Reducing costs is one of the main goals of a trust institution when implementing a document imaging system. But, how to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) you’ll achieve takes some thought and research. A document imaging system provides software for scanning, indexing, retrieving and archiving images of documents and electronic files. It covers more than just the cost of the paper – there are hard dollar savings and soft dollar savings you should consider.
The range of hard dollar savings can be projected based on the scope of your intended project. Will you be transferring existing files to the new system or just going forward from a point in time? The costs of paper, ink, file cabinets, mailing and faxing are determined by the volume of documents. Are you replacing another storage solution that has maintenance and equipment costs? Do you pay for off-site storage? Can headcount be reduced if document printing, filing and retrieval are eliminated?
Soft dollar savings also are achieved through document imaging, but it takes a bit more effort to monetize it. Lost time that employees spend searching for, retrieving and returning paper documents to central files yields savings based on salary and missed opportunities. Administrative functions like copying, filing and reproducing misplaced documents will be reduced. Time and costs are associated with visiting an off-site facility to store or retrieve files. The cost of real estate is gained by reclaiming floor space used for file cabinets. Reducing the risk of a negative audit assessment and potential penalty is another hidden savings.
Institutions that make the jump to a document imaging solution will see positive ROI when comparing these real savings to vendor licensing and equipment costs, especially after the first year.