Office Document Strategies Blog

Scanning - Distributed vs Centralized

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Apr 14, 2010 @ 16:04 PM

person in boat on sea of paper Scanning has become a must have tool in most offices.  At one time it was only used for archiving of old documents and was relegated to the mail room or a designated scan work room.  With recent changes in hardware and software it has become a critical office document strategy to include scanning capability.

Scanned documents, usually converted to PDF format are often attached to e-mails and sent to outside contacts as a quick and easy replacement for faxing.  With network connected multifunction printers (MFP) that are scan enabled, (over 85% of our installs) it is usually possible to do a direct scan to e-mail without having to use an intermediate PC.

So which is better centralized scanning or distributed scanning? 

Let me describe a recent client situation where both were deployed and in the end centralized scanning has proven to be their best critical solution, while decentralized scanning is still used. 

This client is a busy consulting firm that handles large, medically related files for insurance clients.  Often their files can be as big as 500 pages.  The have a number of networked MFP devices at various speeds, but they found that converting the paper records to images even on very large fast MFP devices had Kodak Capture Pro Software packagechallenges.  They decided that they needed more scanning capability and I installed a fast (115ppm) Kodak scanner running Kodak's new Capture Pro scanning package.  The combination of the dedicated scanner coupled with software which is designed to maximize user productivity had a dramatic impact on the client's throughput.  User response was better too as they found they got fewer jams and less overall aggravation from the dedicated scanner.  Since then additional dedicated scanning capability has been added.

They still use distributed scanning for inter-office communication and processing of smaller files but when it came to processing big production level documents, centralized scanning took top prize.

So which form of scanning do you use?  What works best for you in handling your paper documents?  What do you do with the scanned files once you have them?

All pertinent questions as you start to grow your scanning activity.

Lee K

Tell us what you like best and how you do it.

For some interesting videos showing the Kodak Capture Software dealing with real world problems

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Topics: Software, Scanning, document filing, Kodak