Posted on May 31, 2017 by Joey Green
Documentation in many businesses is moving to the digital world. Like most automotive dealerships, you likely have countless filing cabinets and large stacks of excessive paperwork, making it increasingly difficult to find the information you need. This is the perfect reason to consider document scanning and data archiving. It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start once you implement document scanning, what to look for and how to justify the expense to management. Here are six key considerations when implementing document scanning and archiving solutions in your dealership.
- Are you part of a group or a single point store?
If you are in a group, how many of the stores will be scanning? Think about how automating workflow across the stores and group may be beneficial to the bottom line. Single point stores also greatly benefit from scanning with significant time saving filing and searching for documents.
- How many documents do you process monthly? How many service ROs (internal, warranty, customer pay, body shop) and parts tickets do you process monthly per store? How many vehicles do you sell on a monthly basis?
Factor the time you spend filing and searching for documents. We recommend starting with one area of the dealership and then building from that once they have a document scanning process in place. For example, start with your service department, then add accounting after six months, and so on until your documentation for the entire dealership has been converted digitally.
- What’s your current process for storing documents? Do you use an off-site storage facility?
Office floor space in your dealership is hard to come by. Off-site storage can get expensive and result in more time traveling to and from to find documentation. Consider the costs and time related to storing your paper files (whether on site or off) and locating them vs. implementing a scanning solution.
- Will you be back scanning?
You may want to consider if you will be back scanning previous documents. If so, how far back will you back scan. You should collectively consider if it’s worth it to scan past documents. You might want to scan everything from the previous six months or the current calendar year. Or you can scan a specific type of files that are accessed most frequently. We recommend starting with scanning the documents you use most frequently. Start small and build a more manageable process.
- Who will handle the scanning?
Decide your preferred document management process from prep to completion. Consider how many scan stations you will have. Determine who within your dealership will do the scanning and if you need to have a dedicated prep person to take documents out of folders, remove staples and binding, unfold pages and tape smaller pieces to pages. With clear roles and a detailed workflow, your document scanning and management will be more successful.
- Is there a document disaster recovery plan?
Ensure the scanning vendor has a data security plan. In the event of a fire, flood, or other natural disaster, does your dealership have a method to retrieve files? Documents getting ruined or lost by a natural occurrence, even as simple as a flood, happens more often than you think. According to a study conducted by Eastern Kentucky University Department of Safety, Security and Emergency Management, 1 in 3 small businesses have been affected by a storm or extreme weather. This could drastically impact your dealership’s future. Document scanning and data archiving minimizes lost data and time, guaranteeing you have a back up to critical financial and customer information.