How it works

The goal of a document imaging system is to take a document, feed it through a scanner and convert it into an electronic document that can easily be searched, retrieved or shared with other people. Using various kinds of scanners, any kind of paper or filmed document can be converted to an electronic image. The stages a document goes through to be converted to an electronic images are:

Document Preparation

Prep is performed to make the documents ready to go through a document scanner. Prep usually consists of removing staples & paper clips and arranging the documents to facilitate their movement through the scanner.

Document Scanning

The type of scanner used must match the types of documents and the volumes being scanned. Compressed TIFF or PDF format is the most common image format for business documents.although some documents may be best scanned in color or gray scale. Whether using IMS’s imaging services or purchasing your own system, IMS matches the documents to the scanner. Scanner prices run from a few hundred dollars to in excess of one hundred thousand dollars, the price depending on a scanner’s speed and the advanced features it offers. Why talk money here?

Document Indexing

After a document is scanned, it is generally indexed to facilitate searching for and retrieving the image. The indexes can be any kind of alpha and/or numerical set of characters. Typical indexes include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • City
  • SSN
  • Customer Number
  • Document Type
  • Dollar Amount
  • Date

What can be scanned?

The following is a list of the various types of documents and records scanned by IMS.

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Authorization Letters
  • Bank Records
  • Bank Statements
  • Bankruptcies
  • Benefits Enrollments
  • Billing Tickets
  • Board Minutes
  • Cashier Packets
  • Certification Letters
  • Credit Files
  • Charge Offs
  • Closed Accounts
  • Contracts
  • Corporate Records
  • Credit Union Statements
  • Customer Files
  • Deceased & Retiree Benefits
  • Delivery Tickets
  • Employee Files
  • Explanation Of Benefits
  • HR Files
  • Invoices
  • Journal Entries
  • Legal Files
  • Loan Files
  • Oil & Gas Well Files, Drawings & Logs
  • Paid Loans
  • Pick Tickets
  • Project Drawings
  • Project Files
  • Project Reports
  • County Property Files
  • Purchase Orders
  • Signature Cards
  • Student Records
  • Title Company Records
  • Voter Registration Cards

If scanning film or large format documents, specialized scanners are required that are quite different from those used to scan most small paper documents.

Image Hosting, Search & Retrieval

Searching and retrieval of records is made using common software such as your Web Browser or other common MicrosoftTM based software, although, client/server software is used in some circumstances.

Often the scanned images are made part of a more comprehensive Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) where the system is also capturing, indexing and storing common document formats such as Word, Excel, Access, WordPerfect, faxes and e-mails. In addition to scanned images, EDMS systems can typically store any one of hundreds of kinds of PC based documents, e.g. Word, Excel, faxes, e-mail. Images are generally stored on servers giving fast dynamic access to documents. The EDMS offered by IMS is PaperVision. The images are also stored on optical media for archive and backup purposes.

Successfully implementing a document imaging process usually begins with someone who recognizes the benefits of scanning. To help you understand the document imaging process, you will want to familiarize yourself with how the document imaging process works.

Would you like to see what some of your documents look like when they are scanned? Send us samples of your paper documents. We will scan and index them with key words, show you how it works and give you pricing for converting your documents to electronic images. Just call us at 800-255-3190 and make arrangements to ship them to us.