How to Prepare for a Document Scanning Project

December 14, 2023

Preparing for an outsourced document scanning project involves several important stages and considerations. In order to be able to receive an accurate quotation from the get-go, a reputable scanning company will ask you many questions regarding document type, condition, etc., all of which can affect the time and cost of your project. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you prepare for such a project:


Determine the total volume of documents you need to scan. This information is crucial for the scanning company to estimate the time and resources required. A large cabinet can hold an average of around 34,500 images, an archive box of 2,300 images, and a lever arch file of around 575 images. Make sure you do an audit of your archive first to exclude any documents that don’t need to be scanned, there’s no need to spend money on these. If you don’t have the time and resources to do your audit, don’t worry, our team of experts can visit your site and do this for you.

Document Types

Start by identifying the types of documents you need to be scanned. These can include paper documents, photographs, large-format documents, or microfilm. Categorise the documents based on their content and purpose.

Document Condition

Assess the condition of the documents to determine if any are fragile, damaged, or require special handling. Provide clear instructions to the outsourcing partner as this can slow down the project and affect the cost.

Document Indexing and Cataloguing

Decide on the indexing and cataloguing criteria for the scanned documents. Determine what metadata (eg., document title, data, etc.) should be associated with each document. Clearly communicate the indexing requirements to the outsourcing partner.

Document Format

Specify the desired output format for scanned documents, such as PDF, TIFF, or JPEG. Consider whether Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is needed to make text searchable within scanned documents.

Document Access Requirements

Define how you and your team will access the scanned documents after the outsourcing project is completed, whether it be a document management system like FreeDocs, encrypted USB, or secure transfer. Ensure that the documents are compatible with your document management system or other access methods.

Colour or Black & White

Determine whether documents should be scanned in colour or black and white, depending on their content and intended use.

Post-Scanning Storage and Disposal

Decide what happens to the physical documents after scanning. Will they be securely stored, returned to you, or securely shredded?

Budget Planning

Develop a budget that includes costs for outsourcing services and any additional services you may require. Be clear about your budget constraints when negotiating with outsourcing partners.

Additional Services

Decide if you need any additional services for the digital images, such as document workflows, data entry, or integration with document management software like FreeDocs.

Security and Confidentiality

Discuss security measures with the scanning company. Ensure that they have robust security protocols in place and are accreditated to protect the confidentiality of your documents, especially if they contain sensitive or confidential information. If documents may ever need to be used as evidence in court, make sure you choose a provider accredited to BS 10008.

Final Steps Before Document Scanning

If you have the time and resources, it would be beneficial to prepare your documents for scanning to ensure they’re organised the way you want them to be, and to bring down the cost. However, if you don’t have time, don’t worry, our expert prep team can take care of this, and the state-of-the-art scanning software can automate some tasks such as deskew.

Remove Attached Objects

Remove any obstructing objects that can slow down the process, such as paperclips, staples, sticky notes, etc. Non-standard-sized documents such as receipts can be taped to the centre of one side of an A4 sheet of paper.

Ensure Documents are Clean & Free of Folds or Tears

Smooth out any wrinkles, creases, and folded corners, and repair damaged documents to ensure a smooth scanning process and quality images.

Group Documents By Size & Face Up

If you require specific documents to be scanned together, make sure to group them into batches to ensure seamless organisation. If you decide to scan single-sided, make sure all documents are face up so no sides are missed.


In conclusion, preparing for a scanning project is essential for its success, and at Storetec we’re here to guide you through the process. From assessing document volumes and types to considering document conditions, indexing criteria, and output formats, we help you make informed decisions. Our services encompass everything from document handling to post-scanning storage or disposal, all while respecting your budget constraints. With a focus on security and confidentiality, we ensure the protection of your documents. Plus, our expertise in document workflows, data entry, and integration with our document management system, FreeDocs, simplifies the process. Trust Storetec for your document scanning needs, and visit our Document Scanning Page for more information.

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