Smart Solutions for the Paperless Office: Epson WorkForce Document Scanners and Fireproof Records Center
A customer may store heavy file boxes in one of its warehouses, but Fireproof Records Center spends a lot of time strategizing about the paperless office. Based in Grove City, Ohio, the company helps businesses in central Ohio manage information more efficiently, offering a suite of cloud document management and scanning tools, including the easy-to-use Epson WorkForce® color document scanner.
“Although the era of storing only paper documents may be ending, we know it’s impossible for today’s businesses to exist 100 percent without paper,” said Ben Katz, solutions architect at Fireproof. “So we provide solutions that give them the best of both worlds, tailored to what they do, and move them as close to paperless as possible.”
Founded in 1909, Fireproof got its start storing and delivering precious heirlooms and goods to the residents of Columbus, Ohio. Those days may be gone, but physical storage remains part of its business with six warehouses throughout Columbus and central Ohio. Moving with the times, Fireproof also helps clients manage their information through records management, data protection, document scanning, digital storage solutions, and data destruction services.
With today’s fast-growing amounts of electronic data, Fireproof is also encouraging its customers in a wide range of markets – including healthcare, finance, insurance, legal, and hospitality – to store data in the cloud. “These services all go hand in hand, and it’s rare that we sell a solution without another,” said Katz.
Scanners Bridge the Gap
One of the ways Fireproof helps its clients easily digitize and organize paper is by utilizing Epson WorkForce color document scanners, including the WorkForce DS-560, WorkForce DS-760 and WorkForce DS-860. “Scanners help us to bridge the gap between paper and electronic document management,” said Katz. “We help customers get to the point where they are at ease without paper, where they begin to see the benefit of moving beyond paper to other digital services.”
Scanners linked with Fireproof’s suite of cloud document management tools help clients save space, converting paper to digital images. The combination saves time and money by automating business processes and protects data with offsite backup and storage.
“Clients are sometimes swamped by the amount of paper it takes to run their businesses,” said Katz. “Because our goal is to help clients swim as far upstream in the digital process as they can, we encourage them to use Epson WorkForce scanners, which are easy to use, fit right on the desktop within reach, with the right speed, image quality and functionality at an affordable price.”
Although Fireproof offers a scanning service including optical character recognition (OCR) software for customers with large projects, clients themselves will often prefer to scan documents into the document management system. Clients also may scan on their own when they process sensitive documents or run a public office where people bring documents that are returned on the spot.
Managing High Volume
Fireproof has incorporated Epson WorkForce document scanners as part of a streamlined accounts payable process for a large hotel client. The business needed a better way to manage an overwhelming volume of paper invoices. Using the Esker® accounts payable automation solution, Fireproof set up a secure mailbox to help the hotel chain process a staggering 10,000 invoices per month.
As paper invoices arrive, Fireproof’s scanning service bureau inputs each and uploads it to the cloud AP platform, which is integrated into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud solution, allowing the client instant access to approve, save, track and audit the invoices without seeing them on paper. At the same time, satellite offices throughout the country use desktop WorkForce scanners to input a flood of invoices that arrive at other locations.
“We found that the high-speed WorkForce scanner met our customer’s need for performance, and simple operation in a heavy-use setting,” said Katz. They could easily scan stacks of documents in the 80-page Automatic Document Feeder and churn out high volume with the scanner’s high daily duty cycle.
Smooth, Fast Operation
Fireproof also helped design a cloud repository electronic document management system to help a college client process its registration and financial aid documents. Equipped with Epson scanners, college staff could adhere to its “scan on receipt” policy, scan documents while students wait at the counter, and then immediately return them. Racing through scans of up to 45 ppm, the scanner’s auto paper size detection and dynamic skew correction help stop downtime. Today, paper jams no longer disrupt the workflow at the administration office or cause students to arrive late to class.
Once the files are scanned, staff sends them to ImageSilo® for cloud-based document management, where the college can easily access documents online without investing in hardware, software or IT infrastructure. TWAIN and ISIS compatibility make the WorkForce scanner ideal for use with existing professional document management systems, and it can quickly scan directly to popular cloud services.
The fast and affordable WorkForce scanners are ideal for Fireproof’s many small clients such as a customer at a mortgage company who keeps it right at her desk. “It’s a perfect example of a simple scanner set up, but those are the kind of accounts that we grow,” said Katz. “Even if they start small, they may decide to set up a repository, and often expand to new projects as the business grows.
Seamless Information Management
Less than two years ago, Fireproof also transitioned from paper to using scanners in its own Grove City office headquarters. Epson WorkForce scanners are now standard tools in Fireproof’s accounting, human resources and contract departments, greatly simplifying accounts payable, office systems and contract management. When new business comes in, the staff quickly scans in proposals, estimates, signed contract and service orders, which go directly into a FileBound document management system.
“We don’t shuffle around paper anymore,” said Katz. “It’s now a lot easier to instantly retrieve and organize information. We save on paper, long hours spent printing and filing, and other costs of traditional filing systems.”
Although the completely paperless office is an ideal, Fireproof believes a scanner like the Epson WorkForce and an electronic file management system is a bridge toward document storage and retrieval. “As a customer service company that just happens to manage information, our strength is the solution we provide to customers, our ability to tailor a hybrid offering, a solid combination of services and solutions that allow businesses to manage their information, in a seamless and profitable way,” said Katz.
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