs, improved disaster recovery capabilities, and enhanced collaboration.

Digitisation also helps ensure regulatory compliance, mitigating the risk of financial repercussions in the event the records are not available when needed.

During the bulk scanning process, Avantix emerged as a leading service provider, offering robust systems and procedures for efficient back scanning that minimised the oversight required by the federal department.

This Department leveraged the Avantix consultative approach to enhance the implementation phase of the project, by leveraging our wealth of experience to assist in refining the methodology and specifications. Our strong project management principles allowed a responsiveness to customer changes that were requested, for a better outcome. This level of adaptability and reliability instilled confidence in Avantix, leading to continued engagement for future projects.

The partnership with Avantix provided the federal department with confidence that standards would remain consistent throughout the project, leading to a seamless Quality Assurance process and subsequent integration of the bulk scanning of documents into the EDRMS.
Avantix’s expertise in providing comprehensive bulk document scanning services ensured that the department could securely destroy the original bulk documents, adhering to the retention schedule and realising substantial benefits in terms of efficiency and ongoing cost savings.
The success of this large-scale digitisation initiative taken by the federal department in partnership with Avantix, serves as a blueprint for other entities across Australia, including Sydney, in grappling with similar challenges. As more organisations follow suit, the future promises a more agile, accessible, and cost-effective approach to handling vast amounts of information in Sydney and beyond.

Contact Avantix to find out what solution works for you.