How to save £11,000 per month on document imaging

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by Duncan MacRae| 09 May 2014

One document scanning bureau also saved 1,122 man-hours per month with the help of Kodak Alaris.

Storetec, a document scanning bureau based in Hull, has significantly increased its capacity by installing a high performance ibml ImageTrac document scanning solution to cater for substantial demand for its services.

Supplied by Kodak Alaris, the purchase is part of a forward thinking investment strategy that is expected to enable Storetec to double its monthly production capacity with no additional manpower. Kodak Alaris is also providing a comprehensive service and support package and thorough operator training.

By utilising the performance of the ibml equipment and reorganising the physical layout of its bureau, Storetec expects to avoid employing an additional seven staff members as services ramp up. This equates to a cost saving of around £11,000 per month or 1,122 man-hours.

Today Storetec processes around 4 million documents per month and expects this to rise to 8 million within the next 12 months given the pipeline of confirmed work, current lead generation activities, and recruitment of additional sales staff.

In 2013, Storetec saw a 1200% increase in sales from existing customers, 267% growth in new clients and 856% rise in web-based sales enquiries. Located in a new £450,000 production facility totalling 7,000ft2, the business employs 73 staff and is rapidly growing with profits increasing 138% last year. The company works with a range of enterprise customers such as Brewin Dolphin, Lloyd's, Shell, Rolls Royce, along with Northumbrian Water and the NHS.

Neil Robson, Storetec's founder and MD, said: "Quality scanning and customer service is fundamental to respond to our clients' document processing needs which has led us to invest in new scanner technology. At the time of purchase, we didn't strictly need the capacity, but we've got money to invest in our business so we decided to buy the ibml scanner early, learn how to use it properly so we're ready to get the best from it as sales ramp up this year and beyond.

"The bureau has been reorganised so paper flowing through is more efficient. When boxes come in to be scanned, they run seamlessly through the bureau in one run from preparation to scanning and then on to the post scanning team who do our database work. This means we avoid re-handling paper and boxes which just slows our whole operation down."

Storetec has had a long-term partnership with Kodak Alaris and also uses a fleet of its production scanners within the business.

Robson explained: "Working with Kodak Alaris is excellent and we really value their sales, support and service offering. We trust them and needed more performance hence the ibml purchase. It would be hard to find someone else who responds as well as Kodak Alaris does, such that we wouldn't want to be without them."

To cater for larger customers and to keep operational costs down given the throughput required, Storetec decided to install an ibml ImageTrac scanner along with DocNetics suite of imaging software. It purchased the equipment through Kodak Alaris based on their lengthy and successful commercial relationship.

The ibml scanner provides duplex scanning at 300 dpi and is able to process up to 438 pages per minute (A4 size). In addition to providing high quality, efficient processing at exceptional speeds, it also reduces document preparation costs by allowing documents of multiple sizes and thicknesses to be scanned in a single pass. The scanner can cope with rice paper right up to card stock, in other words, and its 1,500 sheet feeder can be refilled while the scanner is actually working.

Once paperwork is digitised, customers either access the information using Storetec's Freedocs portal or the images are securely transferred to populate clients' electronic document management systems. As part of the project, Storetec also refreshed its HP servers and network to ensure the processing performance of the new scanner is maximized and resilience ensured.

Robson said: "The combination of ibml technology and Kodak Alaris service and support means we've put in place the best scanning solution available to underpin our business in the long term. Customers actually expect this level of equipment. We can ensure faster turnaround, reduce rates for certain type of work, and really excel in the marketplace."

Neil Murphy, Kodak Alaris' UK sales manager, said: "The investment in ibml and Kodak Alaris represent a major step forward for Storetec. The ibml scanner provides headroom for growth, enables Storetec to meet the needs of all clients within stringent timescales, with a Kodak Alaris service engineer team in place to ensure availability."

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