Document Logistix creates document management solutions that help eliminate the use of paper, improve records management and automate business processes. The company also provides a high-volume scanning and document management service to clients who need to turn paper documents into digital files. Charged with delivering a custom back-scanning project for The University of Oxford, Operations Director John Fernandes, turned to Kodak Alaris for support.
The University was looking to digitise individual students’ records, some of which were nearly 100 years old. The degree awards records had been created on card stock and contained information including the student’s name, date of birth, which college they attended, dates of the start and finish of studies, examinations sat and degrees awarded.
The records varied considerably, largely due to different record-keeping practices over the years. There was no consistency in style or format when recording any of the information, each record featured several people’s handwriting, unique markings, and incorporated a rainbow of ink types and colours - all of which presented a number of challenges in terms of accurately capturing the information and preserving the records for future generations to access.
Document Logistix approached Kodak Alaris for advice and support in providing a scanning solution that would enable them to fulfil the project within the agreed timescales. With over half a million pages to be scanned and the fact that the original documents were challenging: throughput, quality and reliability were key criteria.
Kodak Alaris recommended and provided the Kodak i4650 Scanner. This production workhorse features a 500-sheet input elevator for continuous document feeding, with a straight-through paper path ideal for feeding the heavyweight cards.
Exceptional image quality delivers crisp, clear images, particularly important due to the challenging originals, plus controlled stacking functionality ensures that a neat, orderly stack of documents are returned post scan, improving efficiency. Additionally, the i4650 Scanner runs at full-rated speed, even with all image processing features running, helping to ensure high productivity.
Digitising the documents efficiently was a key business requirement, and the i4650 Scanner’s fast processing speeds and reliability delivered a real value-add. “The major bottleneck we faced was the time it took to manually index data such as the students’ name and date of birth. With no consistency in format, style or even ink colour, this initial important step had to be manually input which took time. As such, we scanned in batches of 20-30 cards at any one time, and the scanner powered through these in record time. In fact, had we not been faced with resource constraints, we could have literally completed the project in half the time,” Fernandes explained.
Where the scanner from Kodak Alaris really stood out was in terms of its superior image quality. “The format of the original documents was really random, each one came with its own challenges, and the ability to accurately capture all of the information was a critically important factor for this project. We were very pleased with the results,” Fernandes said, adding: “The scanner captured every mark on the cards, even things like entries underlined in different coloured inks, a myriad of ‘stamps’ that had been added through the years, and other unique snippets of information, the quality of the captured images overall was first-class.”
Kodak Alaris’ solution has enabled Document Logistix to process some 500,000 images and complete the project on time. “The COVID-19 pandemic caused some delays in terms of the University’s ability to box and ship the records to us, but once on site, we were able to process these challenging, complex documents quickly and efficiently,” Fernandes noted.
Document Logistix was also impressed with the robustness and reliability of the scanner. “We had no issues whatsoever in terms of performance or downtime, plus we didn’t have to replace the consumables as they were long lasting, which was an additional benefit,” he added.
Of note also was Kodak Alaris’ support prior to installation. “This was a very unique project and we wanted to ensure we brought in the right technology for the job. Kodak Alaris went above and beyond, conducting early batch testing at their head office to check we could do what we needed to do. The technical support was excellent,” Fernandes said.
Most importantly, the University was delighted with the results and now has a digital archive of the results of its older alumni, which was the overriding objective of the project. This online archive supplements existing online records of more recent records, and avoids the need for staff to visit the physical filing cabinets, allowing staff to access the material directly themselves.
The University considered this was a project that would not have been practical, or cost-effective, to undertake internally as it had neither the staff available, nor systems to deliver the solution. With Document Logistix providing an online cloud-based solution to access the records, it has been straightforward to integrate the new system into its processes.