Since the first stone tablets were used to store the important "data" of the tribe, finding ways to accurately and conveniently store and retrieve information has been a goal of humankind. Our present-day paper filing systems are an indication of how little we have progressed. Research has shown that 85% of the paper handled in offices today is just shuffled to get to the information needed. The cost of this paper dance is often overlooked when budgeting and charging for services. Some of the estimated costs are as follows:
Item Approximate Cost
Reproducing a lost document $ 220.00
It's worth noting that 7.5% of all documents get lost, and 3% get misfiled. Organizations double their document volume every 10 years, and the average document is copied and filed 17 times.
As you can see, this means of storing information is inefficient and costly. In addition to the costs shown above, consider all the file cabinets and the cost of the floor space they require. Also think of security--if there is a disaster, do you have a means to recreate your files?
The first big leap in avoiding loss of files and the expense of storage space was microfilm. The benefits of microfilm are that once a document is filmed and indexed, it can't be misfiled and it is very hard to lose. The down side of microfilm is that special equipment is needed to create, view, and print the documents. However, since the cost to copy and store film is much less than the cost for copying and storing paper, it is feasible to have backups of your data stored off-site for disaster preparedness.
The most efficient and secure way to store and retrieve documents is digital imaging. The convenience of retrieval alone justifies the cost of scanning paper documents for digital storage. Considering that the contents of a standard 4-drawer file cabinet can be kept on one or two CD's, and seven CD's fit on a DVD, the savings on the cost of floor space alone can be enough to pay for the conversion of your paper documents to digital images.
For information on how Carmel Business Systems can help you convert your paper documents to microfilm or digital images, please contact us using the information below.