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  • 29Jan

    Document imaging services are fast gaining popularity. Firms are opting for document scanning as it reduces the clutter of paper at office and improves employee efficiency. Small and mid-size firms usually depend on document imaging firms for scanning of documents and their management.

    There are several document imaging companies and hence choosing the right company is not an easy task.

    Given here are a few things that you should consider while hiring a document imaging company.

    What Type Of Services The Company Provides?
    Some companies provide only document scanning service, while there are some that offer complete document management services. You should first list down your requirements and then find a company that meets them.

    Whether You Want A Standard Package Or A Custom-Built Package?
    Since, all companies do not offer both standard and custom made packages; your choice of the service provider will depend on what type of document management services you want. If you want to avail of services strictly as per your requirements then you should get a customized package, otherwise a standard package will also do. Custom made package is costlier than the standard ones.

    What Is The Uptime Of The Company?
    If you want to use the document hosting service of the company, you should check its uptime. The company's uptime should be at least 99 per cent. That will ensure that your documents are available to you most of the time.

    Where The Company Will Scan The Document?
    This is a very important question. If your documents are very sensitive and confidential, then you might prefer to hire a company that scans the documents on-site. Otherwise, a company that offers document imaging facility only at its premises will also do. Depending upon what you prefer, you should choose an appropriate document imaging company.

    What The Company Does To Ensure The Safety And Security Of The Documents?
    Security is one of the biggest concerns of the firms while hiring a document imaging firm. Before hiring the firm, you should check what type of steps the company takes to ensure the security of the documents. It is best to hire a firm that is HIPPA compliant.

    What Type Of Scanning Facility The Company Provides?
    Nowadays, people prefer OCR scanning, as it has several benefits like quick search and easy editing. Check, if the document imaging firm offers this service.

    What Are The Costs Of The Services?
    You should compare the rates of a few firms. This will help you to know the prevailing rates of the services you want to avail. The rates are dependent on the type and quality of services provided by the firm and its reputation. Never compromise on quality for price. You should look for a firm that provides value for money services.

    Where The Company Is Located?
    If you are planning to hire a firm that scans documents at its premises, then it is better to hire one that is close to your office. This would ensure speedy work. Even if the company offers on-site scanning, it is good if it has a local office close to you.

    Our solutions help companies save money by better managing, accessing, and maintaining their electronic and paper based documents through our document imaging, data capture and document storage and retrieval capabilities.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Maureen_Larson

  • 25Jul

    Store your records safely and securely from the moment you create them. Develop a recordkeeping system that will keep records secure, protect them from alteration or damage, and allow easy access with less wear-and-tear. If you are designing an electronic system, use non-proprietary products, implement virus and password protection, and plan for software and hardware obsolescence.

    Less is better

    Reduce as much as possible the number of duplicate copies of a single record. You need to maintain only one copy: the official or record copy. By doing so, you will not waste space. If you are from a state agency or local government, regularly dispose of obsolete records according to a State Archives records schedule.

    Consider microfilming or scanning your records. Microfilming is a still good way to reduce storage requirements and preserve historical records. Imaging is better for improving access to records. For more information about micrographics and imaging, especially when each is an appropriate solution, refer to our Publication #77, Managing Imaging and Micrographics Projects.

    Onsite storage or offsite storage

    Once you no longer actively use records, it’s best to transfer them from busy, crowded office areas to alternative storage. You can use commercial or remote records storage facilities if onsite space is at a premium. For more guidance on storing records offsite, see our Publication #42, Offsite Storage of Inactive Local Government Records. The Archives maintains a list of vendors who store micrographic records. If you are from a state agency, you can store records at the New York State Archives Records Center on the State Office Campus in Albany.

    Proper storage environment

    Choose a clean, secure, and stable environment. Ideal conditions for most types of record formats include:

    • Temperature between 65-70º F, with fluctuations of no more than 2 degrees
    • Relative humidity at 35-45%, with fluctuations of no more than 5%
    • Protection from ultraviolet (UV) light, air pollutants, and vermin
    • Protection from damage, disaster (i.e., water, fire), and theft

    Limit access to storage areas, have secure locks, and install fire suppression and security systems. To assess how vulnerable the areas where you store records are to disasters, conduct a site assessment (see guidelines and form in our Publication #82, Managing Records Disasters).

    Electronic records

    Keep in mind that electronic media, including optical discs and computer tape, are not permanent storage media. You will periodically need to test media to ensure that no data has been lost, refresh or copy records onto new media, and ensure that you have the required equipment to access the records. Refer to our electronic records page.

    Transferring archival state agency records to the State Archives

    State agency records that State Archives staff have appraised as permanent may be transferred to the Archives. For more information about transferring state agency records, call (518) 474-6926. The State Archives will not accept state agency records without prior consultation and approval.

    Preservation vs. conservation

    Preservation means working to prevent the deterioration of your historical records as a whole: use appropriate archival quality supplies and optimum environmental conditions for storage. For a thorough overview, attend our Preservation of Historical Records and Preservation of Electronic Records workshops.

    Conservation involves hiring professional conservator to repair damage that has already occurred using minimal, non-invasive techniques. To help you decide what records are appropriate for conservation measures, see our Publication #60, Criteria for Selecting Records for Conservation Treatment and our list of conservation consultants.


    The State Archives offers a grant program for local governments to implement many of the storage and preservation activities described above. To learn more about our Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant program, contact the State Archives at (518)474-6926 or via e-mail, or contact your Regional Advisory Officer.

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  • 11Jul

    Optical character recognition

    Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is the mechanical or electronic translation of images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text (usually captured by a scanner) into machine-editable text.

    OCR is a field of research in pattern recognitionartificial intelligence and machine vision. Though academic research in the field continues, the focus on OCR has shifted to implementation of proven techniques. Optical character recognition (using optical techniques such as mirrors and lenses) and digital character recognition (using scanners and computer algorithms) were originally considered separate fields. Because very few applications survive that use true optical techniques, the OCR term has now been broadened to include digital image processing as well.

    Early systems required training (the provision of known samples of each character) to read a specific font. “Intelligent” systems with a high degree of recognition accuracy for most fonts are now common. Some systems are even capable of reproducing formatted output that closely approximates the original scanned page including images, columns and other non-textual components.

    Today we use the best equipment so that your office documents are fully available via a wide range of software solutions, right there in your Tampa and Clearwater offices.

  • 11Jul

    Being Green at Work

    Interesting Facts and Tips (1)

    Paper – Despite advances in technology, the paperless office remains a futuristic fantasy, with the typical U.S. worker using a whopping 10,000 sheets of paper – as much paper as is produced by pulping a full-grown tree – each year.  Much of this paper comes from native pine forests and is chlorine-bleached, a process that produces toxic dioxins. TIP:  To cut down on paper, use both sides.  Set the printer of photocopier defaults so that you have to choose not to print double-sided.  Print out only what is necessary, and proofread documents carefully on your computer screen to avoid having to print multiple copies.  Save single-sided scrap paper for taking notes or for use in the photocopier or fax machine.  Keep a paper-recycling bin under your desk and in communal printing areas, and encourage your colleagues to recycle.

    Trees logged from forests account for
    more than 71% of office paper used today,
    with 8 million tons of copy paper used in the U.S. every year.

    Paper Pile
    That’s equal to 188 million trees.

    Recycled Paper – A business is not truly recycling unless it buys recycled products.  Recycled paper uses up to 90 percent less water and half the energy required to make paper from virgins lumber and produces 36% less greenhouse gas emissions, yet less than 9 percent of the 8 million tons of printing and writing paper used in the U.S. each year is recycled content.  While recycled paper was once avoided because they looked inferior, it is now often hard to tell the difference, with manufacturers providing recycled paper for virtually all office functions.

    Coffee Cups – Coffee has become an indispensable part of the working day.  In America we throw away 25,000,000,000 styrofoam coffee cups every year!   Instead of using cardboard or styrofoam cups, use a ceramic coffee mug.  Over its life span, a mug will be used 3,000 times, resulting in 30 times less solid waste and 60 times less air pollution than using the equivalent number of cardboard cups.  Ask take-out coffee shops to serve your favorite brew in your own favorite mug.

    Printer Ink Cartridges – Dire warnings against reusing printer ink and toner cartridges contribute to more than 300 million plastic printer cartridges ending up in landfills each year; that’s about 8 cartridges every second.   There is no reason why a cartridge can’t be reused up to four times.  You will cut waste and save up to 90 percent on the cost of a new cartridge.  TIP: Be sure to use a reputable company that will refill or remanufacture your printer cartridges and is prepared to offer a written guarantee against printer damage.

  • 11Jul

    Since the onset of the computer age, experts have predicted the arrival of the “paperless office.” In the office of the future, they said, paper would be obsolete: documents would be stored in electronic directories and transmitted from computer to computer.  There would be no file cabinets, reference books, or stacks of outgoing mail. There would also be little or no paper waste.  Even though this vision of a paperless office has been more difficult to realize than originally thought, some of our clients are making real progress. Partners are using electronic technology to reduce excess paper in a variety of ways, including: Computerized documents and filing systems.

    Several of our clients have placed phone directories, human resources documents, and corporate policy manuals on line to avoid constantly updating paper versions. Others are using electronic filing systems to reduce the amount of paper copies made in the office.

    Electronic data interchange (EDI)

    EDI is the electronic transfer of business information in a structured format from one computer to another. It is a high-speed method of electronically communicating large volumes of data without the use of paper. For example, rather than sending paper purchase orders and invoices through the mail, our clients are investing in EDI to carry out these transactions electronically.

    CD/ROM and other interactive tools

    CD/ROMs have enabled our clients to store vast quantities of information, much more than would fit on an ordinary floppy disk, in an easy-to-use, interactive format.

    In addition to reducing paper use, these emerging technologies also improve efficiency, saving time usually needed to process paper forms. These benefits ultimately mean increased savings for a company’s bottom line.  This issue highlights our clients’ experiences implementing electronic technologies that conserve paper.  We look at their successes and the ways in which they’ve overcome some typical concerns, such as the length of time needed to implement EDI and costs of purchasing software and training employees to use the technology. In addition, some our clients have found that suppliers or customers might also need help adjusting to new technologies.  In this issue, we examine an on-line purchasing catalog implemented by Silicon Graphics, which the company estimates conserves 500,000 pages of paper per year, and illustrate how Haworth has conserved paper by placing its product catalogs on a CD/ROM. We also showcase the cost and paper savings Phillips Petroleum and the Southern Company have achieved through their use of EDI. In other articles, we see how BellSouth Telecommunications and Lockheed Martin achieve the benefits of computerized document storage.

    More and more companies are on their way to use technology to conserve paper and increase efficiency.  We want to help you to achieve the benefits of paper-free technologies, fast and cost-efficient.

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