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A scanner can be an invaluable tool for any business. The ability to transform any paper document into electronic form allows you to easily store, edit, and copy vital information. Including a scanner in the office environment can add security when dealing with sensitive information. As a money-saving tool, the use of a scanner can help to greatly reduce your paper usage. These electronics are not right for every business, however. They can be big, expensive, and must be maintained regularly. Larger documents can often take a very long time to scan, given the slow speed at which scanners often operate. Read on for an overview of scanners to help you to make the best decision for your business.
Benefits of Scanners for Your Business
Incorporating a scanner into your business can turn your company into a virtually paperless business. While the initial time investment is likely to be great if you have a considerable amount of paper-based documents, the benefits are worth it.
Gone are the days when you would have to search through a room full of files for one sheet of paper. Now, you can scan them all and store them on your computer, on disks, or at an off-site storage facility. Because you won’t need large file rooms, you can put that workspace to good use or you can downsize your office to a smaller building.
If your company handles sensitive documents, such as financial or medical records, using scanners to backup information, or to do away with paper documents, can decrease the likelihood of important information falling into the wrong hands. With very little effort, you can greatly increase your clients’ peace of mind. Since all files that contain sensitive information can be password protected to ensure that they remain private and secure, your clients won’t have to worry about their information getting lost or stolen.
Ease of Use
Once your documents are scanned, you can use a search function to find the information you need. This can help to save valuable time that you can use growing your business. Scanning documents can also make it easy to transfer documents to someone else without having to worry about the time it will take to arrive via regular mail.
According to Stepcase Lifehack, with careful planning, it is possible to reduce your paper usage by 95 percent annually. This means that although you have to cover the initial cost of the scanner, you will be able to recoup that cost by saving money on paper. The money you spend on costly printer ink and toner will also decrease.
In most cases, the advantages of using a document scanner outweigh the pitfalls. However, although scanners will add convenience and efficiency to any office, there are some disadvantages that should be considered. Space requirements, routine maintenance, speed capability, and quality of resolution are all issues to think about when looking for a scanner.
Document scanners can take up a considerable amount of space in an office compared to other types of printers and office equipment. There are many options to choose from, including scanners that are built in to large, free-standing office printers and smaller individual scanners that will most likely take up much needed desk space. Often, office space is at a premium, so consider size an important factor when choosing a scanner.
Scanners will require frequent cleaning to prevent dust and fingerprints from impeding your images. Even the smallest smudges can leave marks on your document. Care must also be taken to prevent scratches on the glass surfaces of your scanner.
Routine maintenance may also require cleaning the underside of the scanner glass and interior components. Always consult the product user guide for care and maintenance instructions.
If you have a significant amount of pages that need to be scanned, be prepared for it to be a time-consuming job. Although some scanners claim to perform 25ppm (pages per minute), some will only be able to complete 10ppm. Purchasing a pricey scanner does not guarantee that the speed will be faster than more inexpensive models. Consider the speed of the scanner before making your final purchase.
With some scanners, the resolution can be low, creating images that are grainy or difficult to read. Scanners with high resolution can be quite expensive. Decide how important resolution will be for your needs and keep your budget in mind when making your scanner purchase.
The type of scanner you need will determine its cost. Numerous types of scanners exist, with vastly different price ranges, each depending on the quality of the scan and intended use. As stated by the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, employees spend almost three and a half hours per week searching through paperwork for information that they will not find. Scanners have the potential to save your business a lot of man-hours and increase efficiency, making their initial cost worth the funds.
The Basic, the Intermediate, the Best
The basic scanners designed for regular scanning tasks that do not demand high-quality prints usually cost between $95 and $150. The medium-quality scanners are proficient enough to scan photos and make good-looking prints. These usually cost $175 to $325. High-quality scanners run between $700 and over $1,000.
Scanners can be purchased to fit almost every budget. Factoring in scanning speed and possible maintenance issues will help you to make the right decision on which, if any, scanner to buy. With business environments becoming more flexible, having an electronic-based system can be very beneficial compared to paper-based offices. The added security of having an electronic copy of documents and the ability to protect confidential information with passwords are considered vital benefits to some. While the size of scanners can mean they are not ideal for smaller offices, the benefits they offer can make even this issue tolerable. Given the different options in scanning equipment available today, almost every business should be able to find a scanner to meet its needs.
As businesses grow increasingly reliant on digital information, scanners can provide a fast and efficient way to store paper documents electronically. An image scanner has the ability to reduce paper waste, eliminate tedious filing, and make communications more efficient. Scanner devices use optical character recognition software to quickly transform analog images into digital files. They are useful for recording text, handwriting, and photos.
Choosing the right scanner depends on several factors, including size and image quality. For basic office use, flatbed scanners have flexible covers that allow for the scanning of nearly any size document. They are often available in multi-function printers. Companies that scan high volumes of documents may prefer a sheet-fed scanner, which allows a stack of pages to be scanned automatically much like a fax machine. Businesses that need to scan images more frequently than text may prefer a scanner that produces higher resolution, such as a specialized photo scanner. Compact or portable scanner devices can help save space, but often provide limited image quality at higher prices.
Each scanner is defined by its own strengths and weaknesses. If your business is looking for a reliable way to digitalize information, Business.com can serve as a helpful resource for scanner providers.
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