Document processing is an integral part of any company’s operations – and it’s only becoming more important in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic is forcing
businesses to take extra measures to implement social distancing in the workplace, something that’s difficult to do with a multi-touch document scanning process
using traditional scanners.

Instead of investing in more space for laborers and additional high-speed scanners to accommodate new regulations, which can be very costly, there’s a better way for companies to keep their employees safe – and achieve a more efficient process overall. The best option is a one-touch scanning solution that better utilizes available space and significantly reduces document prep, thereby greatly enhancing social distancing efforts.

Why Your Traditional Scanning Process Won’t Cut It

Typically, there are three steps to document management for most companies:

  • Mail opening, documents and envelopes are opened;
  • Document prep, documents are prepared and stacked for scanning by removing staples, adjusting for size, type, or quality, and unfolded;
  • Scanning, documents are scanned and digitized so they can be digitally stored or distributed.

The document prep step is by far the most labor intensive; when using traditional high-speed scanners, workers need to go through each individual mail piece or document and remove paper clips, staples, and Post-It notes (which are stacked up so that each can be reunited with its original source document). They might even need to go to another station to make photocopies of smaller documents so they’re on the same size paper. Damaged documents may need to be taped or out sorted. There are usually multiple employees sitting at the same long worktable to get this all done.

This method doesn’t allow for new safety compliance, such as social distancing, unless workers are spread out among different tables, or even entirely different rooms. And even then, there are still multiple people touching multiple documents, and carrying them around to either make copies or get them to the scanner. That makes it really challenging to follow safety protocols while completing this process.

Challenges to Document Management During COVID-19

There are four main challenges with using traditional scanners for document processing during COVID-19:

  • Greater need for physical space: To account for social distancing, companies need to invest in more scanning machines and dedicate more physical space to document processing, so that employees are spread out. This can be extremely costly for any company to undertake.
  • Labor shortages: Companies are also facing labor shortages and an increase in unplanned absences because employees may not feel safe coming to work in an environment where social distancing isn’t possible. This leads to delays in processing and distributing key data and documents which could be avoided if employees knew they would not have to work in close proximity to their colleagues.
  • Hybrid and distributed workforce: To address labor shortages and unplanned absences, companies like JPMorgan Chase are becoming more flexible in their work requirements by creating a cyclical workforce which rotates days working at the office and home. In this hybrid model, documents need to be accessible to ensure that business can continue uninterrupted. The home office becomes an extension of the work office, and employees need to be able to work seamlessly between the two.
  • Document security: As companies expand their document processing operations to include multiple rooms and floors, documents are going to be transferred more frequently and across longer distances, potentially blowing up the chain of custody.

If you’re struggling with these challenges, you’re not alone – many companies out there have a document scanning process that requires a large number of onsite workers. With social distancing rules limiting the number of on-site workers, having an efficient document scanning process is more important than ever.

Document Processing is More Imperative Than Ever

Under normal circumstances, processing, digitizing and distributing documents are critically important to a company’s operations. But these functions have become even more critical because businesses are not able to operate with a full team on premise. The pandemic has also caused many organizations to move to a remote workforce or one on a rotation. Even businesses that are considered essential, such as production workers and manufacturers, still have departments that are working from home where possible (such as accounting or HR).

Remote workers need access to their mail and other physical documents, so processing and scanning those documents can’t just be skipped or delayed. If there is a backlog, it’s bound to cause major business disruptions and a lack of efficiency overall. Even if you try prioritizing critical documents, you might still be missing some, and you don’t want an important invoice or work order just sitting in a pile at the office.

One-Touch Scanning to Ensure Employee Safety

 To comply with social distancing and ensure a safe working environment for employees, it’s worth looking into a document scanning solution that reduces the number of “touches” along the chain of custody. This will create an overall more efficient process and help limit the opportunity for COVID-19 to spread in the workplace.

OPEX’s Falcon Series of scanners is one solution that helps companies keep their employees safe while processing and digitizing documents, so they can distribute critical data without delay. As a one-touch workstation that requires only one person to run, it inherently allows for social distancing. The machine is designed to eliminate document prep and accepts documents in practically any condition, so you no longer have multiple employees touching documents to prepare them for scanning.

And because one person at the machine can typically do the same work as multiple people using traditional scanners, it also reduces the overall labor needed to prep and scan documents. You’ll have less people coming into your building overall, which can really help if you need to stay under a certain capacity limit to ensure health and safety.

In addition to the benefits of safety and social distancing, using a Falcon scanner will also help you protect your documents. With only a single operator performing the scanning function, it becomes much easier to maintain the chain of custody from beginning to end and exponentially improves efficiency. For one customer, it previously took up to seven days to process claims using traditional scanners; by using the Falcon scanner, they can now process claims in just one day.

Scaling the Falcon scanner to meet your own document management needs is simple and easy. By investing in a one-touch solution, you can keep your employees safe without investing in additional space, and you’ll be able to implement a more efficient process overall. To learn more, contact us.