Document conversion is unquestionably advantageous. Businesses save space, create easily-accessible archives, and build searchable databases of “intelligent documents” that make labor-intensive research a thing of the past. And as with any major workflow change, good planning is the key to a successful outcome. With document conversion, good planning means documenting your documents – creating a master document that analyzes the types of documents to be converted, the ways the converted documents will be used in the future, and the kinds of content that will be used in the database.
Your conversion planning documentation should include:
- Document Analysis – Decide on document categories – correspondence, manuals, accounting records, etc. – and define the parameters for each category.
- Document Usage – Envision how the e-documents will be used in your organization’s typical workflow. Will they need to be printed out? Emailed? Updated with new information? Linked to other documents?
- Document Intelligence – Decide what kinds of data will need to be extracted from the content of the converted documents, and set up categories of data that fit your type of organization. Will you need to search for past tax return items? A series of client letters? HR hiring history? These decisions will make your database truly usable and add efficiency to your post-conversion workflow.
A document conversion plan is complex, requiring input from leaders throughout the organization. Each department or division should be polled about its document needs and usage. And in the words of Gen. George Patton, “Document everything.” Your planning document should memorialize every decision you and your colleagues make, in order to inform future decision-makers who will be tasked with updating the database as technology changes.
Every business organization is different, and every document conversion plan requires a unique set of conversion tools from the array of conversion solutions. Document conversion is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Partnering with a document conversion expert will guide you through planning and conversion to a customized and successful document management system.
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