I’m often asked, “I made a major purchase of a multi-function printer (MFP) to scan, copy and print documents. Why do I need a desktop scanner as well?” The short answer may be that you don’t need one. However, if you have a busy office that is always struggling to keep up with its work, a desktop scanner may be what your business is missing.
We recently worked with one of our clients whose accounts receivable department had a robust MFP installed by their IT department for purposes of efficiency. This single device can copy, print and scan for the entire department. But what originally seemed like a cost-effective solution turned into a log jam for the office. First, workers would need to leave their desk to scan a document. Then, if someone else was using the machine they had to wait, and at the time lead to multiple people waiting to use the MPF. While all of this waiting was taking place, the department was falling behind on their tasks. It was getting so bad, that the manager had to budget for an additional employee. What was originally purchased to increase efficiency was causing the entire department to fall behind.
After observing the process of scanning and copying within the department, we suggested that they try adding a desktop scanner. We offered to let them evaluate one of our units and they agreed, putting it on the desk of one of their busiest workers. The experiment was simple, they would use the out-of-the-box capture software that came with the scanner, and a free integration tool provided by their document management software.
The results were both surprising and remarkable. The worker reported increased efficiency and less stress. This led to additional scanners being purchased and installed on the other workers’ desks. We then added a simple integration tool to their document management system and the transformation was complete. Workers were now noticeable more productive. And best of all? The need to add an additional employee was eliminated. All by adding a few scanners at a very low cost to the organization.
So what are the lessons to be learned? First, a person needs the right tools to get the job done. Whether you are repairing an airplane engine, building bridges and roads or scanning paper, you need the proper tools to get the job done right. A pickup truck will not work when you need to move hundreds of tons of material when building a road. The same holds true in your office. Adding relatively inexpensive desktop scanners where scanning is a critical part of the job can create efficiencies, reduce stress and save money.