How to Create an RFP for Document Scanning Services

5 min read
February 15, 2023

Table of contents

Creating an RFP for document scanning services is a great way to ensure that you get the best value for your money when selecting a document scanning company. By taking the time to create and issue an RFP, you can compare different companies offerings in terms of price, quality, and turnaround times. This will allow you to make an informed decision on which company is right for your project and give you peace of mind knowing that you have chosen the most cost-effective option.

Furthermore, issuing an RFP allows all potential vendors the same opportunity to bid on your project, ensuring fairness among those competing for it. In short, creating an RFP is one of the smartest moves any organization can make when outsourcing their document scanning needs.

Who should rely on an RFP for document scanning services?

Organizations of all sizes and types can benefit from using an RFP for document scanning services. Whether you are a mid-size business, educational institution, healthcare provider, government agency or a large corporation, creating an RFP to solicit bids on document scanning services is the best way to ensure you get the most competitive rates and quality of service.

An RFP allows organizations to compare different vendors' offerings in terms of price, turnaround times, and quality assurance processes so they can select the right partner for their needs.

By taking the time to create an RFP for document scanning services, organizations will be able to make sure that they are getting the most value out of their investment while ensuring fairness among those competing for it.

State your objective

When creating an RFP for document scanning services, it is important to state the objective of your project clearly. This should include what you hope to achieve with the scanning process, such as digitizing paper documents, streamlining document management processes, or reducing storage costs.

Additionally, any driving factors behind the RFP should be stated in order to provide a clear understanding of why this project needs to be completed and what end goal is being sought.

By providing this information upfront in your RFP, vendors will have all the necessary information needed in order to submit competitive bids that meet all of your requirements.

Define the Scope of Work

When creating an RFP for document scanning services, it is important to clearly define the scope of work in order to ensure that all vendors have a clear understanding of what project they are bidding on and what will be required from them.

The RFP should include details such as types of documents, volume, indexing requirements, security requirements, and any other specifications necessary for the successful completion of the project.

This information will allow vendors to determine if they can meet your needs and provide you with an accurate quote.

Additionally, by providing this upfront information in the RFP you can avoid confusion down the line when selecting a provider and help ensure that all bids are comparable so that you can make an informed decision about which vendor is right for your document scanning needs.

Items to consider in your scope of work include:

  • Where the scanning work will be conducted (onsite or offsite)
  • Your expectations around transportation and packaging of the records
  • What is required for document preparation
  • If the documents need to be placed back in their original folders after scanning or not
  • The file format of the scanned images (i.e. PDF, PDF/A, TIFF)
  • The color mode (i.e. black & white, greyscale or color)
  • Estimated percentage of double-sided documents
  • Whether blank pages should be kept in or removed
  • Do you require images to be rotated to be right-reading
  • Do you require OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
  • How the documents need to be indexed
  • How the images should be delivered (i.e. electronic delivery, external hard drives, etc.)
  • The frequency of pick-ups and deliveries
  • Whether these images will be imported to a document management system or not and any requirements around that system
  • Do the files contain large format documents/drawings, typically considered anything larger than 11x17? If so, what is the breakdown of regular documents and large format documents?

Proposal Submission Instructions

It is important to clearly define how vendors should submit their proposals, timelines, and other related information.

The RFP should include detailed instructions on how vendors should submit their bids, such as the delivery format (electronic, mailed in sealed envelopes, etc.), the deadline for receipt of bids, and any other important information.

Include Key Contacts & Questions and Answers

In your RFP for document scanning services, it is important to identify the key contacts vendors can contact with any questions they may have. Providing a single point of contact will help ensure that all vendors receive consistent answers to their questions and that no one vendor has an advantage over another.

Additionally, you should make sure to clearly state in the RFP that all questions and answers will be documented and shared with all participating vendors in order to maintain fairness throughout the RFP process. This will help ensure there are no misunderstandings or confusion between vendors during the RFP process and can help provide clarity on project requirements. 

By providing this information, you can keep the process fair and streamlined by ensuring all parties understand the requirements.

Site Visit

The RFP should provide an opportunity for vendors to come to your office and survey the documents. This should be done with all vendors present to ensure fairness in the RFP process. Vendors should be allowed enough time to inspect the documents, ask questions related to specific document characteristics and inform their bids accordingly.

Proposal Format

The RFP should also provide an outline of the structure of the proposals that vendors will be submitting so that it is easy to compare each vendor's bid against one another.

Commonly, document scanning RFPs will be structured as such:

  • A cover page
  • Executive summary
  • Vendor profile
  • Project approach and methodology, including details on their document scanning process
  • Security overview
  • Project team
  • Project schedule
  • References
  • Fee summary
  • Additional data the vendor may deem essential.

Document Scanning Pricing Table

A well-structured RFP should include a pricing table for vendors to fill in. This allows you to easily compare bids between vendors and see which offers the best value for your document scanning needs.

The pricing table should include the following:

  • The cost of scanning each document with separate pricing options for different requirements (i.e. price to scan documents in black and white vs. color, or standard documents vs. scanning large format documents)
  • Transportation and handling fees
  • Document preparation fees
  • Document destruction/shredding (if required)
  • Electronic data transfer
  • The cost to OCR the documents
  • Any other costs not noted above.

Evaluation Criteria

When creating an RFP for document scanning services, it is important to define the criteria that vendors will be evaluated against clearly. The RFP should provide an overview of how proposals will be evaluated and measured against one another. This should include specific criteria such as cost, quality of service, accuracy and completeness of document scanning, turnaround times, relevant experience, etc.

Different requirements should be given different weights, and that needs to be made clear to potential vendors.

General Terms and Conditions

Finally, the RFP should include your organization's general terms and conditions to satisfy accounting, HR, and legal requirements. This should include information such as the warranty period for services rendered, any applicable taxes, insurance requirements, data security measures to be taken by the vendor, and detailed information regarding intellectual property rights.


RFPs are an essential part of the document scanning process, as they allow vendors to clearly understand your project requirements and provide them with detailed information on how their proposals will be evaluated.

By providing a comprehensive RFP that includes all necessary criteria such as cost, quality of service, accuracy and completeness of document scanning, turnaround times, relevant experience etc., you can ensure that you’re getting the best value for your organization's needs.

If you're looking for help in finding qualified document imaging companies to partner with, DocCapture is here to help!

Our team has pre-vetted some of the best providers out there, so we can connect you with reliable partners who offer top-notch services at competitive prices.

Contact us today and let us know what kind of document scanning solutions fit your organization's needs!

Looking to scan your documents? Let's get you a quote!