Founded in 1939 as Biel’s Photocopy Service, Biel’s Document Management is the oldest imaging services provider in the U.S. Through their work as a service bureau and also as a value-added reseller (VAR) of scanning hardware and software, they deliver innovative document management solutions that enable companies to scan, store, retrieve, and use information more efficiently, accurately, and securely.
Like many imaging service bureaus, Biel’s Document Management used to generate much of its revenue from converting huge archives of paper documents into electronic files – medical records, HR files, accounting and payroll records, etc. This service helped their clients transition into digital data storage and management. Today, however, their focus is more on business process outsourcing (BPO).
For example, they now perform invoice processing automation where they receive invoices on behalf of clients, scan them to extract the information needed by the client’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and pass that information along to initiate payment. In order to ensure that invoices are paid without delay, Biel’s needs fast, reliable scanners.
Dennis Kempner has been President of Biel’s Document Management for more than 30 years. He’s seen a great deal of change in his decades at the helm, and recalls the point where the company realized that its ability to be highly productive was about more than just a scanner’s rated speed.
“Back in 2009 we did a study that showed we needed to move from mid-speed scanners to high-speed units,” he says. “We purchased a scanner from another manufacturer, but chose to service it ourselves and quickly found that we had far too much downtime as we had to correct one issue after another, often waiting for parts for what was a fairly complicated machine.”
Having enjoyed very reliable service from their mid-range Kodak Scanners, and excellent response from the Kodak Alaris customer care team, they decided to purchase a high-speed Kodak i1860 Scanner. “It actually had a slightly lower rated speed than our existing scanner, but from an efficiency standpoint we were able to produce more images because of less downtime. And, the quality of the images was also consistently better.”
Since then, Biel’s has purchased several additional high-speed scanners from Kodak Alaris. They are very pleased with their two i4600s and two i4850s as well.
If I had to sum up our experience with Kodak Alaris in one word, 'excellent' is what I'd say Dennis Kempner President of Beil's Document Management
In addition to speed and reliability, accuracy of the images that Biel’s produces is critically important as well. “The scanners have Perfect Page technology, which allows us to do less adjusting at the scanner and gives us higher quality images,” says Kempner. “Also, we sometimes have to scan at 300 dpi to accommodate OCR (optical character recognition) extraction of data from the images, and the scanners from Kodak Alaris don’t have to slow down when providing that high resolution.”
“Our production manager is also a fan of the streak filter feature,” he adds. “It eliminates scanner lines and allows the scanner to run longer without interaction, which increases productivity and ultimately reduces costs.”
Although he came up through the organization in sales and was never a full time scanner operator, Kempner nevertheless understands how helpful it is to have a scanner designed to automatically optimize image quality. “We haven’t done it in a few years, but there was a time when executive management spent a day each year prepping files and operating scanners,” he says. “It gave all of us an appreciation for the challenges our operators face and the features that help them overcome them.”
Another advantage of the Kodak Alaris solution is a decrease in labor costs. “Our direct labor cost used to be in the neighborhood of 35 percent,” says Kempner. “Today it’s 29 percent. That six percent increase in labor efficiency applied to our labor hours and pay rate is a substantial amount.”
Overall, Kempner and Biel’s are very happy with their investment in scanners from Kodak Alaris to capture more than two million images each month. “If I had to sum up our experience with Kodak Alaris in one word, ‘excellent’ is what I’d say.”