CH Coakley is a Wisconsin-based company providing document digitization services to organizations across multiple industries. As a “full-scan bureau”, their contracts include scanning multi-format records including large format drawings, business documents, historical documents, and microfilms for clients in healthcare, government, law offices and more. The ScanPro All-In-One 3000 by e-ImageData (the pre-cursor to the ScanPro 3500 released in February 2022) is a key tool to providing a complete digital record for challenging legacy files.
In a rapidly-changing business environment, CH Coakley’s clients are increasingly asking for more easily-accessible records to support remote work, public information requests, and information discovery. Replacing physical records with scanned (digitized) files increases the accessibility of important information and removes the limitation of on-site retrieval.
Increase document visibility
Legacy file types like microfilm and microfiche provide obstacles to document access. The first barrier is physical because microfilms require manual handling to store, retrieve, and view the content. Films need to be carefully managed to reduce exposure to body oils, dust, and other environmental stressors. This means that retrieving microfilms to access information can be extremely time-consuming and tedious.
Because microfilm and microfiche files are stored in a physical location, this can create complexity in terms of file access. If someone needs information stored on film, they need to travel to the storage location or submit a request for someone to retrieve it for them. This can create a burden on the employees who need to assist or fulfill these requests, creating unnecessary delays.
“Everybody wants the information now. They don't want it in three days when you dig through the record center and have a piece of paper delivered from there,” Quinn Olson, AVP of Imaging at CH Coakley.
The second barrier is technological. Microfilm and microfiche require special machines to view the files. Users need training to use the machine correctly, and the experience can be frustrating and time-consuming. Digitized files are more easily accessed through modern devices like smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers, which are more user-friendly for research and archive purposes.
“We can turn this into a PDF or a digital image, increase the quality, the viewing of it, and make it so much more functional,” Quinn Olson, AVP of Imaging at CH Coakley.
When CH Coakley upgraded their old scanner to the ScanPro, they took advantage of the training and support provided by e-ImageData. The microfilms they scan can vary from client to client, so it’s important for them to be able to rely on e-ImageData’s technical resources when they encounter a new challenge. Support is just an email or call away, and they know they can trust e-ImageData’s knowledgeable team to help when they need it.
“Knowing that there is somebody there who can answer that those questions is very important,” Quinn Olson, AVP of Imaging at CH Coakley.
Reduce storage requirements
File cabinets and other physical storage are an unnecessary expense, and CH Coakley’s customers have been able to reclaim and repurpose storage spaces. With commercial real estate prices climbing, organizations are looking for ways to avoid buying or leasing new spaces as they grow. Creating a “digital records room” by scanning physical files creates an opportunity for organizations to save money and expand their office space.
“File cabinets all lined up along your office wall isn't really necessary or financially beneficial in a situation … when there is a digitization aspect out there,” Quinn Olson, AVP of Imaging at CH Coakley.
Microfilms often require very specialized storage conditions to prevent the degradation of the media. This can be a costly burden for organizations that are maintaining these types of files. Digitizing the files will relieve the burden of physically storing microfilm, microfiche, and other mixed-record file types.
CH Coakley has helped many of their clients move away from physical files and eliminate file cabinets. From hospitals to municipalities to law offices, physical storage represents a premium that can squeeze budgets. The ScanPro quickly and efficiently converts physical microfilms into digital files, allowing these customers to upgrade and modernize their offices.
Facilitate remote work and decentralization
Digital files are more accessible and user-friendly than legacy document formats like microfilm and microfiche. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for more flexible, accessible files because office spaces, libraries, schools, and municipalities were closed or restricted to the public. When files are accessible from any internet-connected device, it’s possible to fulfill information requests and protect business continuity with a decentralized workforce.
File digitization is a vital part of any disaster recovery plan as well. Microform files are susceptible to natural disasters because they are one-of-a-kind and are easily damaged. Floods, weather events and fires can destroy storage locations and these important files are lost forever. Once digitized, however, files can be backed up to a remote location and restored instantly. The ScanPro can help protect microfilm and microfiche files and is an important tool for disaster recovery.
“I think it always was more of a want than a need … And then, with so many offices shutting down … it just made it more of a need to have the stuff digitally,” Quinn Olson, AVP of Imaging at CH Coakley.
e-ImageData and the ScanPro provide cutting-edge scanning technology
The ScanPro is a vital tool for the CH Coakley team to provide quality digital files to customers. With advanced features and their additional AUTO-Carrier™, scanning is fast and produces high-quality images.
“It expanded our capabilities to be able to process film for clients … and the different films that are on the market. It definitely helped us … to broaden our service abilities. It also increased the speed at which we can serve clients compared to our old reader,” Quinn Olson, AVP of Imaging at CH Coakley.
CH Coakley chose e-ImageData as a vendor because of their superior products and support. Their partnership with e-ImageData is an important part of their ability to provide high-quality scanning services to their clients.