The work of many businesses – like banks and financial institutions, but also companies in other fields – is very paper-heavy. Files, transactions, user and client data, many of such records spend their lifetime as paper documents, stacked away in folders, filling shelves and archives.
It is common for many businesses to keep their records over several years before they can safely get rid of them. Thus, the number of documents and unused papers in an archive grow continuously.
This article will present a simple method how this amount of paper and the associated costs can be eliminated or at least reduced: by switching to PDF.
Reduce Paper-Load & Costs By Switching To PDF
Keeping up an archive full of paper records is expensive from the get-go. Purchase, handling and, in the end, disposal of papers comes with many expenses. At the same time, manpower and time are spent filing, sorting and searching through the seemingly endless rows of folders. Storage, on top of this, is another issue. It requires not only a dry and warm but a safe place where important information cannot get lost or in the hands of third parties.
Depending on the size of a business or company, these costs are rather high.
Thus, the switch to PDF and the digitization of archives is a valuable step in reducing these costly issues. The conversion of incoming papers to digital copies is one thing, the digitization of a whole archive a way bigger task. However, the benefits outweigh the initial struggles, especially if the digitization is done step-by-step.
1. Searchable PDFs & File-System
Once digitized, files can easily be located on a server or computer by using the search function. If documents and folders are named accordingly, a quick search can bring out all information you need.
Furthermore, PDF files themselves can be saved in a searchable way. This differentiates them from ordinary scans that are merely images of a document pasted in a PDF form. Instead, searching throughout larger documents is possible.
2. Smaller Files
One very distinct benefit of using PDF as the go-to format for digitization is the relatively small file size. Digital data and documents have to be stored somewhere as well. Thus, a smaller sized PDF document is not only saving actual space, but also hardware space.
If the files appear to still be too big after scanning, there is the possibility to further compress PDF documents.
3. Keep Signatures Intact
Many legally binding and important documents require a signature of one or more parties. When digitizing an archive to PDF, these signatures are retained, preserving the viability of said documents.
4. Standardized Formats Across The Company
Different files hinder a fast and efficient handling. Thus, using one uniform format for all document files across a company eliminates any possible conversion issues. PDF is an acknowledged standard for documents and can be opened on various platforms, across operating systems, and on multiple devices.
If the need arises to edit a PDF, a conversion to any editable format like Microsoft Word, OpenOffice ODT files or plain text is a fast and reliable solution. Likewise, you can convert DOC, DOCX and RTF documents, as well as images and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into PDF as well. For example, using an online PDF converter.
5. Retained Formatting
PDF as a standard format for document storage and saving comes with even more advantages. Documents that are relying on their outer appearance will look exactly the same as the hardcopy they are based on.
6. Password Protection
Once a paper archive has been digitized and stored on a server, several security measures can be taken to further secure these files. Server security is one thing, but especially important and sensitive documents should be further protected.
The PDF format allows for password protection to be added to the document. By assigning different passwords (one with reading access and one with master access), companies can ensure that only those with the right permissions can handle these files. Try to password-protect a PDF and find out how helpful this is.