August 8th, 2013
There’s lots of talk about the benefits of document scanning, digital records and automated processes – and plenty of doc management software programs that claim to do it all – but what’s the document management solution for companies with complex needs that can’t be addressed with template software?
If your business falls into this category, read on to learn how other companies have realized the benefits of document management with customized solutions that solve their unique document problems.
It seems like a tiny matter, but manual form approval can bring business to a screeching halt. This was the case for a Fortune 100 technology company that incurred significant costs when manual form routing delayed critical business processes. OptiScan’s team created a powerful workflow solution that dramatically enhances efficiency. The custom program automates the approval process with built-in rules that dictate routing, define approval parameters, designate back-up approvers and relieve bottlenecks.
Web-Based Document Management
Like many paper-based companies, a major Arizona pool builder found itself drowning in paper, with stacks of contracts piled high on desks and filing cabinets taking up an entire room. The issue grew worse as the company (and paper) grew larger – until OptiScan designed a web-based doc management program that immediately solved the company’s paper problems. We scanned, digitized and uploaded contracts, vendor payments, and other critical documents, and our web software allowed immediate, approval-based access to documents that once were locked away in filing cabinets.
In highly regulated industries, effective document management is an absolute must. This is especially true for one of OptiScan’s clients, a global security company whose quality documentation is audited on a near-daily basis. And since they’re required to provide such documentation for every single item they ship, they needed a solution for accessing and furnishing related documents quickly and easily. OptiScan’s custom program digitizes documents and stores them on the web, helping the company access quality reports, speed up processes, and improve the bottom line in a very real way.
June 18th, 2013
Aviation and aerospace are among the industries most impacted by the digital revolution. Think about thumbing through thousands of pages of aircraft maintenance manuals by hand versus a few quick clicks on the iPad. It’s a completely different world for professionals managing and maintaining the aircraft when it comes to productivity, convenience and efficiency.
One of the areas where we see the greatest document conversion needs today is with companies that buy and sell aircraft, such as commercial jets or privately owned aircraft. Often, the planes purchased are accompanied by a large stack of physical manuals that need to be converted before they’re put back up for sale. According to V-Log Digital Records Management, 30% of the value of a particular aircraft depends on the condition and comprehensiveness of the aircraft’s records. And not only is the aircraft value a factor, but complete, accurate and up-to-date documentation is a requirement of the FAA. Conversion seems like a no brainer!
Here’s a look at what aircraft owners need to be aware of when selecting a vendor for a scanning project:
- Scanner Technology: Aircraft manuals often require multiple types of scanners to be fully digitized. A standard paper scanner is great for color or gray scale documents that can be fed quickly, while a flatbed feeder is necessary for books that cannot be taken apart. A large-format scanner may also be required for large or odd-sized engineering drawings.
- Quality Checks: Data vendors need a quality check process in place that utilizes human verification and gray scale scan to ensure the digitized documents are readable, complete and easy to review.
- Data Delivery: Each aircraft company has different requirements for data output. Vendors need the ability to deliver digitized data in standard or proprietary formats.
- Updates: One of the greatest advantages of digitized aircraft manuals is the ease of incorporating updates. Vendors need to have the ability to quickly and easily incorporate new documentation into proprietary structures.
October 3rd, 2012
You have decided it’s time to buy a scanner for your office, but how do you know which one to choose? Before you head to the office supply store and face a dizzying array of options, determine exactly how you plan to use your scanner. Answering these simple questions will simplify your decision dramatically – and will ensure your money is well-spent.
- What do you need to scan? This is the single-most important question to answer before you make your purchase. Are you planning to digitize vast amounts of two-sided pages, or is your scanner intended for small, occasional projects? How big are your originals? Are you scanning paperwork, snapshots and film, or even 3D objects?
- Sheetfed or flatbed? A sheetfed scanner is a simple and inexpensive option for digitizing loose (unbound) paper. It scans individual sheets of paper in much the same way as a fax machine. It’s great for letter-size paper – not so great for small items like business cards or receipts. For small items, flatbed is a better choice. Flatbed scanners are also best for fragile items that are not bendable or could be easily damaged ( e.g. rare stamps or dried flowers) – as well as multidimensional objects, books and other bound papers.
- Do you need an automatic document feeder? If you’re only scanning a few pages at a time, a lower-priced manual feeder is your best bet. However, if your project requires longer documents, an automatic document feeder (ADF) is worth the extra few bucks.
- Are you scanning two-sided pages? If so, you should consider a scanner with duplexing capabilities. Duplexing scanners – the most expensive option – are equipped to scan two pages at the same time – and quickly. Depending on the size and frequency of your duplexing scanning projects, the cost may be well worth it. If you don’t scan two-sided objects often – or if your budget is tight – you can pick a scanner with a manual duplex feature. Duplexing automatic document feeders are higher-priced, but they automatically scan one side, turn the page over, and scan the other side.
- How much resolution do you need? Most scanners offer a minimum resolution of 600 ppi – that’s high enough resolution for most paper and photo scanning. However, you may require much higher optical resolution – 4,800 ppi or more – for negatives or 35 mm slides, especially if you’re planning to make prints at a much larger size than your film original. Likewise, such resolution is required for capturing very fine detail from small original images or objects like flowers, coins and stamps.
- Letter or legal? Flatbed scanners are typically designed for letter-sized paper and won’t work well for legal sheets. Flatbeds with automatic document feeders usually can scan legal pages with the ADF, but it’s important to double-check before you make your purchase.
- Do you need a special-purpose scanner? While general-purpose scanners suit most project needs, you may consider special-purpose scanners for books, slides and business cards. Other options include portable scanners, designed to fit in a laptop bag, and scanners the size of a pen. Choose your scanner according to the type and scale of your scanning projects.
- Is software free? Most, if not all scanners, are sold with the software you need to get started. Depending on your scanning project, you may want to seek out specialized scanning software that may have more features than the one bundled with the scanner. Features – such as photo editing, business card filing, the ability to create searchable PDFs, OCR , etc. – are excellent complements to existing scanning software.