Scanning to Feed Your Document Management System

Program Objectives

Part of any good document management system is being able to convert paper documents into electronic format.  Using scanning is the common method to do this. Depending upon the quantity and type of document you need to capture you will  make different choices of scan devices.

Scanner Options

The two most common types of scanners used to feed a document management system are a network connected Multifunction Device (MFP) which is scan enabled and a dedicated document scanner.

Both of these options have their place and can offer a suitable answer to the scanning need. 

Networked MFP Offers Access to Many Users

The network MFP is best suited to environments where many people will be uploading documents to the system and where the documents are similar in size, quality and type.  Since the scan software provided for most MFP devices does not offer the extensive post scan image processing that a stand alone scanner might, the initial documents being captured need to be of good enough quality that the images will be suitable for storage.

Production Scanner Offers Image Enhancement and Greater Productivity

A dedicated scanner can offer advantages where the scanning will be performed by only a single user or for very few operators.  Since the device needs to be connected to a PC to capture documents the operator is more dedicated in this environment.  If documents need post scan cleanup, background deletion or other more advanced processing, then the dedicated scanner has significant advantages over the MFP.  This type of device usually supports more robust capture software which can increase user productivity.

Integrated Software Can Improve Flow

A special use of MFP scanning has been developed where processing software is integrated with the screen of an MFP devices to permit users to directly input images into DM systems.  Many brands of MFPs offer these tools and there are software products which have been developed to create links between MFP scanning and end user systems.  Kyocera offers Kyocapture as one of these tools, while NSI offers a suite of software products which can link between several brands of MFP and almost any document management product.  The Capture Plus product also offers advantages in developing workflows which can integrate scan to folder output and integrate it into a DM system using background processing.

File storage

Many first time users of scanning hardware and software begin by building a simple windows file folder structure to store their scanned files.  Unfortunately, they quickly find that this is a less than ideal solution as the problems associated with naming conventions and foldering quickly make these types of systems very had to use and manage.  In addition the low levels of security structure created by a foldering paradigm will not hold up over time.

A structured index based document management system will alleviate many of the problems encountered in building large volumes of scanned documents.  This does not have to be a highly costly venture.  There are hosted systems which can be used to meet most users needs if installing your own system is not desired.  One example of such a system is which offers a low starting fee to permit even small organizations to begin building a structured file store.