Document digitization is an essential part of running a business in the 21st century. With document management software services becoming more accessible, the benefits that digitization can offer are far too significant to ignore if you don’t want to fall back behind your competition.
But when it comes to digitizing large-format documents such as blueprints, the entire process can become more complicated. While standard A4-size documents are relatively easy to scan, scanning larger formats usually requires the services of professionals that can guide you through the entire process.
But how can you choose the right blueprint scanning services? And what to look for in a company that you choose to work with?
Let’s explore some of the essential aspects you should consider below.
One of the first things you should look at when choosing a company is their process, as it’s the thing that can tell you a lot about whether they know what they’re doing or not.
Usually, the more experienced companies will have a proven process that they can point to, laying out the steps that will be necessary and providing you with specific estimates of how long the project might take.
But what are some of the common steps you should look for?
Well, usually, it involves going through the format and the size of the blueprints to determine the best approach. Then, it needs to be prepared for scanning and converted into a digital format using a special printer.
Once it’s digitized, the images will need to be indexed so that they are easy to find. The document scanning company might also point you to a document management system that could help manage the documents more effectively.
Many companies even offer a dedicated project manager, especially if you have a larger scanning project. This can help make communications easier and ensure that you get the results you’re expecting in a timely manner.
No matter how you look at it, experience matters when choosing the right blueprint scanning services for your business. Newer companies might not always know the best approach to take, and might not be able to handle your blueprints correctly, so it’s better to choose someone with a track record and a good reputation.
For one thing, look at how long the company has been in business. Ideally, the company has a couple of decades in experience, as that would show that they were able to adapt to changing technology and embrace the new scanning solutions that became available at the turn of the century and more recently.
Another crucial aspect in terms of experience is the number of clients that the company has served. Many of the leading companies have scanned millions of documents for a wide range of clients. Those types of numbers are a great indicator that their processes are working, and they’re able to handle all kinds of documents.
Finally, you should look at the case studies and see how they work, what their clients are saying, and how good their reputation is. If you know that they have made clients happy in the past, it’s reasonable to expect that they’ll be able to deliver good results to you as well.
Document Management System
When you scan your documents, you are receiving large blueprint images that can be hard to manage without specialized software to help you. And since you probably don’t have experience with document management systems, you don’t know exactly which way to go and what solution might suit your needs best.
Because of that, it’s better to choose a company that also offers document management solutions and can help you figure out how to store, manage, and access the blueprints once they are digitized.
Today’s leading document management systems are designed to be user-friendly, convenient, integrated with various other platforms and apps, and secure. Still, you need to be able to trust your services provider to give you the best options available.
As discussed in the previous section, looking at experience is an integral part of choosing the right document digitization company. However, without the right equipment, even the most experienced scanning specialists will only be able to do so much before succumbing to the limitations of the tools they have available.
Therefore, when talking with companies you’re considering, ask about the type of equipment they can offer and why they use it. This is especially important when scanning blueprints, since such unusual formats pose their own challenges, which require specialized tools to overcome.
What’s more, blueprints require very clear and crisp images if you want to see all the details, so you need the scanners to be very precise. These scanners need to create high-resolution images that can be zoomed in as much as necessary.
If you want to get the most out of the document management software that you’ll end up using, your blueprints and other documents need to be indexed in a way that makes them easy to find.
After all, while the scanned images themselves are essential, they won’t be very useful if you have to struggle every time you need to find a specific part of a blueprint in a large folder full of images.
Therefore, talk with companies you’re considering about how they index documents, and in what ways can they mark each file so that it’s as convenient for you as possible.
While you can and should take advantage of the best practices, you may have unique requirements for indexing and sorting them, which the company you use should be able to accommodate.
For instance, you may want the documents to be grouped in sets or projects which encompass multiple drawings, or you may want the files to be sortable based on revision dates. If you work with a good company, they will probably offer you plenty of advice on the useful ways to index the files, which will come in handy once you’re managing the files on your own.