Scanning: Which Method is Best For Your Agency?

Scanning has been a hot topic during many of my recent agency visits.  Many agencies are reviewing their current scanning procedures while others are just beginning to examine the scanning process.  Over the years, three major scanning workflows have developed for acquiring documents into our management systems.  Many agencies want to know which method is best for their organization, and in most cases, a combination of scanning methods can be used to maximize efficiency.  Let’s take a moment and review the three methods of scanning:  front-end, back-end and on-demand scanning

Front-End Scanning – As documents are received, they are sorted and scanned to the appropriate customer service representatives’ (CSR) scan-inbox.  CSR’s can then access the documents and manage them from their individual scan-inboxes. This process allows management to have a better view of the documents that have been processed and those that have not.  Front-end scanning eliminates the potential for lost documents and allows tracking and better reporting.

Back-End Scanning – Documents are received and sorted by CSR’s.  Once sorted, the documents are delivered to the appropriate CSR for processing.  As the documents are processed and stacked, a barcode cover page which associates the document with the correct client and policy is printed and placed on top.  The processor picks up the documents, usually once a day, and scans them into the system. After the documents are scanned, staff members can quickly access customer documents for review, email, or printing.

On-Demand Scanning – Documents are sorted and delivered to the appropriate CSR.  The CSR processes each document and scans it with their desktop scanner. The file is then attached to the appropriate client and policy.

In most cases, front-end scanning is considered to be the most efficient process for gathering and processing documents within the agency management system.  The process provides more efficient tracking, loss prevention, and a reduction in paper and historical data.  Back-end scanning causes less disruption to the agency’s day-to-day procedures, but is ultimately considered the least efficient process.  On-demand scanning can be used to complement front-end scanning to make sure documents created during the policy issuance process are processed immediately into the workflow.

If you are working on improving your current scanning workflows or if you are just beginning to look into the scanning process, remember that you have resources available at IIANC that can help your agency have a successful implementation. Happy scanning