Common Uses for an Office Scanner in 2024

Woman with paperwork at a digital scanner
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A scanner is a handy tool that many businesses have leveraged to digitize their files. In fact, over 60 percent of all business data is digital and stored on a cloud-based server.

Could an office scanner help your organization be more productive and secure? Here’s what you’ll need to know: 

  1. What Is an Office Scanner?
  2. When Is an Office Scanner Used?
  3. Benefits of Office Scanners
  4. How to Choose a Scanner for Your Office
  5. Strategic Office Technology Solutions, Service and More 

What Is an Office Scanner?

An office scanner is a device that digitizes paper documents. Commonly found within the office environment of an organization, office scanners are versatile devices that can scan a variety of different sized media. Some office scanners are desktop devices, while others are a function integrated into a larger multi-function printer (MFP) – also known as an “all-in-one printer,” which needs dedicated floor space. 

RELATED: How to Scan Multiple Pages into One PDF 

When Is an Office Scanner Used?

While physically, office scanners are used to create digital documents, the reasons why they are used can vary by industry or organization.

Healthcare organizations often use office scanners to digitize paper patient charts and other records. These digital documents often become part of an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system that can be searched through Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Scanned documents provide greater security than paper documents and offer compliance with HIPAA rules and regulations.

Legal organizations (or firms) are also frequent office scanning users as they commonly gather background information from multiple sources when preparing for a legal case.

Other organizations use office scanners to scan papers or other printed items into digital form. Items scanned into Adobe® PDF format can be easily transferred via email instead of the lengthy wait to snail-mail to a recipient.

In addition, when starting a new job there is often a mountain of forms to fill out. Some companies provide these forms online to the new employee, while others use paper forms and may scan the completed forms into their employee database. Transferring historical paper documents into online files is the first step toward a paperless office and encouraging your organization to Go Green

Benefits of Office Scanners

A scanner is often a welcome addition to any office environment as scanned business documents have multiple benefits versus using and storing paper documents.

Take a look at this list of office scanner benefits and see what your organization could be gaining by adding this handy device to your office technology fleet. An office scanner could help you:

  • Save time. Searching for a document within an online database is faster than sorting through piles of paperwork hoping that the document you need is filed correctly.
  • Preserve valuable office space. Scanners take up less room than filing cabinets jammed full of stored paper documents. Thinking of a new MFP contract? Ask your Managed Print provider about adding scanning functionality to your next MFP.
  • Increase employee productivity. Searching for data in an electronic environment means employees can stay on a call with a customer while accessing scanned data instead of putting them on hold and physically searching through drawers of paperwork.
  • Provide immediate data access from anywhere. Scanned documents allow remote employees to have the same access to data as in-office employees.
  • Enhance document security. Digital documents along with restricting access to only the employees needing access to the data, will enhance confidentiality protocols.
  • Recover data faster in the event of a disaster. Data backups stored offsite or in the cloud will allow businesses to return to normal activity faster, as opposed to paper documents that could be lost in a fire, flood, tornado, etc.
  • Support organizational openness. Share documents easily with authenticated users to encourage organizational security and team collaboration.
  • Prevent physical damage to documents. Besides natural disasters that could destroy all of your stored paper documents, there’s the little disasters, too. Spilled coffee on a desktop, aging or brittle paper tearing, etc.
  • Reduce your organization’s carbon footprint. Scanning historical paperwork promotes file reduction and less future paper waste. 

How to Choose a Scanner for Your Office

Which brand, size and style of office scanner to choose can be a daunting task. The best thing to do is to consult with an experienced Managed Print Services (MPS) provider who can conduct a needs assessment at your location. This will aid in gaining greater understanding about what, when and how you will be scanning documents and guide the MPS provider to recommend a solution to fit your needs.

As a general guide, here’s some points to consider when you are evaluating office scanners. Look for a device that:

  • Is compatible with your existing network and software
  • Includes scanning and imaging modes to fit your needs
  • Has easy-to-use controls
  • Fits within the dimensions available in your office environment
  • Includes batch printing, if this is a needed function

Strategic Office Technology Solutions, Service and More

The Gordon Flesch Company offers a wide range of scanners for any need – including high-resolution color scans or the latest in hands-free high-volume imaging solutions. We also offer in-house leasing solutions, a complete range of office technology products and managed print services to keep your organization’s systems running at peak performance. Contact us to schedule a complimentary needs assessment and discover how to do more while spending less. 

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