Category Archives for "ECM Support"

Document Capture Tools

Scanning your documents into a Document Management System is a great way to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of paper in your office.  And, depending on what kind of paper you are scanning, there are lot of document capture tools available.  Tools such as Full Text OCR, Zonal OCR, and ICR can greatly reduce time spent indexing and validating your documents once they are scanned.

Full Text OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is software that captures every character in the document being scanned and processing it into a fully searchable PDF.  One effective use of this technology is when government users needing to search hundreds of pages of agendas and meeting minutes for a certain topic.  The process of searching these documents is quite time-consuming and most OCR processing occurs overnight when there is less use on the company’s day-to-day activities.

Zonal OCR is similar in that it captures information, but in this case, the software is programmed to look in the same location or “zone” every time.  This is helpful when scanning in documents where the information is in the same location, such as an invoice number.  Most invoices are in a set format so zonal OCR is very effective in this scenario.  When the operator is validating this information, the Zonal OCR zooms in on the zone area that has been predetermined where the information is captured from so they can easily read if the information captured is correct or not.  Hence, one of the biggest advantages of Zonal OCR is that it improves the efficiency of searches which translates into a savings of both time and money.  Some software available that features Zonal OCR also allows the user to draw a box to establish a zone around required text rather than typing in keywords therefore allowing the document to be automatically indexed.

ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) is the ability for the software to read hand-written information and process this into searchable information.  This is especially beneficial in the financial industry.  And although this tool can be very useful in some situations, the error rate is much higher because handwriting is so varied from person to person.

Andrea Latham, CDIA+
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.
Phone 360.943.9273
www.imagesourceinc.com

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The Simple Act of Document Scanning – It’s Not So Simple…

Many people think that scanning documents only requires putting it in the feeder tray and pressing “scan”, but there are many steps that need to be followed when scanning documents into your Document Management System.  Documents come in many shapes, thickness, sizes, and conditions, so the first step is to properly prepare the documents for scanning.  “Document prep” is a highly important step before scanning, this assists in achieving the rated speed of the scanner and to avoid damage to its components.  This includes removing staples, paperclips, or any metal fasteners that might be attached to the documents so that you do not cause damage as the paper is fed through the scanner.  You also want to remove any post-it notes or small receipts and attach to a regular size piece of paper to avoid miss-feeding or jamming.  Any crumpled or folded document will need to be flattened out so they feed correctly through the scanner.  This seems a time consuming first step but it actually makes the scanning process more streamlined and efficient.

Once your documents are properly prepped, it is time to scan them.   Often scanner operators will use separator pages to separate the batches of documents, to index the batches together correctly.  This saves time with data input on the operator’s side.  Scanning software functionality such as Kofax VRS, allows the operator to either manually alter the document to improve quality, or set up settings automatically to do this and speed up the quality assurance (checking the image) process.  Once the batch of documents is scanned, Capture Software such as ILINX Capture or Kofax Capture allows the operator will use specific index fields to associate metadata with the documents. These metadata fields will accompany the image once released into repository software so that the document can be searched for and found in the future.

If done correctly, scanning documents can be an efficient business process that will save your company time and money….it is as simple as that!  For a demonstration of document scanning (even bring your own documents), attend Nexus.  Call Inside Sales at 360-943-9273 and mention this blog for a registration discount!

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Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

 

Use ECM Training to Maximize Your Investment!

Have you ever bought a VCR, Stereo, DVD Player or any high-end electronic gadget?  It normally comes with a fancy remote control or interface with multiple options on it but all you really want to do is watch a movie. You would be just as satisfied for the moment with just two buttons, “stop” and “go”.  At home the extra functions may improve our lives or they may not.  They might be just for fun.  But either way what extra features you don’t use or know about, doesn’t hurt you..usually.

Many companies approach their imaging systems the same way. It does what it does from the day it was enabled, it works and that’s it. When they hear about other peoples’ systems, they wish their system could have similar functionality… and maybe it does, but who has the time to figure that out?

Take the time to maximize your investment!  It was worth it to someone in your organization to make the investment initially, so why wouldn’t you use it to its full potential?  Well you might not for the same reason humans don’t do most things – a shortage of Time .  Time is important and once you dive into exploring your current software who knows how long it will take or if what you are focusing on will benefit your existing process?  At ImageSource, we have found that the most important and undervalued item with an imaging system is training.  With professional training, concerns can be addressed in a focused environment and a structured time frame. Our most successful customers realize the benefits and importance of training, both initial and on-going training.

Often when customers contact us looking for additional hardware and software, we can ask some probing questions and discover that the issue may resolved by scheduling a consulting day to review their installation and recommend best practices for their environment.  Paying for one or two days of training is definitely less expensive that investing in additional hardware and software products that may not even be successful.

Taking responsibility for your components isn’t easy, and you can simplify the process by receiving professional training/consulting that will inform, educate and assist you to the right path of choice sooner rather than later.  Additional training and professional services consulting are offered at ImageSource – you might be surprised what is discovered!

Professional training provides knowledge.  Knowledge is power.

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

Relationships – The Ultimate “Value-Add”

One objection we hear almost every day as a Sales representative from a Value Added Reseller (VAR) is “I can get that scanner cheaper online!”  While that may be true in some cases, it may not always be in the customer’s best interest.  That’s when we discuss the benefits of purchasing from a VAR.

VAR’s focus on front end capture solutions as well as the hardware. When choosing what type of scanner to purchase, it is very important to take into consideration what front end capture and back end software you will be utilizing.  You want to ensure the scanner will compliment everything you currently have in place for your document imaging solution.

When purchasing from a VAR (such as ImageSource ), you also receive depth and breadth of experience and knowledge,   not just the product itself, but the many applications and usage.  We strive to provide assistance in picking on the best piece of equipment for you and provide the buyer the opportunity to consider and compare all the options, taking into consideration future imaging growth and software applications.  And, if we don’t know the answer to the customer’s question, we know where to get it.

If you choose to buy the scanner from an on-line retailer with little or no human contact or experience, you are gambling that there will be no challenges.  Often during installation and troubleshooting – many on-line resellers may not take the time to assist you with resources and information that is needed for a successful installation. More than likely, a value-added reseller has come across this challenge before with other customers and can easily offer a solution or point you in the right direction. This is their expertise!

It is true you get what you pay for – online resellers do have a customer service telephone number but the question to ask is, “Do they have the real life experience of working with that scanner?”  ImageSource (a VAR and an Integrator) offers more than just good pricing at point of sale of the scanner…we offer information,  education and experience

Experience comes with a price, albeit small.

“The difficult we do immediately….the impossible just takes a little longer.”

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com