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COVID-19 has impacted all businesses and has been life changing. It’s now clear that a more long-term plan is needed to facilitate remote working as we start to define the ‘new normal’.

In response to businesses facing up to the challenge of maintaining secure access to document and vital information, social distancing will still need to be adhered to as the country awaits the call to return to work.

The challenge of a simple yet crucial return to work strategy means businesses should never miss or not have access to critical documents whilst working remotely.  Another challenge is to ensure that documents that are posted to your office reach the correct staff member irrespective of whether they are working from home or their office.

Typically, employees need access to a vast array of information, this includes:

  • HR files
  • Credit & loyalty card application forms
  • Direct debit mandates
  • Patient records
  • Student registration forms
  • Student records
  • Paper archives
  • Historical manuscripts
  • Books
  • Purchase invoices & Job files

This typically is what is happening across the UK.

Example: Council need access to planning files

A council with staff furloughed were unable to access critical documents to complete a project, staff were driving into council offices to pick up files. By outsourcing the scanning, files were hosted online, enabling immediate access for staff across multiple departments. The project was then completed on time and within budget.

Example: School’s Finance Department needed access to invoices

A school’s finance department needed access to its invoices, by scanning and then hosting the invoices, the school had immediate access which enabled an audit to be completed without any issues.

Example: Housing Association needed daily access to post

A Housing Association couldn’t gain access to post without staff attending its offices. By having a PO box set up and the post re-directed and scanned and sent to the correct recipient, it enabled pre 10am every day for all staff to have access to critical documents to keep their business running effectively.

Legal Admissibility of Documents – What does it mean?

BS10008:2014 – Legal Admissibility of Electronic Information:

Many companies still believe that they are legally bound to archive some documents as paper for a certain time, such as accounting documents or contracts. According to a recent survey by AIIM, legal admissibility of scanned documents is still seen as an issue in over a quarter of businesses. Most digitised documents are now legally admissible in a court of law. The British Standard, BS 10008 “Evidential weight and legal admissibility of electronic information” covers this in detail.

This standard confirms documents scanned are a true facsimile of an original and are admissible in a court of law.

The Digital landscape 2021 and beyond

Digitising records makes your files much easier to track and retrieve, saving considerable time and money. And, while scanned documents can improve ease of access, it can also heighten document security.

The use of market leading technology allows businesses to build a solution that caters for their exact scanning needs, giving them the flexibility of customising projects to their own internal systems/auditing needs.

With the latest technology that classifies and extracts data from any document, regardless of type, content, or format it enables scanned documents to be transformed into structured information.

Once scanned, images and data can be provided in any format including SFTP, FTP, online hosting, and encrypted storage media.

Solutions like a Digital Mailroom have the flexibility to deal with any type of document and can provide staff access to organisations’ documents in a secure manner from home or office.

Article by: Jonathan Moffitt

As seen in Issue 10 of The Bottom Line