4x4 automobile accessories company ARB needed more than just a scanner to digitize their mounting stacks of paperwork—they needed a smart, all-in-one solution that made it easy to feed, tag, file, and search, too. They found it: a fi Series workgroup scanner bundled with PaperStream Capture Pro software.
Based in Australia with a facility in Washington state, ARB is a leading manufacturer and distributor of 4x4 automobile accessories. Their operations manager, Jeff Blake, realized he had a space problem. “We produce about 100 invoices a day and the associated paperwork that goes with each one,” he says, explaining that the average 2-page invoice can include various documents, such as shipping instructions, packing slips, receipts, and emails. With the business growing rapidly, Blake watched as his boxes of invoices quickly covered a 20-foot-long, 9-foot-high wall. “The boxes were taking up about half our space, so I went looking for a way to go paperless.”
Ditching the paper was just the beginning. What Blake realized was that they needed more than just a scanner that would still require manual labor—they needed a solution that would boost overall efficiency. So, he put together a wish list.
The key to increasing efficiency was finding a smarter scanner solution. In addition to digitizing documents, it would also sort them in the right customer file. It had to be able to scan packets and automatically name the files, ideally by invoice date and number, by pulling information off each document. It would spot new customers and automatically create new customer files for them. And data accuracy was crucial, so scans had to be so clear and consistent (without exceeding hard drive storage) that they wouldn’t have to worry about manually inspecting them.
Blake chose the fi Series workgroup scanner Deluxe Bundle with PaperStream Capture Pro software. With fast duplex scanning speeds and advanced paper handling technology, the fi Series workgroup scanner delivered the performance and reliability he was looking for. The built-in document capture software adds high-level data extraction and indexing—plus it comes with tools such as PaperStream IP to enhance and optimize images.
“For me, the best part of it is the software’s ability to scan an invoice and, if it is the first time we’ve scanned in anything for that particular customer, it creates a folder and then will automatically put the invoice in that folder,” says Blake. “Customers often call in and say, ‘hey I got charged for this’ or ‘when is that item shipping’ and ‘what’s my tracking number.’ So now we’ve made that network drive available to everyone within the company. Instead of putting the customer on hold while [salespeople] dig through a box, all they do is go online, click on the customer’s folder, click on the date, and the invoice, tracking number, and all the documents are right there.”
Digitize documents to cut clutter and optimize workspaces
Get more done with fast, high-quality scans and reliable feeding
Improve file naming, organization, and search
Automate tedious tasks to improve productivity and deliver great customer experiences
- Fast, double-sided scanning of up to 70 pages per minute
- Includes paper-feeding technology that almost eliminates misfeeds and paper jams
- Intelligent multi-feed detection uses ultrasound and sensors to detect misfeeds—plus it identifies labels and sticky notes and won’t stop scanning
- Scans various-sized documents up to 20" long and thick documents, including IDs
- Industry-recognized PaperStream software improves scanned images and OCR performance
- Stable feeding and high-quality materials keep scan projects moving and on track
- PaperStream IP TWAIN driver provides advanced image processing—where document images turn out better than the original
- Predefined profiles make it easy to start scanning—no complex configuration required
- Metadata can be tagged for automatic naming of files and folders—like customer name or customer ID number
Key to that advantage is that the naming rules in PaperStream Capture Pro allow the user to create a folder and file structure that can be easily searched using common Windows methods. “The software is set up to do two things,” says Blake. “It will ask you where the destination folder is, where you want it and how you want to name it. It will use that meta data to name your file and save the file name. So it scans one part for the customer number and it looks to see if the file is there. If it’s not, it creates a new folder. The second part of that is we save the file by the first three letters of the customer number, invoice, and date.”
Rather than use zonal OCR, Blake modified his invoice template to include a barcode for the account number as well as the invoice number it already had. So it makes the file with the customer number, invoice and date and that makes it easy to search using those criteria.
That means if a customer calls and they need a specific invoice, we can search through the Windows box search right away,” explains Blake. “If the customer can’t remember the number, we can just double click on the customer folder and browse for the invoice.”
The software setup process was very intuitive says Blake. “It was very easy and straightforward to create an invoice or scan project,” he says. How simple was it? In their first day of operation, Blake’s assistant scanned over 2,000 multi-page packets.
Blake adds that their boost in productivity could eventually extend to how they interact with their counterparts in Australia, too. “Once we scan in our intercompany memos, management meeting notes, and emails and put them on a shared drive, we won’t have to constantly call or email each other to track down information.”