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Large Format Scanning: Save time and money by outsourcing the scanning of large format documents

Offsetting the cost of large format scanning is the savings companies can realize by reclaiming real estate where large format documents are stored. In some cases, the cost of storing documents exceeds the cost of scanning them.

Easier Handling with Large Format Scanning
Scanned documents are easier to handle physically and systematically. When documents are scanned, even if they become very large sized electronic files, they are still easier to store and share than their physical counterparts. Additionally, document scanning almost always involves an indexing schema for logical and quick archival and retrieval, enforcing discipline on document whereabouts.

No Lost Documents with Large Format Scanning
Of course, a lost or damaged document is no big deal--until it is needed. Then, one missing document may be worth hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost business. Archiving a single item might be worth the cost of scanning an entire library of documents.

How to Select a Large Format Scanning Service
To efficiently manage large format scanning, one or more large scale scanners and the human expertise to operate them is required. When all the costs are factored, it often more economical to have large format scanning done by a third party. Here are some considerations when selecting a vendor:

  • Original document size--be sure the scanning service has the equipment and experience to handle the size of documents that make up the project.
  • Input--the scanning service must be able to handle the type of paper or film and the type of image of the original. It should be able to manipulate the images created for color correction, sharpness, or suppression of background to eliminate wrinkles or stains that appear on the original.
  • Output--this article focuses on the benefit of large format scanning for archival purposes; a scanning service must be able to provide and transport files in formats and via media that are compatible with client systems.
  • Quality Control--find out how the service provider monitors projects in flight. How many check points are there, and what happens if there are problems along the way?
  • Service--service begins the moment a company initiates contact with a vendor, either online or by phone. If service is not favorable at the outset, chances are it will not improve once an order is placed.
  • Cost--common sense dictates that to know the best value, cost must be a factor.
  • References--ask for and then speak with references. Find out how long they have been doing business with the scanning service, and ask about any hiccups that might have occurred during that time. A flawless service record is great, but it is often more important to know how a vendor will react when problems arise.

Large format scanning brings organization, document preservation, and peace of mind to any office that deals with blueprints, photos, schematics, and other oversize documents.


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