Like all popular technology hardware, document scanners come in all different sizes and shapes. There are so many different document scanners to choose from these days. With a huge selection of different brands and features, how do you choose the right document scanner? When choosing the right document scanner, follow these three simple guidelines in order: Application, Volume and Budget.
Application: Looking at your application means, what type of documents are you looking to scan? Are you looking to scan a large volume of documents in the back office? Are you looking to scan light volume scanning of customer information and mail at the front desk? Are you looking to scan extra-large documents like maps or blueprints? Or are you looking to scan health cards, driver’s licenses or books? Figuring out what types of documents is the first step in choosing the right document scanner.
Volume: The next guideline you want look at is volume. Know your volume; don’t answer by saying “A LOT.” If you ask ten people in our office what “a lot” means when it comes to scanning, I guarantee you will receive 10 different answers. How many documents are you going to be scanning? Are you going to be using the scanner for routine office tasks by one person or is everyone in the office going to use it? Knowing your volume, you help figure out whether you need a workstation scanner, a departmental scanner, or a production scanner.
Workstation Scanners: Workstation scanners offer an affordable solution for medium-sized applications requiring less than 1,000 pages a day. Designed for a single user, workstation scanners can accommodate different paper sizes in either flatbed or sheet-fed models and have an average scanning speed of 25-30 Pages per Minute.
Departmental Scanners: Departmental scanners work best within larger organizations with greater scanning demands. Averaging 50 Pages per Minute in scanning speed, departmental scanners are designed for higher throughput, faster speeds, and additional features.
Production Scanners: Production scanners address tremendous capacities up to 100,000 pages per day. In addition to extremely high volume, production scanners perform functions at speeds as fast as 90 to 135 pages per minute or more. Production scanners provide exceptional quality, high capacity and come with a wide selection of features.
Budget: You have looked your application and you have figured a hard number for your volume, now you are ready to set budget parameters. People always ask me, "shouldn’t I set my budget first?" No, it is a waste of your time and money to set a budget first. Buying a document scanner is an investment and you want to take maintenance costs into consideration too. If you budget for a workstation scanner to scan 5,000 pages a day, you will ruin the scanner in a few months and will be looking for a replacement. To determine your budget on a new document scanner, you must look at Manufacturer, Type and Features set. A document scanner can cost a couple hundred dollars or a couple thousand dollars, but you need to make sure the new scanner will meet your needs and improve your workflow and processes.
What type of documents is your company scanning on a daily basis? Does your current document scanner meet your applications and volume?