/ Article Best Document Scanner for a Small Office

By Kara Rayburn, Global Manager, Portfolio Marketing & Web

Assess your scanning needs and review your options to find the best document scanner for your small office.

With hundreds of document scanners available, finding the perfect fit for your desk can feel overwhelming. But this wide array of options means that the perfect document scanner for your small office is out there, and likely at a more affordable price than what you might have paid a decade ago.

You might be surprised to see how compact many modern document scanners are if you’re updating from a much older document scanner. Small document scanners can fit on a desk and handle thousands of papers a day, while also digitizing them and saving them on the cloud.

Still, plenty of document scanner options exist, and before you pick one, you want to make sure you’re finding the best scanner for your small office.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a Scanner

Rather than parse through dozens of different document scanner options, start by eliminating the scanners that don’t meet your needs.

Narrow down potential document scanners based on:

  • Volume
  • The expected amount of daily use
  • The size of your office
  • Budget
  • Desired integrations

To get a better idea of which scanner might be best for you, consider the following questions.

What Are You Scanning?

From digitizing existing files to safely storing pertinent client information, your office could have various reasons for needing a new document scanner. No two offices are the same, and the workload you’re expecting to place on your document scanner could be wildly different from that of any other business.

For example, one business may be scanning passports and securely storing the copies online. Another, like the Maverick Group, might be using document scanners to digitize books of information. This would require a powerful flatbed scanner, such as the Kodak i2900.

Another business may not need a flatbed scanner at all. When the Oklahoma State University Registrar's office needed to digitally store decades’ worth of documents, a user-friendly, high-volume scanner was clearly needed.

The solution for OSU was the Alaris S2070 Scanner, capable of scanning up to 70 pages per minute.

How Often Are You Scanning?

Paying for a scanner that goes far beyond your needs may not be worth it, but settling for a less-than-effective document scanner won’t solve any problems either.

So, if your office only needs to use a scanner a few times a day, purchasing a heavy-duty document scanner might not be the best investment.

At the same time, document-heavy operations may need to scan thousands of papers a day. Finding a scanner that can handle that type of workload is critical — that is, unless your business is planning on purchasing multiple document scanners for the task.

How Much Are You Scanning?

You might not be scanning thousands of documents each day, but maybe your business needs a scanner that can handle hundreds of documents in just minutes.

Take customer onboarding as an example. Customer onboarding done quickly and correctly is increasingly important, as 76% of customers have found that taking their business elsewhere is easier than ever.

A renowned Sri Lankan leasing company recognized this and knew that finding a document scanner that could handle onboarding quickly and effectively was critical. For the leasing company, onboarding meant handling the paperwork of over 200,000 customers. They needed to find a way to streamline this process to keep up with the nearly nonstop document scanning.

Getting document scanners that handle massive amounts of paperwork in just minutes may be the only way to speed up onboarding. Businesses in other fields may also find that completing bulk orders quickly is more important than scanning documents at a slower pace throughout the day.

Types of Scanners Available

You should have a better idea of your office’s scanning needs now, but you still need to be aware of the different types of document scanners available before you can make a choice.

Document scanners are often grouped into three types:

Desktop Scanners

The smallest type of scanner available, desktop scanners should fit comfortably on most desks while allowing open space for computers.

The small size of desktop scanners doesn’t stop them from handling mighty workloads. All of Alaris’s small desktop scanners integrate well with our software and will help with streamlining the document storage process. Accessories are also available for document scanners to add other functions such as network connectivity and passport or small document flat beds.

In general, these small document scanners are recommended for small to mid-sized businesses.

Departmental Scanners

Larger than desktop scanners, departmental scanners are heavy-duty scanners that are meant to run all day long and handle large workloads. While they can fit on desks, they take up more space than desktop scanners.

All of Alaris’s departmental scanners are designed to integrate well with various applications, have the latest in document handling technology, and each comes prepared with Perfect Page technology, a function that can scan documents at a higher quality than the original.

Departmental scanners are typically used in departments that require high-volume scanning, such as law firms and insurance agencies.

Production Scanners

Capable of scanning up to 210 pages per minute and 150,000 documents per day, production scanners are as powerful as they come. These large scanners are ideal for big offices with heavy workloads, including back offices and government bureaus.

While production scanners are useful, small offices are unlikely to have space for one of these powerful scanners.

Reasons to Choose a Desktop Scanner for a Small Office

Of the three types of document scanners available, most small offices will probably find that a desktop scanner is perfect for their needs. These reliable machines don’t take up much space and are capable of handling impressive workloads.

Of course, size and reliability aren’t the only advantages offered by desktop scanners.

Software Integration

The small size of desktop scanners doesn’t limit their ability to integrate with technology.

One such technology is Alaris’s Smart Touch which is available with almost all scanners from Alaris. This software allows users to preconfigure scanning options, so documents can be scanned and stored to a specific location with the touch of a button.

Other customizations offered through Smart Touch include:

  • Attaching the document to an email and sending it
  • Converting the file to a specific file type (JPEG, TIFF, PDF, and more)
  • Uploading documents to Evernote, Google Drive, Microsoft Office, and more

For more advanced requirements, Alaris Capture Pro Software can index your critical data and send smarter information to content management systems and business applications to streamline your workflows and processes.

  • Take data from paper documents and multiple sources and route them to wherever you need them to go
  • Smart features like Intelligent Exception Handling, advanced indexing, and expert extraction get information into business processes faster

> See how one agency scanned their documents and integrate with SharePoint.

Ease of Use

Desktop scanners are designed for ease of use. Small and easily portable, they can easily be moved to areas of the office that need a high-volume scanner. Desktop scanners are also equipped with an automatic document feeder, so supervising the scanning process isn’t necessary.

Flexibility is also a focus in the design of desktop scanners. Scanners can be customized to fit different users, and most desktop scanners are quiet enough that they can be used in busy workspaces without disturbing coworkers.

Going Paperless

While paper will always play a role in small offices, keeping stacks of paper is an inefficient way to store information. Not only does paper take up physical space, but looking for information through stacks of paper is time-consuming.

With desktop scanners from Alaris, businesses can start making the shift to a paperless workplace. Scanners with integrated tech will digitize scanned files, storing them in safe locations. This makes most — if not all — original paper copies obsolete.

Other benefits of going paperless with an Alaris scanner include:

  • Saving on paper costs: Paper isn’t horribly expensive, but when businesses deal with thousands of pages on a weekly or even daily basis, the costs can add up. Moving away from paper helps keep these costs in check.
  • Faster data sharing: Once a file is digitized, anyone with access can see it. A digitized document can be viewed by multiple people at once from any device, whereas a paper version would need to be copied and physically delivered.
  • Better organization: Instead of using complicated filing cabinets, digitized information is organized however you see fit. Locating and moving digital files is also easier than doing so in person.
  • Safer information storage: While hackers can frighten even the most tech-friendly businesses, storing information digitally is

Finding the Perfect Scanner

While the Alaris E1000 Series scanners are designed for small office spaces, some offices may find that their volume requires a different model. For example, a small office that doesn’t process much paper may find the highly portable ScanMate i940 Scanner to be a smarter choice. For an office that needs more image processing power or network connectivity the S2000 Series might be the right fit. If a flatbed scanner is required, then perhaps the Kodak i2900 Scanner is a better option.

After learning more about scanners for small offices, you could also be under the impression that your office isn’t as small as you thought it was! Scanners for every type of business are available, and with a little research, you’ll be able to find the perfect solution for your office.

> Learn more about choosing the best scanner for your office. 

Related solutions

Alaris E-1025 Desktop Scanner

E1025 Scanner

  • Up to 25 ppm color/b&w
  • Scan with ease, thanks to intuitive controls and simplified set-up
  • Fits nicely anywhere with approachable, compact design
  • One-button simplicity via Alaris Smart Touch technology
Alaris E-1035 Scanner

E1035 Scanner

  • Up to 35 ppm color/b&w
  • Power on and start scanning in less than 10 seconds
  • Scan more documents at once with largest feeder capacity in its class
  • One-button simplicity via Alaris Smart Touch technology
Kodak Alaris s2050/2070 Desktop Scanner

S2050 Scanner

  • High quality images at up to 50 ppm color/b&w
  • Embedded image processing and excellent paper handling
  • One touch scanning to multiple applications
Kodak Alaris s2080 Desktop Scanner

S2060w Scanner

  • Up to 60 ppm color/b&w
  • Adds network and wireless capability for multiuser support
  • Personalized destinations with large, color touch screen

Contact

Alaris Information Management products, services and support are available worldwide and sold through resellers. 

To find a reseller in your area, call us at 1-800-944-6171 or complete our information request form below and a reseller will get in touch with you soon.

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