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Recently, a Record Manager at a school district asked me if she had to purge all non-required documents from the district’s files before she scanned them.

She was concerned that purging files in preparation for scanning is a time-consuming task that takes her away from more important objectives.

Luckily, the answer to her question is an emphatic “No!”

Her state’s requirements dictated only which records have to be kept in a permanent record. There is no particular stipulation on keeping additional records that aren’t deemed as mandatory. While many of the documents in the files were not permanent records, it posed no liability risk to the school district to scan and retain every form, regardless of its disposition.

Here are some questions you can ask to help determine comparative costs to consider when deciding whether purging is a cost saving proposition for your organization:

Information Needed:

  1. How many pages can you or your staff purge per hour? Do a test! 
  2. What is the fully burdened cost per hour of your purging staff?
  3. What is your cost per page to purge the files?
  4. What is your cost per page to scan the files?
  5. Do you have the time to do the purging? If not, can you afford to hire extra staff?

Some Sample Purging Cost Numbers (100 to 150 pages per hour is the average efficiency for most purging projects):

  • Purging 100 pages per hour X $20 labor rate = $20 Cost per 100 pages purged – $0.20 per page
  • Purging 150 pages per hour X $20 labor rate = $15 Cost per 100 pages purged – $0.13 per page

What is Your Scanning Cost per Page?

Typical cost range for the vast majority of scanning projects at CASO is $0.08 per page to $0.15 per page.

The Cost versus Value Decision:

Storage costs on computer systems continue to decrease significantly. The cost per page for scanning your documents is often markedly lower than the cost per page of purging.

If your purging cost is higher than your scanning cost, then you should carefully consider whether or not to continue purging your files. Utilizing your staff’s time in the most efficient manner is the best method for ensuring maximum value and return on investment in your record conversion strategies.


*Please note:

Your organization may have other requirements related to purging of files. Please follow all Federal and State requirements and your organization’s guidelines when developing your purging strategies.

Contact us for help:
If you would like to learn more about record scanning or the record protection strategies that we have developed for our clients please give us a call or email us, we will be glad to help you.

CASO Document Management
(888) 388-2276

CASO Document Management