6 Benefits of Document Imaging Solutions for Small Businesses

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >6 Benefits of Document Imaging Solutions for Small Businesses</span>

Sep 22

Sep 22

Document Imaging

small_business

Document imaging technology offers numerous benefits to businesses of all sizes. If optimally utilized, it can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer service and collaboration. For smaller businesses, these benefits can be magnified, as being smaller doesn’t necessarily mean less paperwork. Like larger businesses, smaller ones still have taxes to pay, HR forms to manage, invoices and POs to approve, and probably much more, depending on the line of business they’re in.

The following are six key benefits that document imaging solutions offer small businesses:

  1. Do more with less: Small doesn’t just mean less revenue; it also likely means fewer resources. This means fewer specialists (and even interns) in areas like accounting, HR, and purchasing, where paperwork tends to bog down operations. A document imaging system is designed to increase productivity in these areas by reducing data entry times, automating workflows (removing the sneakernet from the equation), and simplifying document storage and retrieval. Small businesses are notoriously crunched for resources. Investing in document imaging technology may require an up-front outlay by a small business of some of those resources, but, in the long term, will pay off by enabling it to grow its revenue beyond what it would have to spend on additional employees in order to complete the increasing number of paper-intensive tasks that come with growth.

  1. Able to compete better with larger businesses: Chances are that every small business’s larger competitors are using document imaging. It not only improves internal efficiencies, but it can also improve customer service by creating faster turnaround times. Document imaging is able to improve customer onboarding and make retrieval of customers’ documentation more efficient during service calls. Especially in today’s market, just because a business is small, it doesn’t mean the customer has to know it. Prompt service enabled through document imaging is one way to look like a larger business.

  1. Collaboration: Many smaller businesses rely on partners to get things done. These may be subcontractors, suppliers, outside accounts, or any number of organizations. A document imaging system can provide an effective means for sharing and collaborating on documents like specifications, contracts, and tax forms. It’s a lot more secure than working with a fax machine and less expensive than working with couriers. The proliferation of the Internet and Web-based interfaces facilitates this type of collaboration.

  1. Compliance: What small business has time to deal with an audit? A properly designed document imaging system should be able to almost automatically execute one. A document imaging system typically includes metadata, such as when a document was created/received, what type of document it is, and what person and/or department it belongs to—vital information for effectively executing an audit. Document imaging systems also track and control access to documents, which is vital in secure environments, such as those of healthcare providers, which are subject to HIPAA regulations. Finally, most document imaging systems offer some records management capability, which enables a business to dispose of outdated documents in a timely and consistent manner so they can’t come back to haunt them down the road.

  2. Saves on space: Digitizing paper documents eliminates the need for file cabinets, which, for a small business, can be a very important consideration, especially in larger, more urban-type markets where the real estate can be very expensive.

  3. Enables a business to better focus on core operations: By reducing the resources needed for paper-intensive operations like the ones we’ve mentioned, the most important benefit of a document imaging system may be freeing up personnel to focus on what they do best—whether that’s manufacturing top-notch widgets, providing great healthcare, serving delicious food, or whatever. After all, that’s why most small-business owners got into their business in the first place—to follow a passion, not to do paperwork. 

The bottom line is that today almost no business is too small to benefit from document imaging. Hardware and software prices continue to fall, and with cloud-based options, business can start using document imaging for as little as a few hundred dollars per month. The potential benefits clearly outweigh the current costs.

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