Why Imprint Documents?

This is a question we ask our customers when choosing scanning hardware for their Enterprise Content Management solutions.  It is easily overlooked when reviewing the specifications of a scanner, as it is a separate hardware purchase and generally is a business process requirement not a scanner specification requirement.

When there is a need to “imprint” or “stamp” a scanned document, it is required to have the date of the scan on each and every page that is processed. This requirement usually is used for tracking purposes or compliance to show that the document was scanned.

Do you Pre or Post-Scan Imprint?
Pre-Scan imprinting is the most common option that allows the organization to have the stamp on both the physical paper copy and the scan. The pre-scan imprint will print on the document PRIOR to the image reaching the scanners imaging lamps.  So the imprint stamp will also be a part of the scan image.

Post-Scan imprinting is generally utilized when an organization needs the data or tracking mechanism on the physical paper after the scan. This is mostly used to indicate if a page of paper has been processed or not.  The stamp is NOT on the scanned image.

Can I automatically imprint on a flatbed scanned documents?
Keep in mind when purchasing a scanner with a flatbed – either integrated with the scanner or as a detachable USB connected flatbed – there is no automatic imprinting option for the documents scanned using a flatbed.  Flatbed scanned documents will need to be manually stamped to meet requirements – either pre-scan or post-scan.

Another option for imprinting is “Software Annotation”…
If only a data or tracking on the scanned image is needed, software annotation could be considered.  With software annotation you have greater flexibility on where the imprint data can be placed on the image. Keep in mind software annotation needs to be part of your batch scanning process and is a separate software purchase to your hardware scanner.

So keep this information in mind when considering what is the “best fit” for imprinting based on your business process AND scanner requirements.
Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource,Inc.  

Yes, You Need Maintenance on Your Scanner

As budgets get tighter it’s inevitable that the need for hardware maintenance will come into question. It’s like insurance in your own personal life; nobody likes to pay for it but you definitely dont want to get caught without it.

If your equipment is mission critical, you need to keep it covered under a service contract.
If you don’t have the budget to replace it immediately, you need a service contract.
If you are unsure what model it would  be replaced by or where or how to get it you should definately maintain your service contract.

There does come a point in time when it is more practical to put those renewal dollars towards a replacement.  If you’re working with a good company such as ImageSource we will let you know at renewal time that you should be planning for your replacement either this year or the year after. We can help you select a model and also review compatibility.

Upgrades can be tricked and can trigger software upgrades at the sametime, these are best planned for rather than inadvertenly discovered.

If you need assistance planning, renewing or replacing your scanner please give us a call.
Thank you for your time!

Ruben Kerson
Inside Sales Manager
ImageSource Inc.

The Power of Partnerships

Working with other companies and their staff to deliver a product and service to a customer can be an enlightening experience.  I have recently been working with 4 of the top leading scanner manufacturer partners to assist a healthcare customer with their distributed capture initiative-with the evaluation and the purchase of 160 desktop scanners for capturing patient intake information.

The customer evaluated the 4 manufacturers’ desktop scanners. A number of factors influenced the healthcare customer on their decision to work with ImageSource and to purchase the following scanner evaluated:

  • The ease of use of the scanner equipment and software
  • Availability of the manufacturer’s sales person and sales engineer to be on-site to install the scanner, the numerous conference calls to answer questions that unfolded due to the testing of the scanner and every question was treated with utmost importance.
  • The attention to detail by both ImageSource and manufacturer to modify the demonstration of  the scanner and that the scanner software solved a number of their various documentation challenges (for example – the patient intake documentation varies is size, thickness and also includes plastic cards)
  • The high level of thorough communication between ImageSource and manufacturer (In the customer’s eyes it seemed they were working with one company, not two!)

The greatest learning experience and also the most important factor that made this a stress-free process was the level of trust that was initiated, grown and experienced by all parties involved;

  • From the customer perspective: Working with two teams from different companies- it did not matter who they called (whether it be ImageSource or the manufacturer), they received the same high level of service from both companies. Both companies kept each other informed of the conversations etc. they had with the healthcare customer, therefore alleviating any miscommunications or misunderstandings.
  • From the Reseller vendor (ImageSource) perspective: The high level of communication and interaction with the manufacturer’s sales team created a streamlined cohesive focus to ensure the customer received what they REALLY required from a scanner.
  • From the Manufacturer perspective: Being able to rely on a vendor partner that has the knowledge, expertise in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and initiative to go the extra step – to focus on how to solve the customer’s challenges, not just sell a scanner. It gave us the manufacturer room to really excel in presenting how the scanner and software was the solution to the customer’s challenges.

It is refreshing to experience this unique partnership among the customer, vendor and manufacturer. And I know from all involved, that it set the stage for a high level of expectation in the future opportunities to do business together. This experience reminds me of this quote I saw recently:

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Is your scanner ready for Windows 7?

I am quickly discovering that many of the scanners I sold a few years ago are not Windows 7 compliant. If your scanner connects via Fire wire, SCSI or Kofax Adrenaline board, there is a good chance that there is a new scanner in your future. The good news is that the speeds and feeds you paid for originally can now be obtained for a lower price. If you would like to refresh your technology, give us a call for a review to ensure you will not get stuck.

Ruben Kerson
Inside Sales Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

What value does Virtual ReScan Software (VRS) provide with my scanner?

When purchasing a scanner for document imaging, software is bundled with the scanner that automatically examines documents and applies the correct settings to deliver high quality scanned images. Or in simple terms – it enables image clean-up and clarity to occur automatically at the point of scanning the document.  This software SAVES a great deal of TIME and is EASY to use…This little piece of magical software is called Virtual ReScan or VRS.

Many scanner manufacturers include the Kofax VRS software in the scanner purchase price. Fujitsu includes Kofax VRS Professional software with their scanners and Panasonic includes the latest version of Kofax VRS called Kofax VRS Elite bundled with their scanners.  Other manufacturers do offer the software at an additional cost (Canon, Kodak etc.).

Some of the features in Kofax VRS Elite software:

  • Auto-rotation
  • Auto-cleanup
  • Hole punch removal
  • Blank page deletion
  • Color detection
  • Color smoothing
  • Automatic crop and deskew
  • Improved recognition (increases the accuracy of OCR & ICR software)
  • Scan at the scanner’s rated scanning speed
  • Network-friendly images

Take a look at the Image Processing video on Kofax VRS Elite to get a visual on some of the functionality. I have customers that use the software and will not purchase another scanner without it!

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Goin’ Green with a Scannin’ Machine

Goin’ Green with a Scannin’ Machine

We all know that document imaging demonstrates the capacity of “going green” just by definition.  It is inherent in concept.  Technology expands so quickly and in the world of document imaging hardware, there lies no exception.  The most respected manufacturers like Fujitsu, Kodak, and Canon make the entire scanning process, from pre-scanning to post scanning, more automated and efficient for the end user, while also providing the latest in document imaging features and functionalities.

A couple examples of some of these particular technological advancements take are new LED’s replacing traditional lamps in scanners as well as production scanners with smaller footprints.  For instance, LED technology is featured in the Kodak/Bell &Howell Ngenuity as well as the new Fujitsu fi-6800 production scanner.  LED technology helps significantly reduce the scanner’s power consumption during operation and as well as in “sleep mode.”  Also, LED’s are designed to last the life of the scanner thereby eliminating the cost of replacement bulbs and the production costs and waste of replacement bulbs as well.  Since there are no replacement bulbs needed for these scanners, there’s nothing new to throw away.  Speaking of consumables, like scanner bulbs, companies making document imaging scanners are also manufacturing other consumables (pad assemblies, pick rollers, roller assemblies) with longer life spans.  Fewer consumables are needed and the ones that are needed, last longer.  The manufacturer’s that are seemingly taking the lead on this front include Fujitsu, Canon, and Kodak/Bell & Howell.

Better materials used in the manufacturing of document imaging scanners is not the only advancement that is happening that exemplifies this industry embracing green initiatives.  The design of the hardware is changing as well.  Manufacturers like Fujitsu are designing and building scanners that have significantly smaller footprints – the space they take up on the desk or the tabletop in the working environment.  Take for example the Fujitsu fi-6800.  This is a full–fledged mid-volume production scanner that is the smallest document scanner in its class.  The trend is moving toward fewer materials being produced to make these machines and therefore less energy is being consumed.   This translates into less waste and fewer emissions into the environment, as is obvious.

Since these new scanners are more intuitive as a result of new technology and better design, they can recognize in advance multi-feed issues, so the user can adjust settings as necessary.  Bottom line – the user can become more efficient at document scanning and do more, in less time.

With new technology and better design comes new efficiency and related side benefits including using fewer materials and generating less waste and fewer emissions.  It’s encouraging to know that the ECM Industry continues to do its part.

Ian Hundtofte

ImageSource

Document Capture with Bowe Bell & Howell

Bowe Bell & Howell NgenuityThis week we are going to focus our attention on the Bowe Bell & Howell brand Document Scanner.  They are known for their presence in the high-production environment, and with their work-horse 8000 series scanners, BB&H can really enhance your document capture solution in a production environment.

Bell & Howell recently launched the replacement to the 8000 series line with the “Ngenuity” high-production scanner.  These 4 models of the Ngenuity were redesigned to include some of the latest technologies and to make maintaining this scanner much easier for the end-user.  For example, the lamps in the Ngenuity have been replaced by LED technology so they last the lifetime of the scanner and require no warm-up time.  That eliminates the end-user having to purchase these consumables and replacing them on a regular basis.

The internal construction of this scanner is still all stainless steel and now includes a straight paper-path option to reduce jamming and feeding issues.  You now have the option of using two separate paper paths making the scanner more flexible for accommodating your scanning needs.  The Ngenuity also has an unlimited daily duty cycle (number of pages that it can scan per day without reducing the life expectancy of the scanner), which is a great feature not offered by many other manufacturers

Even if you have a lower production or distributed capture environment, Bell & Howell offers their Truper and Sidekick models.  The Truper 3200/3600 models are rated at 67 ppm (pages per minute), the Sidekick 1200 rates at 23 ppm, and the Sidekick 1400 at 43 ppm.  As a point of interest, the Truper made the Guinness Book of World Records for the Longest Scanned Document – an astonishing 3,875-foot document.  Many organizations use the Sidekick models in their distributed capture solutions so branch offices to scan their documents and send them electronically to the home office.

So no matter what kind of document capture solution you might have in place in your organization, B&H has a scanner that can fit your needs.  And ImageSource is a reseller of the BB&H scanners, here to help answer any of your imaging and document capture questions.

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

What is the Difference Between Parts and Consumables?

When you own a scanner, or multiple scanners, you are responsible for keeping that equipment running efficiently by keeping consumables on hand.  The components of a scanner that touch the paper and are designed to wear out and be replaced every 3-6 months are called “consumables.”  They are different to what are referred to as “parts” of a scanner.  Consumables are designed this way to maximize the performance of the scanner and are end user replaceable, meaning you don’t have to be tech savvy to perform the operation.

The most common types of consumables are rollers, lamps, and pad assemblies.  Depending on the scanner manufacturer (Fujitsu, Bell & Howell, Canon, Panasonic, Kodak, etc..), you may have to replace one or more at least a couple times a year.  When a scanner starts jamming or double-feeding paper, the most common cause of this problem is usually worn out consumables.  Other imaging problems like: no longer reading bar codes, poor OCR results, or getting an optical alarm can usually be solved by replacing the lamps

When a scanner has a maintenance contract in place, it usually just covers the parts and not the consumables.  ImageSource receives a lot of calls from customers asking why the consumables are not covered and parts are.  The answer is because the consumables are almost always end-user replaceable and must be replaced much more often than parts.  And if your scanner is under maintenance, it’s usually required to have parts replaced by a certified technician.  See our blog on benefits of having a maintenance contract.

Not sure where to get parts or consumables for your scanner?  Contact ImageSource, they are happy to help!

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

SCSI vs. USB 2.0 in Production Scanners

Over the course of my time selling imaging hardware, i.e. scanners, many customers ask me which is better…SCSI or USB 2.0?  Actually some don’t even ask, they insist that SCSI (small computer system interface) is still the fastest option.  Unfortunately for them, almost all scanner manufacturers have moved to using a USB 2.0 interface as option on their scanners and some are USB 2.0 exclusively.

When the first USB (Universal Serial bus) it was slower than SCSI and at times Flakey. Anyone who has ever installed a SCSI device knows that there was definitely room for improvement in this technology as well. Between double checking SCSI ID’s and triple checking the Termination you could spend quite a bit of time sorting out a SCSI install if it didn’t go right the first time. But when USB 2.0 came out it was stable and fast. In fact there is little to no degradation in speed with the scanners.  In fact, Kofax has stopped manufacturing SCSI cards all together.  VRS used to be a limitation of USB in a production environment because it required a SCSI adrenaline board interface, but now the latest versions of VRS are more versatile and work with USB 2.0 just as well if not better than SCSI.

USB 2.0 is working its way to becoming the standard in imaging technology because it less expensive than SCSI and so much easier to work with.  You also have one less point of failure with the USB 2.0 vs. the SCSI card.  So for those people with the common misconception that SCSI is faster and better, I’m here to tell you that USB 2.0 is just as good when it comes to speed and less expensive for your pocketbook. It also opens up the door to using laptops.

ImageSource, Inc. offers the all of the best names in imaging hardware – Fujitsu, Bowe Bell & Howell, Panasonic, Canon– each one with their own strengths, but all equipped with the newest and latest connectivity of USB 2.0

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

 

Who Needs a Scanner? I Think I Need a Scanner…

The answer is almost everyone!  From scanning bills and statements in your home office to full Imaging Departments in the largest of companies, digital images are the way of the future.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room in my house for filing cabinets full of old mortgage, power, auto, insurance and all the other bills and statements that I get every day!  Many State, County, and City government agencies have also run into the same problem as they are keeping 100+ years of all different types of paper documents.

A lot of people today want to start digitizing their documents, but don’t really know where to start.   If you need some help trying to find out what type of scanner is right for you, there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself.  How many documents per day/week do I need to scan?  Do any of them need them to be in color?  Are any of my documents double-sided?  Are any of my documents of unusually large or small size?  What paper types and of what quality will I be scanning?  All of these questions are important and can help narrow down the size and type of scanner that will work best for you.   There are many manufacturers that produce scanners that range from home office/portable to the highest production scanners available.  Companies like Fujitsu, Bell & Howell, Canon, Panasonic, and Kodak all provide full lines of scanners to fit most every need.  Don’t let this unfamiliar territory intimidate you, there are companies like ImageSource, Inc. that know about and sell scanners to help you out along the way!

If you’re interesting in viewing muliple scanners at one time and location, sign up to attend Nexus ’09.  Some of the major manufacturers will be demoing their scanners there and answering the types of questions we talked about above.  Good luck and start scanning!