Pearl Scan London Blog

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How much does it cost to go paperless?

How much does it cost to go paperless?

Document scanning and the goal of going paperless has been one of the biggest talking points for businesses over the last few years. The incredible benefits offered by simply scanning existing documents and moving towards a digital way of working has allowed businesses in all sectors and sizes to reap the productive and financial rewards of this modern way of working. However despite offering up a range of advantages, some businesses are still reluctant to make the switch due to the initial financial outlay.

But exactly how much does it cost for a business to go paperless?

Essentially, and somewhat frustratingly, for business owners there is no set price. All businesses have different needs, wants and goals, therefore, we accurately say, “It will cost £XX to make your company paperless.” Depending on the size and requirements, document scanning can cost as little as a couple of hundred pounds, and rise up to thousands of pounds, with potential additional hardware investments on top of that. And although this may seem like a lot of money, the initial outlay and cost of going paperless is by far eclipsed by the incredible savings that can be made.

Reap the financial paperless rewards

Those who have embraced the paperless revolution have reaped the rewards; in fact the number one drive for businesses to go paperless is the potential cost saving. YouGov states that SMEs in the UK waste over £42.2M per day on finding and retrieving information. But once a company relies less on physical documents, this figure drops significantly.

So with that in mind, why haven’t more businesses taken the leap and looked into paperless solutions? Essentially, the human race is against change. As a species, we resist change whenever and wherever we can, only taking small steps at a time. And overhauling a workplace in order to embrace the benefits of a paperless environment is often seen as one step too far for many. Yet with such high levels of inefficiency, it’s astounding that so few businesses have rebuffed the idea.

The YouGov survey mentioned above also suggested that 65% of UK SMEs are still to take this very step, while 31% of respondents highlighting that if they weren’t looking for documents, they could use the time to work on business growth and development.

With such incredible statistics, it really is unbelievable that businesses are still focussed on physical and paper documents – and particularly striking that SMEs, which are usually seen as pioneers, are putting off these developments.

What are you waiting for?

If you’re thinking about taking the leap towards a paperless working world, get in touch with us and see how we can help your business improve its efficiency and give it room to grow with our document scanning and management services. We offer free, no obligation quotes and can work with you to meet your needs, on your budget.

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Why outsourcing document scanning is better

Why outsourcing document scanning is better

In today’s technologically advanced society, the question that many offices and businesses in London are asking themselves is not ‘should we scan our documents?’ but it is ‘how should we scan our documents?’ With a long list of advantages such as saving time, money and freeing up space, the demand for document scanning is very clear, but many are unsure about whether they should outsource their needs to a document scanning company or not.

At Pearl Scan, we have been providing nationwide document scanning services for over a 15 years, and have many happy clients from a wide range of industries that could convince you that outsourcing your document scanning is better, cost effective and meet best practices and guidelines kept up-to-date. But don’t just take their word for it – here is why you should leave your document scanning services in the hands of the experts…

Highly trained staff

While some businesses may need to scan and store simple paper documents, others will require more complex materials to be digitised such as microfiche and microfilm, invoices, surveys and more. In order to covert these files to accurately scanned digital documents, a large amount of industry ‘know how’ is required, as well as specialist scanning equipment. When outsourcing your document scanning you immediately are given access to experts in the area who can take care of your scanning services with ease, reducing the need to hire or train staff in this specific area.

No need to invest in costly (and bulky) equipment

Even if you decide to train your staff how to scan ‘in-house’, you will need to invest in expensive industry equipment, using up your valuable budget and taking up space in, what may already be a limited working area. At Pearl Scan we have a dedicated and state-of-the-art document scanning facility to convert all your files to digital the required file format, meaning you don’t need to pay for the extra expenses.

A tailored solution

As we are experts in our area, with a vast amount of document scanning experience in a wide range of industries, we are capable of providing a tailored scanning solution to all of our clients. Outsourcing to a scanning company means that you can enjoy a wholly professional service, every time.

Additional extras

Purchasing the necessary equipment and training your staff to scan your documents will fulfil your basic needs, but when using services from industry experts you are likely to be given a whole host of additional extras to help you with your document scanning and management requirements. We have developed Halogen, an intelligent document storage and retrieval software, which is given to all Pearl Scan customers free of charge.

If you know that outsourcing to a document scanning company is the right choice for you, get in touch with a member of the Pearl Scan team today to learn more about how the outsourced scanning services work.

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How to disaster-proof your business documents

How to disaster-proof your business documents

Businesses hold on to thousands of pieces of paper and manual documents. And as time goes on, these accumulate until there’s multiple filing cabinets overflowing with neglected, but important, files that rarely see the light of day. Easily destroyed, thrown away or lost, these documents not only take up valuable room and cost companies thousands in time spent looking for them, but they are also at very serious risk of the elements.

Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods are all common. Even in the UK, we are prone to floods, and have even been known to have the odd earthquake. With the weather getting wilder, making sure that important documents are safe and secure cannot be underestimated. So how can you ensure your important, and confidential business documents are kept safe, should disaster strike?

Document management with Cloud

The only sure fire way to keep your documents safe is by turning to digital practices. Some businesses decide to store documents away from offices and disaster-prone areas, such as at external storage facilities. However even if you decide to go down that route, you can’t guarantee that these will be kept safe from catastrophe such as fire or flood. Digitising your paper archive and current documents using a specialist scanner however will remove the need for storage facilities by enabling them to be stored on widely accessible cloud.

It is always worth backing these documents though as a secondary precaution. Although clouds are secure, if their server goes down, it will stop access which can hinder a businesses’ productivity for a time. Using a central server that is either located on or off site however will provide businesses with a secondary platform to access and store data and provide peace of mind. These are great for both large and small businesses as they are cost-effective to maintain, but there is always the risk that they can be damaged from outside elements. In order to combat this, some service providers store data on multiple servers housed at different geographic locations. So even if one of the servers is destroyed, your documents will still be safe as they are stored on other servers too.

The main benefit of backing up your documents digitally is that when you’re back in business, you can quickly recover your documents and resume operations which minimise disruption to both customers and employees.

Looking to disaster proof offices in London? Find out more about document scanning from Pearl Scan.

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What could go wrong with in-house scanning?

document scanning service

What could go wrong with in-house scanning?

Going paperless is great, but having the right strategy while your organisation undergoes the transition is critical. Scanning technology has improved enormously over the past decade, making scanning easily one of the best ways to digitise information. Advances in optical character recognition, intelligent character recognition, and data indexing have led many people to believe that scanning bulk amounts of documents is a simple, easy process.

In truth, despite these advances, scanning documents in bulk can be a very tricky process. There are many reasons that companies choose third party scanning services like Pearl Scan to aid them in digitising their data.


Cost is generally the reason administrators cite for choosing to have documents scanned in-house. That is, they’re of the belief that they’ll save money by doing so. This is rarely the case.

A low end scanner is simply not good enough for digitising all of an organisation’s documents. A professional scanning service will have the most up-to-date equipment. Furthermore, most companies can’t afford to maintain multiple backup scanners in the event that their primary scanner breaks down. That leads to backlog whenever there’s an issue with the scanner, which puts a dent in productivity.

Additionally, having the right software to effectively and efficiently both scan your documents and capture data can be extremely costly.

Training and manpower

With this high end equipment and multiple types of sophisticated software in mind, the next problem that in-house scanning organisations run into is training. While innovations have greatly improved the equipment and software necessary to scan documents and capture data, knowing how to use that equipment and software is critical.
Who will train the employees who will be scanning documents? Can you afford to train your entire office to scan documents and index the data they contain? Or will you need to delegate the responsibility to a select few? Is there any department that is equipped to handle the extra work load?

Other issues

The safety and security of certain types of documents can be extremely important. Legal documents, medical records, and other paperwork that contain sensitive information need to be handled with care when capturing and storing that data. That’s not only to protect those to whom that information is personal, but also to protect your company from liability or regulatory concerns. Data is one of the most important resources your company has. Why not treat it as such and use a professional scanning service?

Find out how Pearl Scan can help with your document scanning needs.

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Arkansas Pioneers Microfiche Recycling

Microfiche Recycling

Arkansas Pioneers Microfiche Recycling

Most of us are well aware that many industries will be going paperless in the not too distant future. Physical storage of information isn’t as secure, cost effective, accessible, or searchable as digital information.

But there’s still a lot of information being stored on paper, microfiche, and other physical media. It’s become relatively simple to transfer information from physical media to digital formats, thanks to innovation in scanning technology. This in turn makes much of the information in physical storage redundant, and organisations are eager to make use of this newly available space. Of course, that physical media has to go somewhere. Some are taking steps to make sure this material is disposed of in an environmentally conscious manner.

The University of Arkansas Libraries recently did just that. The libraries have been continually searching their microfiche collections for information that is no longer needed. But instead of sending their unwanted microfiche to the landfill, they decided to take a different approach.

Microfiche Scanning

microfiche scanningMicrofiche sheets were once a more efficient way of storing printed information. The information is printed incredibly small on a plastic sheet approximately the size of an index card. These sheets can then be read by inserting them in a special microfiche reader, which magnifies the printed information. Of course, today, digital storage is far more efficient, and it makes sense for libraries to streamline their collections for the eventual shift to digital storage.

In this particular case, the libraries sorted through their collections to remove out of date college catalogues that had been stored on microfiche. They found a bit more than they anticipated: 240 pounds worth of microfiche that is no longer needed.

Members from multiple departments collaborated to find a solution that they could feel good about. In the end, the university opted to have the microfiche recycled by a company that specialises in this service. Although the company did charge a fee for doing so, everyone agrees that this environmentally conscious strategy was the right thing to do.

Moving into a future where most or all data is stored in digital form is exciting. And it’s also great to consider how paperless organisations can have a positive impact on the environment. However, we are in a stage of transition. The vast amounts of information currently being stored on physical media aren’t going anywhere until we decide to do something with it. As we plan to go paperless, we need to figure out how we’re going to go about disposing of it responsibly.

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Why choose Pearl Scan

Document scanning | Audits

We are backed up by external quality and security audits. Our operations have been audited and approved by many NHS, Local Authorities, Private blue chip companies and we pride ourselves on the high levels of quality and security we provide to each and every one of our clients.

Our data capture and document scanning services offered in London are accredited to industry standards.