Best Practice Question about Adding Files to a Document

Hello,

I’m trying to figure what the best approach is for our situation. We keep several paper copies of our Invoices. They are physically stored separately by Invoice Number, Serial Number, and Customer Name. We have 80 years worth of Invoices that we want to digitize. We will be creating a Metadata fields for the Invoice Number, Serial Number, and Customer Name to go with each Document.

As we go through the process of digitizing each Invoice, we will miss some paper copies that should be digitized together. That means they will be scanned at a later date, as they are found.

Should we make these later scans separate Documents that have the same Metadata Field Information as previous scans? Or should we append these as files to the existing Document?

  1. Which approach will ensure all the Documents are found during a search on the Metadata Field?
  2. Will making them separate documents add a layer of complexity to managing them?
  3. What other concerns should we be thinking about in regards to these approaches?
  4. Is there a third approach, that I have not thought of?

Thanks,
Daniel

Hi Daniel,

from Mayan’s point of view a document is the central business unit. Tags, document type, metadata, workflows, permissions, smart links, comments, etc are always attached to a single document unit to describe it - these cannot be applied to files or versions inside.

So the main question to ask yourself is: do you need to have one of those functions get applied to your single files, that you are digitalizing afterwards? If yes, then you have to use separate documents for each file. If not, then you can join them together in a single document body in case of having identical metadata, tags, workflows, and invoice document type.

Which approach will ensure all the Documents are found during a search on the Metadata Field?

I think both of them. I couldn’t think of any problems not finding them. When using separate documents you could add Smartlinks tying them together by a metadata field. So you can quickly find related documents by following the smart link.

Will making them separate documents add a layer of complexity to managing them?

Maybe. You have to maintain data for each document - in your case some of the data could be identical for related documents.

What other concerns should we be thinking about in regards to these approaches?

Not really a concern: by default, Mayan shows the latest file added of the document as preview. So when adding a file to a document afterwards, you have to know that there is still another file present while seeing maybe the preview of the latest added serial sheet first.

While not having detailled information about your situation, my feeling is that digitalizing them as multiple files inside the body of one document sounds reasonable. Maybe you could digitalize some samples of each case in the same way you would in production and validate every process of searching and maintaining for everyone working with it before … well… adding 80 years of invoices :face_with_monocle:

Torsten

1 Like

Thank you Torsten for that detailed response.

I was already leaning towards having multiple files in one document. Having your input makes me more confident in that approach.

Right now I have a test instance of Mayan up and running to do exactly as you suggested, play around with samples and see what seems to work.

I agree, I want to know this works, before we commit to this big project!

Thanks,
Daniel

What you also could do is to let Mayan build an index to find documents even more comfortable on different levels:

For invoices basic metadata fields like

  • customer number
  • invoice date (automatically creates year/month Index)
  • serial number
  • project
  • cost center/product category

could make sense.

Torsten

Yes, those indexes are a good idea. I’ve already setup a couple of them.