What is the cost of a Lost Document

By Jeff Shuey posted 09-01-2010 00:21


Have you ever spent time looking for a document or a receipt? And no matter where you looked you could not turn it up?

Did it make you mad? Did you think you could have been using that time on something more productive?

Think about this: EVERYONE in your organization does this. Every Day! Multiply this by the number of people in your company and 200 working days per year and this becomes a significant number.

What Can You Do About It?

Below are a few tips to consider when your are thinking about creating or extending your Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system to include a well designed Document Capture system.

 Step 1:
Scan it Right – The First Time

As Stephen Covey said in the Seven HabitsBegin with the End in Mind. Thinking about the end result will help set the stage for what needs to be done at the time of capture (aka scanning).

Step 2:
Index it Right – The First Time

Know what you need to extract from the documents you are scanning or importing. A common strategy is to do a full text search and store the image in both a black & white and color format. This allows for future processes – which might include re-importing and re-processing.



As you work through the process you need to consider a lot of contingencies. This is why experts should be involved.

No Excuses: You can’t blame it on a smoke monster, a polar bear or that is was all a dream.



Step 3:
Find it --- The First Time

This is the end result when the initial scanning is done right and the indexing is done right.

Even if the index data is not captured on the first time around it is possible to re-import the images for a second round. While this is not ideal it does provide a second chance. Keep in mind … you have to be able to FIND the document in order to re-import and re-index it. TIP: It’s much better to do it right the first time.

So, What is the cost of a lost document to your organization?

  • Is it greater than the cost of not capturing the information right the first time?
  • Is it worth the risk of a lawsuit?
  • Is there something you can do to plan ahead?

Only you can decide the answers to these questions and determine the value of building the right capture system at the beginning of the process.

Document Capture is the First Pillar in an ECM system.

Image Credit: ABC

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