Magazine Article | March 17, 2009

The Business Case For A High-Volume Production Scanner

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

What should you think about when considering how technology can help your company gain efficiency?


Integrated Solutions, March 2009

Many companies in the market for a high-volume production scanner focus almost exclusively on speed and image quality. While these features will boost any document management operation, tools that help companies maximize productivity throughout the scanning process are equally, if not more, valuable.

On their own, many productivity features can be overshadowed by flashy ppm (pages per minute) numbers. Still, taken as a whole, they will help you build efficiencies, account for your various document management challenges, and, most importantly, save money. That's why, when you're preparing to purchase your next high-volume production scanner, you should look for a product that does the following.

Adapts To Your Needs
Companies across industries face varied and unique imaging challenges — and each will require a versatile high-volume scanning solution. For example, service bureaus are often charged with scanning everything from loan documents to court records. And in healthcare, medical records, forms, and prescriptions need to be transformed into high-quality digital images. Therefore, start by considering scanners that can scan a wide array of documents. A scanner with the ability to scan anything from legal contracts to receipts and photographs can help your company handle both the regular and exception documents that pass through your offices every day. This capability range will help you streamline your document management processes and improve officewide organization.

While the ability to scan a wide range of documents is vital to ensuring productivity, you should also look for flexibility in your scanner. Many scanners on the market today have few manufacturer-set limitations, ensuring that you spend more time scanning and less time being held back by arbitrary thresholds. This can be a difference-making advantage in busy production environments such as service bureaus. After all, you need your scanner to work with you as you navigate your way through your paper load.

Keeps It Simple For Everyone
If you need many of your employees — all with varying degrees of technological expertise — to scan, ease of use is crucial. Look for scanners with automatic settings, including tools such as blank page deletion and automatic color detection. Ultrasonic multifeed detection, which alerts you to multifeeds, will help you avoid losing valuable data or information when scanning. Further, multifeed ignore functionality allows intended multifeeds to pass through the scanner. This is useful when scanning documents such as taped receipts or sticky notes that the scanner would normally recognize as multifeeds.

Additionally, scanners with customizable profiles allow users to save preferences and scanner settings while easy-to-use function buttons offer quick access to scanner functionality. A scanner that complies with Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act further ensures that the scanner is accessible to everyone who might need to use it, including those with auditory or visual impairments.

Beyond the hardware features, be sure to look for software compatibility. The ability to build on the scanner's onboard capabilities will help ensure that you have maximum flexibility to tailor the imaging operation to your company's document management needs.

Offers Long-Term Value
Resistant to the hazards of a busy production environment, durable scanners with long-lasting, reliable parts will save you money by minimizing maintenance requirements. While you want to avoid maintenance as much as possible, service is a natural part of owning a scanner. That's why it's  important to consider a scanner that's easy to maintain. Features that keep track of maintenance schedules and send reminders to clean and service the scanner will ensure optimal scanner performance and save you time and money over the life of the scanner.

To that end, don't underestimate the importance of a scanner that's easy to connect and that comes bundled with most of the parts and accessories you will need to start scanning. Costs of everything from connector cables to image enhancement software quickly add up and increase your total cost of scanning. Also, don't forget the scanner is only part of the equation. Be sure to choose a reliable value-added reseller who can guide you through your buying and installation.

Speeds and feeds may make for flashy headlines, but you can realize real, long-term value with a scanning solution that helps you build efficiency from the moment you open the box. That's why it's important to understand the value of features that can help you be more productive and customize an imaging solution to accommodate your unique document management needs.