Fischer Scientific Document Management Systems History
Starting in the early 1990's when Document Imaging was an emerging technology, Fischer has supplied highly efficient systems to large and small businesses everywhere in the USA. We use a best practices approach and conservative design principles.
Some companies can perform well with an out-of-the-box Document Management System: those companies are typically willing to conform to the strengths and weaknesses of the software they buy for accounting and production purposes, tend to follow the rules of their industry, and have no unique business rules and practices of their own.
Our success is based on the principle that an extra effort in the design phase of a project will result in superior performance over the life of a project. We can adapt our systems very easily to the needs of the client, adapting to the unique requirements of each business. In some cases this is a small system with a single scan station and CD storage for little used archival data. In other cases it involves a large network topology with multiple purpose scan stations and adaptive research tools custom designed to the needs of each different workgroup. In such cases, the user interface is exactly the same simple interface, but the background logic changes. This allows for an easy interchange of workers between workgroups, and it allows management to easily track performance across the company.
Generally speaking, the products produced by Fischer store images onto an image server and allow their retrieval from any users' workstation. Each process is password protected, and each process can handle many different forms of data input without requiring the operator to have any special expertise in the content of that data. The hallmark of each application is a very simple user interface. Scanning is done as one batch process with a minimum of user input to accomplish the indexing of the batch. Display processes present a grid of possible matches for the desired data, along with a view of the page. We use our expertise in database design and implementation to craft an easy to use system which is powerful in its researching. In most cases these systems are interfaced with accounting, customer relations, or order entry management software. The result is an easy to use paperless system. Here are a few examples of our work:
1. Medical Records
We delivered a generic style document scanning system for a medical records processor. This system scans their paper files and indexes according to a few general subjects such as invoice number, account number, storage container and last name of the subject. Information is stored in an Access data table, written to a Contact Relations Management (CRM) package, and written to CD ROM for permanent archival. CLICK HERE for an example of this application.
The ScanStation software for the World Bank in Washington, DC handled all of the paper received by the Bank each day. Everything is indexed automatically and stored in servers which are accessed from users around the world. Indexing and Search software from Excaliber was used to provide the automated retrieval techniques. A detailed writeup of this process is available from Hummingbird at www.hummingbird.com/stories/dkm/fischer.html.
At Goldman Sachs & Co. we supplied a system which stored all the paper requisitions generated within the companies many buildings in NYC. A list of requisitions is generated at the time these reqs are received in the Purchasing Department. The operator then takes the reqs and places them in the stack of an ADF equipped scanner. Images are stored on the network, and data referring to the images is stored in a database. Another process at each userís desk then can call up the individual req and print, fax or email the image to the interested party.
We supply a system which stores the results of grass seed tests for the Oregon seed industry, which supplies over 90% of the countryís grass seed . This system is used by several of the largest growers in the region. Each test is categorized by variety, species, purity, test date, etc. and is hand written on a single sheet of paper. The usual method of storing the paper records does not work well in a busy office where individual sheets can be lost and misplaced. Our system allows easy access to the image data by any user who knows any one of the details of the test, or it can present a list of possible choices from, say, the date range. Once the correct record is found the page is presented on the video screen. From there the image can be faxed or printed. The growers tell us that the system has saved them enormous amounts of time during their busiest season, when time is at a premium and quality cannot be compromised.
At a major trucking concern located at the Hunts Point Market in New York City ( a wholesale produce market where products are brought in, warehoused, and distributed to commercial businesses by truck) we supplied an imaging system to store all of the data generated by their drivers each day. These papers show the routes, stops, times and confirm delivery of the produce on each truck. When we arrived to install the system, this company had stacks and stacks of these papers lined up floor-to-ceiling through their offices awaiting collation and billing, and a large group of workers keeping track of these papers. After a few months of operation, the stacks of paper were gone and everyone was researching their needs over the companyís network.
5. Technical Publications
Adapco ( www.Adapco.com ) produces high quality color images of machine design simulations. In the past they used a high speed color printer to produce multiple copies of the documents for their clients. These collations ran into 300 or 400 pages of high quality paper for each volume, and required a lot of printer time to produce. We designed and built a system which scans the original engineering output and creates an Adobe PDF document ( www.adobe.com ) which is then written to a CD for distribution. The company has saved an enormous amount of money in printer costs alone with this system.
MITEQ (www.Miteq.com) is a multidisciplinary manufacturing company based in Hauppauge, NY with a satellite facility near Chicago and offices around the world. They design and manufacture communications equipment from the ground-up. They have 40 years of engineering drawings and correspondence in their archives, and they were generating new paper records at an alarming rate. We supplied scan stations to stop the multiplication of paper at its source, then we proceeded to design an email based system to cut the volume of their customer, vendor and contract manufacturer communications dramatically, by creating entries in a Document Management System. We then converted all of the older paper records to images, freeing up an enormous amount of new production space for profitable use. At the same time we converted the mindset of many of their employees to an efficient, paperless based system.
7. Chemical Laboratory
Certified Laboratories has offices on both coasts, where they do high quality FDA tests on foods. We designed and built a highly automated document management system which integrated with their laboratory software (Perkin Elmer LabWorks) and their accounting software. This system allows all of their employees at any office to perform a detailed review of any piece of work done at the Labs.
Each of these success stories has come with an excellent Return on Investment. In most of the cases we have seen an ROI time of a month or two: imagine paying for the cost of a new system in one month, while improving the overall quality of the operation! Those are the successes of document imaging which we enjoy working on. Let us perform some magic for you!
We have a good example of the ROI that can be achieved by a large scale scanning program at a major company. Click here to read the 2 year system management summary. We have purged the name of the company from the document. The system was instituted in order to capture all of the day-to-day paper generated by this company, and to add all the archive data in the companies files. All of the images were put on-line using the company's existing network. SQL Server was used as the database manager. All of the scanning and retrieval software was designed and built by Fischer.