How to scan documents faster


The Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500

We recently helped a Dublin-based mechanical contracting firm with a document management problem. Their workflow necessitated the scanning of around 20 A4-sized page daily. They were using a flat-bed scanner to complete the task. For anyone familiar with a flat-bed scanner, scanning anything more than a document or two with such a device can be a time-zapping experience. A user can start at around 9am and finish just in time for elevenses. Ok, I exaggerate a little, but you get my drift. Flat-bed scanners are not efficient and are a chore to use.

Problem Definition

To help our client, we first tried to redefine the problem. Did they really need to scan documents in the first place? Was there a better way of doing it? Unfortunately, some of their customers and third-party contractors still sent them paper documents. Some of these had to be filed away, which they preferred doing it electronically. And some of these paper-based documents had to be forwarded via email to other parties. They genuinely needed to scan documents but in a faster way.

Our Solution

Given that most of their documents are in A4 format and they had no OCR (optical character recognition) requirements. The solution which fulfilled their requirements the best was an ADF (automatic document feeder) scanner from Fujitsu. The ix500 connects to their server via USB 3.0 and can scan 25 pages per minute. It can scan to iPads, iPhones, PC, Mac and Android. Because it’s an ADF scanner they can just load all their documents in the loading tray, press the “scan” button and the scanning process starts. We configured their scanner so that all the scanned versions of their documents arrived in a shared network folder on their Dell server which all users have access to. For a task which routinely took up a vast chunk of their morning, they can now complete it a matter of minutes.