Many years ago, microfilm was considered to be the best solution to storing and archiving paper documents. However, the digital age has changed all that, now many companies are going paperless or at least creating digital backups of their paper documents. Many companies are retaining and archiving documents and records from 15 or more years ago, these records archived in microfilm or microfiche. The question that these companies face is: “should we invest the resources in digitizing physical records or documents?”
The advantages of scanning your microfilm to a digital format are significant and return on investment could be very attractive for a number of reasons.
Documents Can Be Retrieved Immediately
When you need to retrieve your documents, those that have been scanned can be found almost instantly on a computer, compared with having to search through rolls of microfilm. As well as this, the scanned microfilm can be read immediately on the computer screen, whereas a special reader would be needed to view microfiche and microfilm. This can save a lot of time, and if several different documents are needed, these can be found within minutes without the need to go searching through a large number of files. The information that is needed from these documents will be available within a matter of minutes rather than hours.
Less Chance of Documents Becoming Lost
When microfilm has been scanned into a computer, many copies can be made. These backups can be stored anywhere, meaning that even if there was a problem with the computer where the original document was stored, a copy of the document could still be accessed. An original microfilm may not have been needed for a number of decades, and anything could have happened to it during this time. If it has been lost, there is probably very little chance of getting it back. Microfilm scanning all but eliminates this problem, meaning that the business owner no longer has the worry of documents being mislaid over time.
Greater Business Efficiency
The fact that a business can be made more efficient through digital scanning is probably the main reason why so many companies are choosing to digitize old records and documents. In the past, a request for a particular document by a customer would have had a turnaround time of several days. Accessing a digital document that has been adequately indexed can be done almost immediately, meaning there is virtually no time at all for the customer to wait before this information can be passed on. It also means that a staff member is not tied up for hours searching for one particular document, which improves the productivity of the business.
With today’s scanning technology and Microfacs experience, year’s worth of records can be converted in a matter of days. By converting your documents to digital format, your critical information is safer, easier to retrieve and is less expensive to store.