Thursday, March 24, 2011

Document Imaging Calculator

Do you need a ballpark figure for a document imaging project?

Many people call or email SoftFile asking about our price per image.

The reason why a blanket price per image is an inadequate quote is because of the following reasons;

  • The time it takes for document preparation (to get documents scanner ready) varies wildly. Sometimes there is no preparation involved, the documents are scanner ready. At other times 1,000 pages can be prepped in an employee hour. Yet at other times the ratio is closer to 500 pages per employee hour.

  • What does the image resolution need to be? At 300dpi the actual document scanner is a little slower than at say 200dpi.

  • What is the final electronic format; TIFF, PDF, JPG, or PNG?

  • What are the data entry requirements (e.g. how are you going to find the scanned files) AND how many pages are each record? Obviously the requirement to capture a first and last name every three pages is a lot more labor than say every 200 pages.

  • What is the total volume? Are we talking about 20 boxes or 2,000 boxes?

  • Is there a rush? Sometimes customers are in a rush (e.g. a legal case going to trial) and at other times, they are simply scanning the records because of extremely long records retention schedules (7+ years). If the latter is the case, perhaps the customer does not really care if the project takes a week or even six months? Perhaps we would be inclined to charge less knowing that there is no rush.

Collectively, all of the above considerations affect the overall price (including the cost per image) like a stereo equalizer.

All of this said, it might be more revealing to think about a ballpark quotation in terms of the cost per box where at $100 per box the project would be an easy job and $300 might be really complicated.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kodak ScanStation 500

At SoftFile, we are often asked to recommend a good departmental scanner. For simple, departmental-type documents, for everyday users, SoftFile recommends the Kodak ScanStation 500.

The unit has a built-in networked PC. For all intents and purposes, the ScanStation is like a scanning kiosk.

For the novice end user, the unit acts very much like a fax machine. Simply walk up
to the unit, stack up to twenty-five sheets of paper and push couple of buttons and you're done.

There are no confusing scanner dialogs, just a few logical choices (e.g. black and white or color).

As the unit is connected to the organization's network, the images are scanned and sent to a pre-specified location on the LAN (a personal folder or a shared drive), as a fax, as an email, over FTP to a specified location (e.g. SoftFile), or to a USB flash drive. As an attachment, you can even include a voice notation if you like.

The Kodak ScanStation 500 retails for about $2,495 and is worth every penny.