The thinking that ‘it is cheaper to store paper records than it is to scan them’ is misguided, simplistic, and just plain wrong. As our study shows, the comparative hard costs of scanning and storing are close enough to consider the choice, and give weight to the digital advantages of scanning. Most firms today are looking to reduce the costs of paper records storage, and this study’s findings provide a framework to quantify your paper storage costs, and consider the digital options.
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DocSolid worked with Records and Technology executives (the Working Group) from nine large law firms, to quantify the full cost of records storage, to bring the storage cost and contents model down to the box level, and to compare a production scanning operation that would substantially eliminate the flow of paper to offsite records storage. DocSolid called this a ‘Common Sensium’ to distinguish the project from an academic study with a definitive finding. Instead, this study developed a framework to guide a firm through its own analysis of the topic. There are variables and estimates in the data templates employed, and the soft benefit considerations are as important as the hard cost conclusions. Yet the study succeeds in establishing a usable decision framework for any firm to apply to its own unique data and situations.