There was a time when microfilm, microfiche, and aperture cards were the best choice for archiving your documents. They provide a long-lasting means of document storage and take up less space than paper, however, the ongoing indefinite equipment, maintenance, and printing costs, significant time costs needed to access and search for the documents you need, as well as the physical space costs needed to store everything, can’t compare to the lower, one-time cost of digitization.
The benefits of digital document conversion, also known as digitization, are growing more immediate than ever before, especially as hard drive space and cloud-based storage has become much less expensive. If you are at the point where you are wondering if it might be time to convert your old microfilm, microfiche, and aperture card documents into digital files, here are a few things to think about.
- Equipment and Maintenance Costs
- Microfilm, microfiche, and aperture card readers or reader/printers may not quite be the unwieldy boxes as much as they used to be, but searching through microforms still requires additional hardware for this specific use. With that comes the never-ending cost of maintaining and replacing that hardware.
- The digital solution: Viewing digital files on a computer, tablet, or phone still requires hardware, but that hardware is used for so many things other than microforms, that the related upkeep and maintenance costs for these uses overall is minimal. Viewing or sharing digital files is one of the most basic functions of any computer or smart device, and does not require expensive or difficult-to-use software or special hardware.
- Printing, Accessibility, and Searchability Costs
- The cost of printing microforms may not be high when printing just one or two copies. However, costs can quickly add up with frequent printing, not to mention printer maintenance, postage costs if documents need to be mailed, and the never-ending cost of printer ink.
- The digital solution: The beauty of having digital files is that they can be immediately searchable, viewable, and shareable. While they may still need to be printed sometimes depending on the situation, they can also be instantaneously shared electronically via email or cloud-storage sharing options, so the same document can be viewed by different people in the same or different location simultaneously without having to print a single piece of paper.
- Physical Space Costs
- A single roll of microfilm may not take up a lot of space, but most organizations are operating with many rolls of microfilm. Physical document storage usually requires a significant space commitment. Even with the most diligent and mistake-free filing systems, searching through physical storage for a single document takes up a lot of someone’s or multiple people’s valuable time.
- The digital solution: When Microtek scans and digitizes your microfilm, microfiche, and aperture card documents, they can be named and stored electronically, customized to your specifications and however is best for you so you can find things quickly. This means a storage room full of filing cabinets can be reduced to a USB flash drive, or hosted on a cloud-based storage solution, so your documents can be retrieved with minimal typing and at the click of a mouse. The tremendous time and space saved is unparalleled.
In the end, the simple truth is that the continued use of microfilm, microfiche, and aperture cards also means the continued costs of their management, retrieval, and maintenance of related equipment, as well as all the time those tasks demand. While there is an upfront financial commitment to digital document conversion, the end result compared to indefinite expenses of microfilm, microfiche, and aperture cards is not only less on cost, labor, and time, but also increased ease of use and immediacy of finding documents you need when you need them.
We want to show you how Microtek’s almost 50 years of experience can help with your hassle-free digital document conversion experience! All of our work is guaranteed! If you have any questions, would like any additional information, or would like a free and no obligation consultation and estimate, please don’t hesitate to call us at 314-872-3322 or 800-264-2808 and ask for Aaron Liess or Mark Sandheinrich, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!