Scanning and archiving has become essential – and sometimes legally necessary – to keep pace in today’s business world. Document scanning is an efficient way to store building, engineering, and architectural drawings as well as your everyday business files in a secure and searchable location. However, scanning and archiving of large format technical documents and drawings is still an often underutilized process.
Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., explains how academic institutions can create an efficient workflow by digitally archiving their documents.
Outdated Document Management Systems Stymie Productivity
Many organizations, including colleges and universities, operate with paper-based document management systems. Oftentimes, drawings, documents and files are stacked in print rooms or stored in drawers. These outdated filing systems make it difficult for facilities management and engineering departments to immediately access drawings that may be needed for maintenance, construction or an emergency situation
If files are digitized, they are often accessed through a network share or folders making it very difficult to provide any advanced search capabilities or secure valuable information. Likewise, updating drawings and keeping track of revisions becomes a very tedious and laborious process.
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) overhauled its document management system in order to keep pace with campus growth, which has created a complex network of facilities for MUSC’s engineering department to manage, inspect and maintain.
“The University has a number of older buildings and new structures, which are blended together to create a very nice campus. We realized that the department needed a new computerized maintenance management system that could help us archive our paper documents and streamline the process of identifying and disseminating the right document for specific jobs,” said Paul LoCicero, manager engineering support services, MUSC. Locating drawings for technicians in the field was a tedious process that involved many hours and even days of searching through file cabinets and drawing racks to locate a document. Once found, there was even more time spent with engineers and architects to ensure that the document was the most current or latest revision. After confirming the document was the current revision for the project, then it would be distributed to the field technicians.
Document Viewing, Printing and Sharing Made Easy
One way academic institutions can resolve these workflow issues is by implementing an advanced, intuitive scanning and archiving solution, which can efficiently archive, index and print large format documents. These advanced solutions operate in a client-server environment, with files stored on the server and accessed by clients through a network. Users can be assigned permissions to search, view, export and print archived documents directly via a web browser on their tablet, phone or computer with a web application or Windows desktop client.
By replacing its outdated document management system, MUSC’s engineering department was able to create a scalable archive for old documents and a customized system for all new and future documents. Technicians can now access accurate information in a timelier manner and the system’s flexibility makes it easy to add new files.
Todays advanced archive solutions are also ideal for mobile workers in the field. With the addition of a mobile app, employees can search for the document they need, zoom in for a detailed preview, or print directly from their mobile application. The ability to access, print and even change documents in the field provides greater flexibility to technicians’ workflow; they no longer need to stop what they’re doing and head to the print room to access mission critical documents.
Graduate to a Next-Generation Scanning and Archiving Solution
Academic institutions can benefit greatly from scanning and archiving large format technical documents, drawings and files. In order to capitalize on these benefits, it’s important to select a solution that delivers the right features and capabilities. Academic institutions should look for a solution that enables users to:
• Define and fill out attributes for each document as well as search for documents by these attributes
• Manage document security rights by having the ability to provide access to individual users or groups
• Customize access to allow viewing, exporting and/or printing of documents
• Preview print jobs prior to printing to ensure accuracy.
• Add stamps and watermarks to files for printing or for distributing as TIFFs or PDFs.
• Export documents for distribution as single and multipage PDF’s or TIFFs.
• Integrate the solution with a database for easy and efficient disaster recovery
• Import existing digital data directly into the new system for immediate access.
For more information on how your college or university can improve workflows and productivity with scanning and archiving solutions, visit www.csa.canon.com or click here to view the Medical University of South Carolina video case study.