How to get the best bang for your buck!

Why price is not the most important factor
when purchasing imaging hardware

When shopping for new imaging hardware, many customers look at their budget and let that dictate their purchase. Now I understand that budget is an important factor, however over the last 9 years working with imaging customers, many have purchased equipment based mainly on price – only to discover that it did not meet their long term growth needs.

So in light of these discussions, here is bits of wisdom that can be used as a checklist when considering new purchases:

  • Color or Black & White (B & W) scanning? The majority of scanners automatically come with color option but can also provide B & W scanning for smaller document size files.
  • Is Speed important – scanners are classed by Pages per Minute (PPM). How fast do you need the scanner to scan?
  • How much volume are you expecting to scan per day, week or month? Volume and speed is determined by the manufacturer when they develop the scanner.
  • Manufacturers group their scanners into categories based on PPM and the Daily Duty Cycle (DDC). DDC is how many images the scanner can handle on a daily basis. So if you have a large volume of scanning to be completed on a daily basis, a small desktop workgroup scanner will not be sufficient for the volume – it would break down all the time. Here are the general groupings that manufacturers use:

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I Love Paper!!!!

Untitled-2I love Paper. Yes, I sell Document Imaging Hardware and software that converts paper documents into their digital representations, but I love paper. I love the tangible reminders to go online and pay my bills. What’s that? Exactly, I pay my bills online, so why do I need paper? I grew up with paper. Apparently it makes me feel good to throw out a mountain of tangible junk mail, and it makes me feel important.  Paper is what I know, and it’s what we all know.

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Conversion of Documents at California County Assessor’s Office Creates Paperless Office

ImageSource was the privately contracted vendor for a California County Assessor’s Office that embarked upon a major project designed to create a paperless work environment. The project processed and imaged 25 million pages of file documents. Documents were scanned at the rate of 125 images per minute, 8 hours a day. The County also implemented day-forward imaging rather than filing incoming paper documents. The entire project was completed in approximately one year.

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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.  

Is Curiosity Enough to Attend a Conference?

On Nov 3rd & 4th there is an industry educational conference coming up called “NEXUS’11  – Where ideas emerge” being held locally in Bellevue WA.  I am often asked by customers what is the value and benefits of attending a conference.  So instead of me listing what I think the benefits and values are I decided to check out what other people said on the web and see others justifying ROI for attending – this is a summary of what was listed on the first few pages:

  • An abundance of new information to be revealed
  • Networking value amongst peers –learn from others in your profession. Share with others your experience and thoughts. Meeting folks who do what you do. Gain insight. Ask questions, get free consultations.
  • Where else can you find so many industry contacts facing the same issues as your organization?
  • Direct conversations with vendors and manufacturers – are there solutions and products that you are not aware of?
  • Conferences demonstrate new ideas, how products work and how other organizations have implemented them into their environments to solve challenges that your organization is experiencing.
  • When else do you have the opportunity to remove yourself from the daily grind and take a more strategic planning viewpoint? Step back and reflect on your job and the bigger picture.
  • Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as payback for the investment – Session Content, tools, technologies, processes, vendor contacts, best practices, training, have a benefits worksheet for the conference. Source: Writing Assistance
  • Justify your Return on Investment – make sure you have session worksheets to summarize what you have learned, what major takeaways you gained from it, action items identified and the estimated impact the idea could make.  What business goals do you have before attending the conference and were they answered by the sessions you attended etc. Source: Gartner Justification Toolkit
  •  Attending a conference provides an opportunity to learn from experts, share ideas with others, and identify new knowledge and techniques. It is a productive experience given the knowledge explosion in the current information-rich era.
  • The information is already “digested’ and given to you in an easy to understand way. Practical examples/ case studies are given and questions clarified.

So hopefully this has increased your curiosity about this conference – take a look and see if you can justify an ROI on attending NEXUS’11. One thing I know for sure – as an attendee and also someone working at this conference every year, the ROI I gain is a HUGE payback for the company and my customers.

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.

Process Improvements – Leveraging Technology – Content Store

 

ILINX® – Content Store

Simple, Easy, Efficient –

Imagine having information at your fingertips.

The power of a piece of paper?   Often what you need to get your job done exists on a “piece of paper” somewhere other than your very own desk.   Think back to life before working in the Document Imaging world and the amount of time wasted trying to gather information. If that was true for me, even in very high tech companies, imagine how it is for others.    Often the things we need to access are very similar between companies and industries.   We all need access to customer information: invoices, P.O’s, shipping information, approval documentation, etc. etc.

ILINX Content Store provides one place to keep this information and a searching capability  similar to a “google” search for your internal documents.  It is truly one of the most user friendly efficient software that I have seen.   How do you make a decision to begin turning the paper in to “less paper?”   Without a doubt in the long run it will save you time and money.   Two things every company can have more of!

Geetha French
Inside Sales
ImageSource