Tampa-based Image One Corp., with its many government and enterprise clients, has a reach that encircles the globe. As long-time specialists in Business Process Management, providing image capture and storage solutions, workflows, content management, form processing and email archival solutions, Image One serves a variety of industries. Their clients include hospitals, laboratories, state, county, and city governments, financial and insurance companies, hotels, theme parks, medical offices, and more. Image One’s document scanning and conversion division strives to become strategic partners with its clients.
"We’re right in the middle," says Image One Conversion Services Manager, Curtis Welch, about his department’s relationship with a typically large enterprise client. "We actually receive the client’s e-mails, their faxes, their paper, anything from expense account receipts to invoices and contracts. We process them, index them, and pull off the information they want. In the post-process phase, we marry all that together into image streams and index files as a daily upload that their server can pull right into their SAP application."
With an average monthly workload of 2.5 million documents that have to be prepared for scanning, scanned, and post-processed, Welch’s department, housed in a discrete area within Image One’s main high-security compound, runs two shifts a day, five days a week to meet their stringently-negotiated deadlines with clients. When interruptions caused by hardware inadequacies threaten to disrupt Welch’s precise workflow timetables, he acts fast to resolve the problem. Which is why, in September 2016, he added two Panasonic KV-S8147 high-volume production scanners to speed up, and improve the output quality of his scanned images.
He said, "The Panasonic scanners simply handle certain workflows we have better than any of the other scanners we have or have tried. For instance, we receive travel and expense reports for one of our largest customers via email, via a fax server, via various postal and ground delivery services from around the world. The ones that come in on paper are literally loose receipts associated with a cover sheet or a series of cover sheets. We have to segregate them by type, what they are for, put them in the correct order and tape them down to sheets to go through the scanner’s ADF."
"With our other scanners, we’d get tons of double feeds on those taped pages; double feeds that would require the operator to physically interact with the scanner, workstation, or both to get going again. The KV-S8147’s double feed technology resolves most double feed challenges, especially those that are true double feeds by itself. We don’t have to interact with the machine at all."
Welch also noted that the Panasonic’s 750-sheet Intelligent Feed Control ADF virtually eliminated work stoppages caused by feed errors or jams, when scanning large batches of mixed media, particularly stacks of extremely slick and thin paper.
"We had a high rate of errors or jams with the other scanners," he said. "But with the Panasonics, it just doesn’t happen. I don’t want to say it never ever happens, but it doesn’t happen (enough to be) noticeable. What that means is that jobs that would normally take 45 minutes to an hour to process now take 25 to 35 minutes. That kind of increase in productivity over the course of a week is very significant. There’s no question about it—when you get to workflows that have taped images and papers of varying sizes and thicknesses, the Panasonic just maintains a much, much more consistent throughput on an hourly basis than any other scanners we’ve used."
In addition to being "much, much" more consistent on mixed batches than the other scanners on the Image One production floor, the KV-S8147s have proven superior even when running simple jobs like scanning 500 nice, clean, 8x11, black and white sheets.
"I like the image quality and the way they operate," he noted. "In the past, we have always had to use Kofax VRS to interact with all of our scanners (to enhance the quality of the scanned images); we don’t use Kofax with the Panasonics, and it has had absolutely no noticeable impact on our image quality. It just makes the interface between the operators of the workstations and scanners smoother and more efficient."
Now the workhorses of Image One’s scanner arsenal, the KV-S8147s have significantly reduced the amount of workflow disruptions caused by the occasional difference in density, contrast, and quality between documents—for example, meal receipts scanned on the same page.
"Threshold question interruptions like that are happening a lot less," Welch says. "What I especially like is that all the interactions with the software and the scanner are so much quicker and easier with the Panasonics. So even if we have to legitimately re-scan a receipt that came out too light or too dark, the turnaround of putting the document back in and adjusting the brightness and contrast controls is much faster (than on the other scanners)."
Welch credits the faster turnaround times to the straight forward, intuitive user interface that has made the KV-S8147s real crowd pleasers with his well-trained, very loyal staff members (avg. minimum tenure: 7.5 years).
"The first unit we bought was up and running within an hour, and we had never even seen one in a box before," Welch recalls. "I’m serious, from unboxing to working in less than an hour and we’d never done an install (on a KV-S8147) before."
"I was very pleased with that, but not terribly surprised because when we first got a demo unit, I dropped one of my less experienced operators behind it with a short list of pointers, and she never asked me a single question then or later. That’s never happened before. The machines are just so intuitive, which is one of the main reasons our operators prefer using the Panasonics. They love the simpler, more intuitive interface, and reactions required from an operator while running a batch."
"We take our work very seriously. We are not a mom and pop or low-budget, low-overhead operation. We comply with all PHI/PI storage requirements, we have a secure site, we have our own bonded vehicles, and we have a very low staff turnover. We have an aggressive drug screening program, new hires have to pass security background checks. We have strict confidentiality, don’t allow cell phones, that kind of thing. We do this all day long, all week long, and really, every month all year long. We’re good at it. We’re efficient at it, and today thanks to our new Panasonics we get the jobs done faster and more efficiently than ever before."
"It might take a little while because we also like to get maximum ROI on our hardware, but the decision has already been made to replace all our other scanners with Panasonics."
To improve productivity, efficiency and quality control at a global document management company with a minimum average monthly production of 2.5 million scanned images.
The installation of two Panasonic KV-S8147 high-volume production scanners.
Virtual elimination of auto feed errors has reduced typical 45-to-60 minute scanning jobs with competitors’ hardware to 25-to-35 minutes with KV-S8147 scanners. Total elimination of Kofax VRS and AIPE usage which was required by competitors’ hardware. Significantly increased operator job satisfaction when assigned to a Panasonic unit.