This goes for every business out there. Whether you’re a one-man show or a Fortune 100 your ultimate goal should be to reach a 100% Distributed Scanning solution.

What is Distributed Scanning and Centralized Scanning?

Distributed scanning is a scanner on every desktop. Centralized scanning is a copier or network scanner centrally located so everyone can get to it.

When it comes to productivity there is really no comparison. It’s like riding a bicycle to the store or driving your car. You may only have a bicycle, for now, but you know a car would be really nice.

When you ride your bicycle to the store you see all of the people in their cars and think, man…I have to get me a car. But if you are using centralized scanning you don’t see all of your competitors who are getting twice the productivity out of their people by having a desktop scanner.

I have seen this scenario before. You have a copier that scans and you tell your EDMS sales guy that you would like to use it. He or she will say that’s fine our software can accommodate that. Now, there is more money for software.. No discussion ever took place about which works the best and why.

It’s a WIN-LOSE. The EDMS Sales guy wins and you lose…but you don’t know it because you were not told the truth about productivity. So, essentially it is a fake WIN-WIN.

How much more productive can you be with desktop scanners?

You might be saying c’mon Tim, there’s really not that big of a difference. Is there?

Let’s take a one-page document that needs to be scanned into the system. At my desk, I put it in the feeder, hit a button and seconds later it is filed away and maybe even routed through the workflow. I might be on the phone while I scan or I might be working on a report, but I am focused on my work at my desk.The person using the copier has to get up and walk to the copier. If their lucky nobody is making copies or printing to it. So, they hit a button place the paper in the feeder. What happens next varies from one system to another. Maybe it requires more action back at the desk…but that’s after you stop by the break room or get caught in a conversation with a co-worker. See my point?

I have tried to make these two scanning strategies equal, but I sincerely don’t think it can be done. I’m always open for debate or ideas. I’ believe in brainstorming every idea and together we come up with the best solution.

If you are in my industry, as EDMS Consultants or sales people whatever our title is, we should do what’s best for the customer even if it cost a little more upfront. At least, let’s make people aware of the best strategy.

I know budgets get in the way and it may be necessary to start out using a Centralized Scan strategy. That’s fine but let’s be in agreement that as soon as possible we will start placing desktop scanners with our people who do the most scanning.

As I have said in a previous post, a document management implementation should never end, there is just so much that can be done to make us more efficient and productive. This is just one more piece of the puzzle that needs to be laid down to get the most out of the system.

As always I welcome the feedback.

Have a good one!!

Tim Peek