Outsourcing for Imaging

By Dmytrenko, April L. | Records Management Quarterly, October 1997 | Go to article overview

Outsourcing for Imaging


Dmytrenko, April L., Records Management Quarterly


Outsourcing continues to be a strategic consideration for more and more business applications. The obvious reason for this is because organizations - any size, any industry, for profit or non-profit, etc. - will employ proven methods to hold down costs if performance and operational quality can be guaranteed.

Outsourcing continues, however, to stimulate controversy. Discussing the controversy merits an entire article unto itself, but I will remind those who have concerns with outsourcing that it has been around since the beginning of time. It is common to store records with a commercial records center and to use a microfilm service bureau. And who has not hired a records consultant? Many companies have had their security, travel, and interior and exterior landscaping outsourced for years. Outsourcing, whether it is off-site or on-site is outsourcing.

As we move toward more technology-driven operations, more applications for outsourcing are emerging. One application in particular is in the area of document imaging. Document imaging projects involve a healthy variety of considerations and challenges, and for these reasons outsourcing lends itself well to moving forward with such an undertaking. Unless an organization has available in-house resources and expertise and can secure both for the duration of an imaging project (good luck), outsourcing provides a timely and potentially cost effective answer.

Outsourcing a document imaging project has its own set of considerations and challenges. And so, author James Fruscione has written a book that explains how to develop an effective, high-quality outsourcing arrangement for document conversion services, with an emphasis on how to produce complete service specifications. The title of his book is Outsourcing Document Conversion and Indexing Services.

James Fruscione, CRM, CPM, is the Director of New Jersey's Commercial Recording Division. He has over 15 years of experience in public records and information programs. In addition to this book, he writes extensively on the subject of records management, electronic imaging and data management.

The document conversion and indexing services discussed in this book are the processes required to convert document imaging into electronic and/or microfilm formats for use in automated systems or semi-automated systems. The processes he addresses include:

* picking-up and delivering documents

* preparing documents

* microfilming and/or scanning documents

* indexing the document images

* checking the images

* loading the images into an organization's document management system.

The book is made up of four straight-forward chapters, plus a References section. Following is a brief overview:

Chapter 1: Prerequisites for Outsourcing

In starting any project, there are always prerequisites. These pre-steps are often overlooked or not given an adequate amount of time and energy. They require solid business planning and clear-cut objectives. The prerequisites this chapter covers include the:

* business plan

* feasibility assessment

* service specifications and development team

* terms and conditions for outsourcing.

Chapter 1 includes a simple outsourcing decision process diagram. It shows the prerequisites for deciding whether to outsource document management services or to continue providing them in-house.

Chapter 2: Elements of the Service Specification

Service specifications for document conversion and indexing services can be numerous and involved. …

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