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When storage costs, document preservation mandates, and threats to the long-term safety of paper documents converge, the concerns and costs can be significant. This array of issues was challenging a Baltimore, Maryland based law firm. The firm’s management team knew that completing a digital transformation process was a priority. They were also concerned about possible water damage to paper records from violent storms and flooding.
Hearing of the reputation of Data Repro Com Ltd. (DRC), of Toronto, Ontario, and their skills and experience in successfully completing similar large scale projects, the firm selected DRC. The mission: execute storage, scanning and active file management to convert 7,000 boxes of legal files into high-quality digital output for use on the firm’s internal network.
At initial meetings between DRC and firm management, key topics were discussed, including modernization objectives, quality standards, security and ways to reduce the storage footprint and associated leasing costs in the shortest possible timeframe, and how to most efficiently convert a vast quantity of paper into a digital format consistent with the firm’s existing digital filing system.
DRC worked closely with firm personnel to understand the filing structure by practice area and conducted a review of quality requirements – based on a broad mix of content and paper types, including forms, receipts, stamps, typed color documents, and handwritten correspondence.
DRC outlined a plan for transportation, chain-of-custody, document access, and quality management processes used successfully in similar projects involving long-distance document conversion. Here, documents would be trucked hundreds of miles, crossing the border into Canada where DRC’s highly scaled conversion operation is located. Documents resided at the firm’s busy downtown head office, and DRC’s project management experts teamed with firm employees to inventory, pack, and load 1,000 boxes of legal files into a secure transport truck in less than four hours for each of seven scheduled shipments.
DRC counts on hardware and software from Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business, to deliver fast, problem-free, and compliant document conversion solutions. They added two new Kodak i5650 Scanners, complementing an existing fleet of Kodak Scanners, to take on the law firm’s large-volume, fast-turn challenge.
DRC recommended threshold-based color detection scanning and blank page deletion delivering near photographic quality images of the firm’s content while minimizing file sizes and network impact.
The i5650’s feeding capacity, with a 750-sheet elevator (customizable for smaller batches), Perfect Page quality-optimization, and high-speed transport were all essential in achieving exceptional image quality and meeting project time frames. Alaris Capture Pro Software was used to scan DRC generated barcodes, track capture statistics and aid in detailed indexing of key subfolders within the clients’ files, streamlining document searches.
DRC used data stored in the firm’s file locator system to ensure that file and naming conventions were replicated for consistency with current scanning efforts. DRC also leveraged the firm’s records management database for inventory management, indexing, and file reconciliation to ensure quality, accuracy, and accountability. And DRC employed Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to enable lawyers and trial preparation teams to search for and through documents using key words and phrases.
While the conversion project continued, online document requests came into DRC to support daily needs. Authorized users within practice areas logged into DRC’s secure online Customer Portal to search for, and request, client files for immediate online access. Once requests were processed, users received email notifications, along with a link to the Portal for image access.
As the project nears completion, scanned paper records are securely stored and readied for eventual certified destruction, verified by DRC’s file inventory management system.
To date, it’s been a seamless, trauma free conversion that’s already paying dividends through reduced space costs, smooth integration with current scanning initiatives, and improved access to client information. As one partner in the firm noted, “You guys make an operation of this scale look easy!”
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