Huge Savings with OCR Document Scanning

Backfile Conversion – does it matter?

The dollars and cents of document scanning and digitization

First thing … define what it means! Backfiles are an “IT name” for infrequently used or archived paper documents which have to be available years after they were first created. Typically they exist in file boxes or cabinets stored on or offsite and are generally a pain to locate and access. It can often take hours, days or even weeks to find the document you need.

Next thing to note: backfiles are costly. The expense of search and recovery and return to repository can be quite significant. A small business storing 25 filing cabinets and 20 file boxes, will pay out over $19,500 in storage costs over a 7 year period.

Then there’s the expense of offsite storage: placing just 10 file boxes per year in offsite storage for 7 years can cost over $3,000; add to this the $4,000 cost of catastrophic loss prevention, e.g. fireproof cabinets rated to withstand 2 hours of “burn”.

Total “hard cost” expense for these 70 backfile boxes will amount to nearly $27,000 over seven years. By contrast, a properly executed backfile conversion program can totally eliminate this expense and, as well, deliver nearly $13,000 net savings during that same period!

There are also great additional savings that are released by recovering needed business information in less than 60 seconds, instead of minutes, hours or even days. The net value of these “soft” savings in the above small business example, is estimated between $47,000 and $95,000!

So yes: backfile conversion does matter … to the efficiency and the profitability of your organization!

Note: the examples quoted above are taken from original research conducted among businesses and non-profit organizations in 2009 in Ottawa, Canada by the author.

Backfile Document Scanning – Ottawa