Document Scanning Systems

A document scanning system is a system combining hardware, software and businesses processes to capture a paper document or image into a digital or electronic image.

Why do organisations transform their paper documents?


Document Scanning Systems

  • Accessibility
  • Ease of access
  • Enables full-text search
  • Security
  • Space savings

There are four primary components to a document scanning system80-book-scanning-icon


  • Input
  • Identification (indexing)
  • Storage
  • Retrieval

The input component is the first stage of the system and in effect where the data starts its journey and transformation. This normally consists of a document scanner of some sort or possibly a multi function device(typically found in most offices and previously referred to as a photocopier). The scanner or MFD is used to scan the paper documents into a digital format for storage in the document scanning system.

The second stage, the indexing stage allows the user to identify or index the digital information to make it accessible at a later date. Indexing can be done at a number of levels and is really dependent on the users own needs and requirements.

The storage part of the system is made up of the components connected to the electronic document management system. This stores, retrieves, controls and manages the digital information.

The retrieval part of the system consists of a user making a request for information which is in turn processed by the electronic document management system. Requests are processed and information retrieved.

Some of the most time consuming elements of document scanning systems are the sorting and preparation of documents. The preparation stage will involve such things as removing staples and paperclips, rotating documents, removing post it notes, removing documents from folders and files and generally getting the documents in an orderly manner to be fed into the scanner. This stage is often overlooked and many people don’t factor in the amount of time and intelligent decision making that will be required to complete it properly.

Another time consuming stage is the indexing. Also sometimes seen as straightforward, it requires decision making based on knowledge of the project to complete it properly and make the finished project effective.