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Pricing up Document Scanning Requirements

If you've started researching document scanning, then one of the first questions to be asked is "How much does document scanning cost?"

It's an obvious question to ask and one that might make or break the case for going ahead with a scanning project. Price isn't everything, but it's certainly high on the list for most organisations.

In a world of internet shopping and click and collect style checkouts it may be a surprise to some that you can't just get a price and buy document scanning online. There are several reasons for this, and it's for these reasons that document scanning costs generally aren't published online. These reasons include:


  • Condition of Documents: Document condition varies from document to document. "Fresh from the printer" A4 paper is easy and fast to scan, this keeps costs down. It's also easy to prepare and again this keeps costs down. Documents that are unusual sizes, crumpled, damaged, irregular, dirty or overly thick generally prove to be slower and more difficult to scan. Additional time on the scanner or in preparation means costs increase. As you can see from this, without first seeing the documents (or at least gaining a very honest description of them) it would be almost impossible to determine costs accurately.



  • Volume: The number of documents you have will most likely affect the cost of scanning. There are costs associated with initial job setup that must be accounted for when pricing up document scanning. These costs can be easily spread across a larger job and will go almost unnoticed. For a smaller job, the costs are still there so can mean a smaller job looks a little more expensive than expected. Like any industry, economies of scale help make a larger volume of work more attractive cost wise.


  • Logistics: Collecting, returning and destruction of documents all takes time and costs money. Collecting a small job from a long distance will incur greater costs than a large scanning job centrally located.


  • Indexing: Indexing of files is totally dependent on the customers' needs. To index your files simply on the file title alone is quick and simple - it keeps costs right down. Some customers want detailed indexing perhaps on file title, surname, date of birth, department etc. Detailed indexing takes significantly longer than simply indexing on file title and with this increased time and effort comes additional cost.


  • OCR: Optical Character Recognition is a process where sophisticated software analyses each document and extracts the text from it. This makes the documents fully searchable. It's a popular and very useful option but good OCR software is expensive and is time consuming. Once again this adds cost which is volume dependant.


As you can see from the above, giving an accurate estimation for the cost to scan documents is far from straightforward. It's certainly not a click and buy service from a website. We advise caution when receiving "too good to be true" quotations for document scanning. These nearly always prove to be too low and could be described as a "honey trap". This means the bill at the end of the job is nothing like the original quotation.


Contact us today to arrange a quote for your document scanning requirements:

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