- Does color help your MARKETING? Your considerations of machine size, type and technology may be the most crucial of all color buyers. COSTS can spiral out of your control in a heart-beat. [Ask the Copier Concierge]
- Does color touch 5% of your pages? 10%? 50%? This ratio is important to know, but ratio of what? How many pages altogether? Too small a color machine FOR YOUR PARTICULAR COLOR USAGE, can create expenses that the right size machine – even though you don’t think the “volumes” match exactly – will keep LOW. Toner is only about 40% of color costs; you can throw away a lot of money on the other stuff if it’s not the right machine! [Ask the Copier Concierge]
- Are you somewhat AFRAID to allow everyone color access? If you have fears of exorbitant costs-per-page, let’s delve into the several ways to BUY COLOR. Per-page costs in the order of THREE CENTS and even less for full color, are very do-able today. You might want a copy of “The COPIER BUYER’S SUCCESS GUIDE” and some “inside” information about controlling color costs and about enjoying your next color machine. [Ask the Copier Concierge]
- Aside from COLOR CONSUMABLES’ COSTS, speed has the largest impact on COLOR MFP cost. Among all the speeds, paper sizes and functions, THERE IS A COLOR ANSWER that is the most cost-effective for YOU. [Ask the Copier Concierge]
Copier and Printer Glossary
|BMP||BMP stands for “Bitmap.” A bitmap image is a cumbersome format, and just about the largest in terms of file-size. Bitmaps are not “compressed” like other image formats are; every little square “pel” is identified and stored in memory. The “resolution” in terms of “dots per inch” (dpi) is usually 200x200, 300x300, 600x600 and sometimes higher. At 200x200 a letter-size page is made up of 3,740,000 “pels,” or “picture elements.” And that is when it’s only black and white! In a full-color image there can be four pieces of data for each pel, not just 2. At 300 dpi there are 8,415,000 pels. That’s 8 Megabytes of data! Other scanned image formats, like TIFF, might have 35,000 Kilobytes, or 35 megabytes in storage for black and white. 4-color data is much larger in all cases. Occasionally, the only way to capture a good image is to use the BMP format.|
|BOX||“User Box” or “Job Box” or similar names are virtual document storage “mailboxes” created on a hard drive or “Compact” memory card for a couple of purposes. Documents may be scanned into a document box (User Box) for private use and printing later. Print Jobs may be sent into a “Job Box” with an ad-hoc password applied, for later release with that password. Boxes may hold hundreds or thousands of documents, documents may be retained or deleted after printing, and documents may be “accumulated” until complete and then printed like a single document. Boxes may also be designated as receptacles for FAX messages, usually associated with a single sending number for secure reception.|
|BUNDLE||A “bundle” or a “bundled lease” involves the mixing of a financing contract together with operating expenses like toner and service coverage – things that would normally have separate entries in a Chart of Accounts. Bundles also tend to obscure financial payoff or buyout obligations or their status, making it difficult to assess the relative costs of service, supplies and equipment acquisition.|
|DADF||“Duplex Automatic Document Feeder.” This means that a second digital scan “head” is in the feeder mechanism such that both sides of a 2-sided original may be “captured” with a single pass through the rollers. It requires more powerful image processing inside the MFP, and dramatically speeds up the feeding of 2-sided pages while limiting the risks of feeding problems for originals. DADF’s (also called DSDF, Dual-scan document feeder; or, SPDF, Single-pass document feeder) often have greater original capacity, as many as 200 documents, 250 or even more, partly thanks to less space taken up by the reversing mechanism of RADF’s.|
|DEVELOPER||There is some form of developer employed for each color in an MFP, whether just for black or for 4 separate colors. Developer “carries” the toner powder up to the surface of a drum where, by the magic of controlled charges on the drum, on the developer roller and of the developer, itself, toner can leave the developer or “jump” to the drum surface and stick almost magnetically to the tiny spots on the drum where print or images are supposed to be, leaving the white, or blank areas free of toner. It all happens in fractions of seconds for up to 4 colors. Developer eventually loses its ability to carry and reclaim toner particles with the precision expected, and it must be replaced.|
|DOCUMENT FEEDERS||Document feeders, or Document (or Original) handlers are virtually standard on modern MFP’s and rarely is one installed without a “feeder” of one type or another. There are various ways to describe a feeder by type: RADF, DADF, SPDF, DSDF, Reversing ADF and others. All of them provide automatic feeding and stacking of ORIGINALS so that each one doesn’t have to be manually placed on a glass window.|
|DPI:||Dots-per-Inch is the measure for how finely or smoothly print data can be converted to a printed (or scanned) “image” that may be stored electronically or printed on paper. The first experience most had with “resolution” was for FAX transmissions, although not exactly in true “DPI.” If resolution is too low, curves look jagged or stepped. The first laser printer printed at 300 DPI, which means 300 “dots” per inch both horizontally and vertically (300 x 300), and users found it to be crisp and legible on even very small “fonts.” Today, copy and print pages are usually rendered at 600 by 600 dpi resolution.|
|DRUM||A “drum” is a perfect cylinder coated with “photo-conductive” chemicals, the surface of which can hold a static-electric charge in the dark and give up the charge when light hits it, today usually a laser beam or LED light. Because of this essential capability drums are sometimes called “photo-conductors.” By themselves they are remarkable products of metalworking and chemistry, the coatings of which are mirror-like in their smoothness and uniformity. Without the drum, dry-toner printing would have never come to be.|
|FINISHING||Finishing is how many MFP’s “complete” or “finish” the copying or printing job. Finishing usually includes stapling of completed “sets” of 2 or more pages. Some stapling can do only 20 or 25 sheets; many can do 50, 65 or even up to 100 sheets in a set. A “finisher” may also be called a “collator” or a “sorter,” but the actual term on a finisher is “stacking.”|
|FUSER||Dry toner or dry “ink” copiers and printers depend upon heat and pressure to make single or multi-color images permanent. Most fusing mechanisms have two rollers, with one or both heated to a high enough temperature to melt the powder toners that form the image; both are monitored for close tolerance on temperature. Most commonly there is one “soft” roller that’s not heated, pressing against the hard, usually teflon-coated roller that is heated from within by infrared lamps or by induction. The teflon roller faces the print-side of the paper because of its non-sticky quality. The soft roller also is made to not be attractive to toner. Eventually both rollers lose their non-stickiness and start to leave repeat images on printed pages or smears of toner. Replacement is the only fix, but this could be upwards of 500,000 or more printed pages before its necessary. Lower cost machines could have “fuser life” of fewer than 50,000 pages.|
|HOLE-PUNCHING||Many finishers can be equipped with online 2-hole, 3-hole and sometimes higher punching. The mechanisms punch one sheet at a time, so there is no limit, again, on how many sheets a punched set or group can have. Generally, punching is done at full machine speeds.|
|INK-JET PRINTING||“InkJet.” Also called "BubbleJet" and other names. Generically, "ink jet" uses a liquid, water-based or alcohol-based ink that may be a dye formulation or be colored by pigments (suspended particles). Early inkjets cause the liquid to boil momentarily in a tiny tube. The expanding "steam" would force a droplet of ink across a very narrow gap to the paper or other material to "print" an image. Liquid ink offers many advantages for high-end, photo-grade prints, but has been limited in its business-class use by being susceptible to moisture, literally washing off the paper in some cases. Newer inks and "print heads" don't rely on bubbles of steam to project onto the paper (or other media), using piezo-electric impulses in very tiny amounts, and inks that don't smear or wash off the paper. The newest inkjets print at 100 pages per minute and even faster, thanks to page-wide "heads" that are stationary while just the paper moves.|
|IPM||“Images-per-minute.” This is the metric for SCANNING speed, which isn’t quite the same as copy or print speed. With some originals having two sides, and with variable speeds due to higher or lower RESOLUTIONS (DPI), the measure of how many IMAGES may be captured in a minute is a truer measure of SCAN or CAPTURE speed.|
|IPP printing||Special addressing for network-connected printers and MFP’s that allows a user to send a print job from any Internet-connected location, including Smartphones and tablets on WiFi or phone networks. This function is often done in conjunction with “Secure Printing.”|
|JAMS||“Jam” is the unfortunate result of a very large number of conditions that can keep a printed page from exiting your MFP or printer. Every one is called a “jam” and modern machines might have, literally, 50 or 80 “Jam Codes” that record where a sheet of paper either never got to, never left or took too long to leave. Sometimes the sheet is actually “jammed”: all bunched up, torn, or folded like an accordion. More rarely there are 5 or more sheets trying to make the trip together. In any case, the machine stops and tells you the sad news in code, pictures or flashing lights. Most jams, however, are due to a failure of the next sheet to ever leave the paper tray or to a failure of the sensing or “telemetry” systems to keep proper track of it on its journey. If your machine provides graphic images of where to look, sometimes animated, pay close attention to where it says to look for the last offending piece of paper. Sometimes “clearing” the jam code requires opening and closing the guides or panels in a specific order, even though you have already removed the paper.|
|JPEG||JPEG (“Jay-Peg”) is a standardized format for digital photography, and may be selected for scanned images as well. OCR software can “read” text that appears in a JPEG in much the same way that it can in a TIFF or even a PDF image.|
|LCT||An LCT is a “Large Capacity Tray” and will hold 1,000 to 3,000 sheets of 20 lb. paper (Some are 1,500, some 2,000, 2,500 or 2,700 sheets.) Amounts of 2,000 or more sheets are usually located below the standard 500-sheet drawers, and form the “BASE” of a console, or floor-model machine, whether an 11 x 17” or 8.5 x 14” system (“A3” or “A4” size machines respectively). LCT paper supplies are valuable where volumes and/or numbers of users are high. One trained operator can maintain the LCT tray(s) at capacity, avoiding having users plop paper into a drawer when in a hurry, a common source of mis-feeds.|
|LEASE||A lease is a form of financing often used to render a capital purchase or “acquisition” into a monthly expense, leaving the capital or cash that would have been spent in a big lump to buy the new copier or piece of manufacturing equipment, available for other, shorter-term uses. Leasing involves specific definitions of what constitutes a “true lease” and not a “time payment” contract that requires depreciation rather than “expensing.” True leases can be treated like “renting” of equipment, but they are essentially non-cancellable contracts for a number of payments. Leases with stipulated “Buyout” like “One-dollar Out” leases or “10% Buyout” leases are, technically, not leases and should be accounted for like time-payment notes.|
|MFP||Multi-Functional Printer: Full array of copier features, able to receive PRINT jobs from one PC or over the network and even over the Internet in many cases (IPP) printing; often with built-in wireless and Near-Field Communication capabilities. MFP’s also function as “Scanners” standardly, and usually with Color Scan options.|
|MPT||Often referred to as “the bypass,” the MPT is a “Multi-Purpose Tray” for print media like odd-sized papers, labels, cardstock, vellum, transparencies and envelopes. Most MFP systems can “handle” (or print on) materials as heavy as 110 lb. index paper (often called “cardstock” in error, including in the list of materials your machine allows through the MPT). Some machines claim to print on 140 lb. or higher, but most office MFPs need to be monitored when handling the heaviest allowable weights of paper. The important advice is that the operator “tell” the machine what kind of material is going into the MPT by selecting the size and name of the stock before printing or copying. Different media will be processed more slowly than plain paper so that there is sufficient heat and pressure applied to bond the toner permanently to the various materials.|
|OCR||PDF means Portable Document Format and is an invention of the ADOBE Corporation, often referred to by the brand name, “Acrobat.” PDF’s are difficult to alter which makes them a stable, secure format for long-term storage. They may be made impossible to alter or delete when high security is required. Generally speaking, PDF’s will print with their original scanned appearance and quality regardless of the print device employed.|
|PULL SCANNING||“Pull” refers to fairly local connection between the scanner and the receiving computer, whereby a software application can “run” the scanner from the PC, That is, rather than registering a “push” location at the MFP, the user puts documents in the scanner or on its “window” and then “tells” the scanner to start processing the page or pages. As the images are captured, the application software can display them and direct them to their storage location.|
|PUSH SCANNING||“Pushing” an image refers to sending it over a network or the internet, FROM the scan device – usually an MFP – TO the computer or server directory or folder where you want it to be stored.|
|RADF||“Reversing Automatic Document Feeder.” This is a form of feeding that can “capture” both sides of a 2-sided original for purposes of copying, faxing or scanning. In order to do so an RADF scans the back side first by turning the page over and feeding it past the scanner, followed by another turn-over cycle and feeding the front side past the scanner. The resulting copy will be printed on both sides so that the final stack of pages has them in the right order. RADF’s can handle 50 to 150 pages or so, up to either legal or ledger-size originals.|
|RIP||To “rip” a page or document for printing refers to “Raster Image Processing.” Data that a writer creates on-screen must be translated into data that drives the print “engine” to put ink where it belongs in varying strengths or densities, and to leave the “white” spaces ink-free. Most commonly this is done at the print engine, itself, by “the RIP,” which is software and the processing chip-set, that “describes” every dot on the page so that the laser or LED lightsource hits the ones that will receive toner to some degree. Color images take longer to “RIP” than black and white images; half-tones in gray or color shadings take longer than plain text. The ability to “RIP” print jobs at close to machine speeds is part of what causes faster machines – especially color machines – to cost more than slower ones.|
|SCANNING||Scanning utilizes the same processing as digital copying, but allows the scanned image to be saved at the MFP without being printed, or “sent” to a folder on a local or networked PC or to e-Mail addresses, usually in “PDF” format. The scanned image is said to have been “Captured.” Images may be captured in several “formats,” including PDF, TIFF, JPEG and BMP. Formal document management or “Electronic Filing” systems store scanned images with some form of manual or automated “Indexing” that makes later retrieval of the images (documents) both accurate and efficient.|
|SECURE PRINTING||This function lets a user send print jobs over a Local or Inter-network to a password-protected directory on the MFP or printer, itself. Sometimes a hard-drive or solid-state drive must be added to the device in order to store print jobs. The user can release the job at the device by selecting his or her “Box” or “Job Box,” so-called, and entering the password.|
|STACKING||Stacking by modern MFP finishers has 3 modes: Sequential, Grouping and Offset. Sequential stacking simply means that “sets” of pages, regardless of how many (up to machine limits), come out in order in one big stack. A user would have to find the first page of each set to separate them. Grouping means that the numbers of copies asked for of whatever number of pages, come out in their own “groups” rather than being sequenced into sets. 10 pages with 10 copies of each will come out 1-10, 1-10, 1-10, and so one for ten sets in “sequential” mode, but 10 of page 1, 10 of page 2, 10 of page 3, and so on for 10 groups in “Group” mode. However, both of these modes can be “Offset” such that either the first “set” of a 10-page document or “group” of 10 of one page will stack in the exit tray, and then the second set or group will be stacked an inch or so to the left or right from the first. The third set or group will be stacked back directly above the first and so forth so that the entire job is finished with “offset” sets or groups, making it each to separate them without stapling and with no limitation of how many sets or page-groups can be called for.|
|TIFF||TIFF, or “.tif” stands for “tagged image file format,” and is a commonly used standard image format. TIFFs are more susceptible to alteration and are not usually the final format for electronic storage. Many document management (scan and retrieve) systems generate TIFF images which are easily “read” by “OCR” software for indexing purposes, but which are converted to “PDF” for long-term storage and security.|
|TCO||Total Cost of Operation (or Ownership). During a 5-year or longer life of a machine it is common for the costs of supplies and service/maintenance to EXCEED the machine cost! A low price on a machine is LESS THAN HALF of the story. Take the time to analyze all the expenses that provide both the machine and its operation to find the best overall cost structure for you. Ask about the ”Copier Buyer’s Success Guide” for unbiased, insider information on how to control costs.|
|TONER||Toner is also called “ink,” but it is not liquid or even pasty, until it melts when the “printed” paper passes through the hot “fuser” rollers for a long enough time. The high fuser temperature and the pressure the two rollers can exert force the melted toner into the surface of the paper where it immediately hardens as the printed page exits from the “fuser.”|
|TOUCH-SCREEN||Touch screen technology has moved from smart phones and iPads or other “tablets,” to copier/MFPs. Instead of menu after menu, a touch-screen allows operators to save shortcuts and favored functions to a HOME screen, accessible with the touch of a finger or a simple stylus. Each MFP operator can have his or her own set of functions based on login to the machine. MFP manufacturers also partner with application software providers to have applications installed onto the Hard-Drive of the copier/MFP itself, and these are also accessible from the Touch-Screen.|
|TRANSFER BELT||Primarily for 4-color systems, the transfer belt acquires all four images: black, cyan, magenta and yellow, from their respective drums, on top of one another, then continues to a point where the merged image is attracted to the print paper by a charged “transfer roller” immediately before the “printed” paper passes through the fuser rollers for permanent “fixing” onto the paper surface. This mechanism allows for what is called “tandem” printing, resulting in black-only and 4-color pages to be processed at the same or nearly the same speeds.|
|WIA||“Windows Image Acquisition.” In its current form WIA is part of Windows since Windows Vista. It provides a set of drivers and interface software for nearly all modern scanners and facilitates “PUSH” scanning from scanner control panels. That is, folders and formats may be registered together at the scanner so that Job #1 goes to one folder as a PDF; Job #2 can go to another folder (or the same) as a .JPEG. Color mode may also be part of the registered job profile. WIA is the preferred interface for camera images. For general use, WIA operates similarly to TWAIN.|
Case-Study: MERRIMACK VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Chamber purchased a heavy-duty Copystar console system to handle its substantial printing and mailing requirements in 2006. The Long-Life Guarantee extended for 7 YEARS or 3.5 MILLION pages. By the end of 2012, with the meter approaching 3 MILLION pages, we were experiencing too-frequent service calls and parts replacements. Copilabs searched the wholesale used equipment marketplace and found the same model (CS-6030) with fewer than 400,000 pages metered and purchased it. We performed essential reconditioning and installed it at the Chamber in early 2013, about 3 months shy of the 7 YEARS we’d guaranteed. The Chamber was back in full operation and was able to employ the replacement machine for more than 3 more years. That’s full value.
Finding Your PC’s IP Address
There’s a quick way to see your own PC’s IP address, and it doesn’t matter what other screens you may have open. Just press the “Windows” button on the keyboard (on some keyboards there are two of them, left and right at the bottom row) and the “R” key simultaneously. This brings up a small dialog window with a space to type in. If there is a program name or location highlighted in that space already, just start typing and you’ll replace it. You type in “cmd” in upper or lower case, and hit enter or click on “OK.”
Now you get a black-background window with a drive letter (“C:\” most likely) and probably a directory location like “Users\Username>” The curser will be flashing at the end of it.
Now, type in “ipconfig” (no quote marks) and hit . A bunch of data will scroll down in the black space. Scroll back to the top of it all and your IP address will display at the end of a line that starts: “IPv4 Address. . . . : 192.168.1.110, or some other string of number groups separated by periods, or “dots.” Whatever your numbers are, (in place of these red example numbers) that is your “IP.”
You can enter exactly this string (your exact string) in place of your computer’s name on the set-up page for SMB scanning in your copier/scanner.
Finding Your PC’s Network Name
FINDING THE NETWORK NAME OF YOUR COMPUTER
If the IT department or consultant hasn’t pasted the name on the side of your computer, you can find the correct name quite easily. First, find your “Start” circle or rectangle in some corner of your screen (usually lower-left) and click it.
This brings up the listing of programs on your PC on the left side of the small window, and a grayish column on the right with about 10 items. One item is “Computer.”
Right-click on the word, “Computer” and in the small dialog that appears find “Properties” and click on that.
This produces a larger dialog window. Scroll down a couple of inches and you’ll see a grouping that includes “Computer Name” and below it, probably, “Full Computer Name.” These should be exactly the same, but if the Full Computer Name is different, use everything of that up to the first period, but not the period itself. Some networks have domain names that are part of the Full Computer Name. Most copier set-ups don’t want this part of the name; there may be some that do and you’ll have to ask your copier person or IT if that is needed for that brand.
You can highlight the name, copy and paste it into the set-up field in the copier’s web-page.
SOMETIMES the name of your computer won’t work in the same way the name of the copier might not, and you will want to use the IP address of the computer instead. Find your PC’s IP address.
Finding Your Copier IP Address
FINDING YOUR COPIER’S “IP” ADDRESS
Your copier/MFP/scanner may have a screen that displays the “IP.” Most users have never tried to find it so that can be awkward. There may be a counter (meter) report that includes the IP address, and this is usually easy to access and print if you provide meter readings to your service company.
But, you can also find your copier’s IP right on your PC. To do this you want to open the “Printers Window” or folder, where all the printers and devices you have access to are listed. It may be a chart of icons that look sort of like printers or copiers. When you get there, RIGHT CLICK on the copier/MFP you will be scanning FROM. It may or may not be your default printer – doesn’t matter.
When you right-clicked you got a “pop-up” menu in which the 4th or 5th item down is called “Printer Properties.” If you are looking at Windows 7, or later versions, there may be a second item at the bottom of the menu that says, simply, “Properties.” That one won’t help you; be sure it says Printer Properties. Click on that one with a normal click. (If you are on Windows XP, there is only the “Properties” item at the bottom – click on that for XP.)
As you can see to the right, there is a new “dialog” window that has tabs across the top and one of them (3rd from left) is “PORTS.” Normal-click that tab.
There are probably several “ports,” including “LPT1” and others, plus one or more “IP” ports and “USB” ports. Unfortunately, the list of ports is in a small window, but there is a scroll-bar on the bottom to pan left and right.
There is an up/down scroll bar on the right, as well, IF you have lots of ports. Scroll down until you see the NAME of the machine you want on the right side of the window area. The PORT information is on the left-most segment of this line.
You won’t be able to see it right away because Windows politely covers it up with the left-right scroll bar. Scroll down one more line so that it’s fully visible.
Now, place your mouse curser on the faint gray divider between the “Ports” column and the “Description” column: it will change into a double arrow. “Drag” the line toward “Description” and the “Ports” column will widen to where you can see the whole IP address, OR you may see a string of letters and numbers that comprise the NETWORK NAME of the copier/scanner. If it is an IP address you will see 4 groups of up to 3 numbers each, separated by “dots,” which is to say, periods. Write down the IP or the string of mixed characters (which may actually spell something). It is that set of numbers and dots or the name string that is the identity of the COPIER (port) by which the copier/scanner can communicate to computers on the network, including yours.
Health Care, Fairness and Free Enterprise
Even Copier companies pay for health care, and as costs keep shooting up, everyone on the paying side suffers. Here’s a short booklet on a far better way to resolve both cost and access issues, while ADDING to personal freedom, rather than stealing from it.
Your Friend, Ohhh-Cee-Ahhr
The first document management system (scanning, indexing and retrieval) Copilabs sold was to the original “MVP Sports” headquarters. It cost nearly $50,000 and was readily cost-justified. “How is that possible,” you ask?
They had a filing system comprised of 19 lateral file cabinets, 4 drawers each. There were always bulging folders sitting on top of the cabinets, awaiting re-filing. The opportunities for loss of pages, or simple misplacement of files, was large. The costs of time and loss were larger than the cost of financing the new electronic filing system.
For that system, 22 years ago, one operator had to select and enter indices for the kinds of documents contained in one “file.” It took 4 to 5 hours per day and the system still cost-justified.
How wonderful that the filing and indexing represented by that huge investment can be matched with a fast PC, a good copier / scanner and $400 worth of software. The indexing will now be done automatically thanks to “OCR” or Optical Character Recognition.
OCR is a database (that is itself indexed) of patterns of black and white pixels (“pels,” more correctly) that are matched with known patterns that form letters and numbers that transmit information to humans. We say that OCR “reads” the images we “capture” by scanning, and turns them back into real printing. Most simply, for indexing purposes, OCR need not be perfect, only “close” to complete translation of the black and white areas of our scanned images into whole words or strings of numbers or characters that may be connected to the “page-image” we’d like to look at right now, thank you very much.
At a speed of about one second per page, OCR software can “read” scanned pages and connect “hidden” pages of adequately translated sets of words on those page-images, and those sets of words, even the imperfect translations, are themselves indexed. Those indices tie the words, phrases and number-strings to the specific page – or pages – on which they appear: word – page – document – folder – directory – drive.
You type in the “key words” or number-string and up pops the document or, even, the single page inside that document that you need to see – in seconds. In various forms, OCR-based indexing can be very sophisticated, or relatively simple. In a simple form, your OCR indexing software “watches” directories and folders where scanned images are “saved” as part of the scanning process. When a document is added or augmented, the OCR and indexing database swing into action, reading all the new or changed pages, indexing their “read” characters and words and updating the database for the filing system. As soon as it is done, a user can find one or more of those pages with a pertinent keyword or character string.
Contact us to try OCR on your files.
Let Copier-Scanning Pay Off
“My copier is my scanner…”
“Everybody scans documents,” is a fairly safe statement. Almost everybody dreams of “going paperless” because it might save (pick some): The Planet, a Tree, a Whale, a Polar Bear. And any of these is a good thing. It might save mistakes and losses of information – and that’s important, too. It could save a life, keep someone out of jail, or find a missing person – more good things.
How we manage and rely on “scanned documents,” however, is VITAL to the success of the organization, or of the person, or of the DATA itself. The right DATA, at the right TIME, can be quickly converted to INFORMATION that REAL PEOPLE can make decisions with. It could make a sale and preserve a multi-year relationship; it could save people from making mistakes by shipping the wrong product, filing the wrong legal form, or prescribing the wrong medication.
Scanning bridges two ‘worlds’ of information: Paper and Digital. For all of our reliance on computers, we have also learned to be skeptical of what is happening to our information when it is reduced to magnetic bubbles in a black box or, worse, in the “Cloud.”
The explosion in “Security” services, softwares, consultants and devices, and the corresponding inventiveness of hackers and identity and other data thieves (including official “government / military” hackers) should have everyone with a computer or “smart” phone on permanent edge. With billions of transactions taking place every day, from Starbucks and McDonalds to Wall Street and International Banking, we are all both more dependent upon and more nervous about “electronic” data than ever before.
The ease of scanning has encouraged many, if not most of us to convert utterly stable PAPER data storage, into somewhat worrisome DIGITAL data storage. It is worth some planning, consideration and RE-consideration of what we are scanning and how to keep it as safe as paper has been for thousands of years.
FEAR NOT! We can help make scanning work for you and actually serve your most important purposes – even for quite small offices and operations. Here are the big issues:
- Volume of pages in paper format that you’d like to access on-screen.
- Daily volume of “new” scannings.
- Are you ‘archiving’ or creating ‘live,’ rapid-service/customer-service documents?
- Is access restricted within your organization?
- Are there legal requirements?
- Are you scanning for YOUR convenience, or is the Government making you do it?
- Do you need to access files from remote locations?
- Do you hope to resolve “filing” problems that papers make worse?
- Do you already have large numbers of digital files that are becoming hard to find?
These and many other questions are readily addressable. Copilabs has a long and glorious history of keeping copiers and printers CREATING paper documents. Now we work just as hard to help you transform them into electronic documents… without making them a new, costly problem.
Check out our pages on setting up scanning on copiers, and helpful hints for usage.