Throughout the 20th century, microfilm was one of the most popular ways for businesses to store vast amounts of information.
Whether it was vital company documents, newspapers, or even books and manuals, microfilm provided a compact and efficient way to put those records into a single place, file them, and have access to them whenever necessary.
As technology progressed and digital documents became more available, microfilm could no longer keep up in terms of convenience and security.
But because some companies have accumulated so much information on microfilm, transferring it to digital form can seem like a big hassle that might not even be worth it.
So, should your company use microfilm scanning services to transfer all of the documents into a digital format?
Let’s explore some of the benefits so that you have an easier time making the decision.
Faster Document Retrieval
No matter what type of business you might run, employee productivity is probably one of your top priorities. However, when it comes to microfilm, retrieving documents can be one of the least-productive things your team will have to do.
They’d have to go into the storage room where the microfilm documents are kept, figure out where the specific piece of information they are looking for can be found, and then set everything up so that they can view it.
Meanwhile, if you use bulk document scanning services, you don’t have to worry about how long it will take to retrieve the documents.
Once the microfilm is scanned, your services provider will also help you set up an effective document management system, which will forever eliminate the need to look for and retrieve documents manually.
The newly-digitized files will be tagged according to your preferences, and your team will be able to search for documents in a convenient digital system, retrieving anything they might need in mere seconds.
In fact, in some cases, they might even be able to search based on specific words or phrases, which can be incredibly valuable in situations where they need to reference something specific.
Free Up Space
Even though microfilm is relatively compact, it still takes space to store it securely. And when you’ve got thousands of documents, the storage needs can become quite excessive.
And that means not only the inconvenience of having to maintain a storage room or section of your office month after month. It also means the high costs of paying for storage, which could be eliminated entirely if you didn’t have to use microfilm.
And that’s another reason why microfilm scanning services can be very beneficial.
You could probably think of at least a few ways in which you can use the freed-up space, expanding the room for your employees to work with, adding a new conference room, or simply storing something else.
What’s more, when you look at it from the perspective of how much it costs you to maintain the microfilm storage room, you can look at outsourcing the microfilm scanning process as an investment rather than a cost.
Sure, you would have to invest up front, but you would be enjoying the savings from it for many years to come. Not just in terms of storage space but also because of the aforementioned employee productivity boost.
Preserve Important Documents
Deterioration is one of the biggest dangers of storing microfilm documents. Sure, microfilm is one of the most durable and long-lasting storage methods, but it still deteriorates over the years, and you are at risk of losing the valuable information contained in them eventually.
What’s more, no matter how strict your storage security, there’s always a chance of something going wrong. A fire, water damage, or even mold can all quickly destroy the entire collection, making it almost impossible to recover the microfilm’s contents.
Therefore, now is the best time to invest in bulk document scanning services to digitize your entire microfilm collection. Every month or year you delay it, you increase the risk of something going wrong and causing irreversible damage.
Meanwhile, once the microfilm is digitized, you will never have to worry about losing it again.
All of your documents will be safely stored on a hard drive or in the cloud, where they can be backed up to ensure that even if one copy were to disappear, there would always be another.
Just as with any physical document storage, security is a top priority. And that means not only protecting the documents from damage but also preventing unauthorized access.
Unfortunately, implementing document security measures is a challenge when dealing with microfilm because controlling every instance when someone accesses the database is a big hassle.
Sure, you can establish a log system and control who can enter, but things can still get misplaced or even lost. And the sensitive information contained on the microfilm could be compromised.
Luckily, you don’t have to deal with any of that if you digitize your microfilm collection.
Your digitization services provider will not only handle the entire project but will also provide you with a robust and convenient document management solution.
Each document will be digitized, tagged, and logged into the system, where it will be easy to access for authorized personnel, just as we discussed previously.
But it also means that those without access won’t have the opportunity to open the files, ensuring that your company’s sensitive information remains private.
What’s more, digital files can be backed up, so you won’t risk them disappearing. They will always be just a quick search away, and your entire team will enjoy the benefits of a safer, more convenient, and simpler way of accessing files, blueprints, and everything else you might need.
Getting microfilm digitized is something that most companies try to postpone for as long as possible. But while the project does take a commitment, the benefits it can offer far outweigh any challenges that might need to be overcome.
The improved efficiency, better security, and freed up office space alone are very compelling arguments to make the jump. But the switch to a digital database will come with many more benefits that will help any company for years to come.
Brandon Harris is the vice president of Smooth Solutions founded by his father Michael Harris, who has been a pioneer in document scanning industry for over 35 years. A leading Document Scanning Company in Lodi, N.J., they are experts in providing bulk document digitisation services, document management software, workflow management software, affordable book scanning services and Convert Microfilm to Digital. They scan paper files, large format drawings, digitize books, convert microfilm to digital, etc. Prior to that, Brandon owned and operated a small bakery. Other than working to grow and improve his business, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and family.