Is Large Format Scanning Part of Your EDM Plan?

Most organizations acknowledge the need for Electronic Document Management (EDM).  However, many consider only their office-size documents when they implement their EDM.  If you haven’t considered the importance of your large format documents as well as your small format documents in your Electronic Document Management Plan, then now’s the time to think about it.  As public and private industry sectors require digitization of their records, whether, for disaster prevention, green practices, or storage expense reduction, they need to maintain a consistent workflow process across all sectors regardless of the document size.

These benefits of Electronic Document Management apply regardless of document size:

  • Eliminates the drudgery of bulk paper filing and the difficulty of finding what’s been filed
  • Filing flexibility – the same document can be filed under several different references for easy reference no matter how you  search for it
  • Integrating large format electronic files as well as small format documents enables you to achieve one consistent and logical filing structure for ALL your documents.
  • Paper and PC-generated files received from any source can be filed into one EDM, where they can be viewed or acted upon by any user or users simultaneously across a network or the Internet.  This ability to share both small format and large format documents have several advantages:
    • inter-departmental issues can be resolved more quickly
    • Customer questions can be answered without having to search through paper documents
    • Reduction in printing and copying documents saves time and money
    • Important documents don’t get mislaid
  • Freeing up expensive floor space used for paper storage can result in large cost savings

How to Include Large Format Documents in your EDM

To stay competitive, organizations must be able to capture content from hard copy documents with speed, accuracy, and flexibility.  This can sometimes be a more complicated process f Large Format Documents in your EDMor large format documents than it is for small format.  Organizations can eliminate workflow processing bottlenecks in scanning large format drawings, charts, maps, or other over-sized documents directly into EDM or ECM software and electronic capture software by choosing a large format scanning solution that offers an industry-standard interface, high-quality scans and document-specific presets.   For instance, Contex’s EDM/ECM solutions provide these abilities and eliminate the challenges of processing documents larger than B-size in a business process workflow.  Include a turnkey indexing product to make the processing of large format documents into an EDM workflow as easy and seamless as possible.  This will save both time and money in the long run.

You should establish how you want to retrieve your digital assets prior to beginning the large format scanning project.  This is critical to the success of managing large format drawings in your EDM. Whether you choose to manage your drawings in a simple electronic file folder or decide to index by project names, drawing names or other criteria that help identify the drawing, make sure that you stick to the indexing scheme throughout the scanning project.  This ensures that your large format assets can be easily located by entering one of the tags that relate to the file, enabling instant access to the information.  The integration of large format assets within document management systems can help reduced cost and improve productivity, with a resulting positive impact on your bottom line.

Outsource Your Large Format Scanning for EDM

Even though today’s large format scanners are easy to use and relatively low cost, organizations may want to outsource their large format scanning.   If you’re not familiar with large format scanning and the equipment required, then outsourcing is probably preferable.  Document management service providers and large format scanning service bureaus have experienced scanning personnel and up-to-date scanning equipment and software, so they are well equipped to meet your needs.  Most can handle the reproduction of large quantities of large format drawings, and they’re familiar with all types of large format documents, from maps such as land and well files, land leases and plot maps,  to construction drawings, architectural renderings, and large corporate graphics, as well as all associated paper documents. Often they can bring their equipment and personnel to your site if you have secure documents that you’d prefer not to transport to them.

If you decide to outsource, consider providing several sample documents to the company to scan prior to contracting with them.  Make sure that the results are satisfactory and that you can incorporate the scanned files into your EDM with no problems and that you can access and view them easily.

Large and Small Documents Working Together

One your EDM is set up and you’re able to access not only your office documents and records but also your hard-to-handle large-format documents quickly and efficiently, you’ll be glad that you transferred all of your paper files into electronic format.  Especially in you have groups in multiple locations, having both your large format and small format documents accessible in one EDM system enables team-sharing and maximizes your organization’s assets.   Easy access to digital files also enables employees to be more productive, increasing your company’s overall efficiency.


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This article was last Updated on February 10, 2022

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