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  1. Document Scanning in British Columbia, Canada

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    I took the opportunity to visit our Document Scanning Company in Vancouver, BC office recently and I thought I would make this blog post all about our Canadian cousins to the North.   Micro Com Systems Ltd. recently moved their operations from the city to outside the city limits.  This move allowed them to consolidate their production from three floors to a single floor.  The result is easier tracking of work and more efficient movement.   It’s great to see all of the microfilm scanners gathered together and busy at work.  16mm, 35mm microfilm and aperture cards were all being digitized.  Speaking of film, this office produces 16mm microfilm from digital images so businesses and government agencies can meet their archival requirements.  Believe it or not, there are still great reasons for creating microfilm.  We would be happy to discuss these with anyone that gives us a call.   I have a weakness for old newspapers and with their planetary digital scanner, MCS is currently scanning huge quantities dating back to 60 years plus!  The actual paper for these newspapers were yellowed and brittle but because this scanner does not use any rollers as with traditional document scanners, they can be captured with no risk of tearing.  In addition, the quality of the scans is top notch due to the lack of movement of either the scanner CCD’s or the document itself.  Quality is also increased using post-processing software that creates an image that looks better than the original!  This scanner also can be used with its book cradle.  Scanning of bound books is the specialty of the cradle, eliminating those humps created by the binding.   While I was visiting I took the opportunity to look over the Aabyy For Invoices system that is being used by MCS for capturing images and meta data.  Any company that is paying staff for data entry services should contact us so we discuss how we can capture it all for you using the latest in OCR technology.  Super slick!   And now I have news!  Micro Com Systems in Seattle is also moving!  Stay tuned for details.
  2. City of Tukwila Introduces GET-IT

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    I was recently invited by Christy O’Flaherty, the City Clerk for the City of Tukwila, to attend a city council meeting. It was during this meeting that Ms. O’Flaherty presented to the Council and Mayor a report about the GET-IT program that was coming to fruition.

    GET-IT, which stands for ‘Government Electronic Transparency Initiative’ for Tukwila, brings together information about Tukwila’s development – from 1958 through the present – by combining varied components and media formats into a complete, digitized permit and land use files, enabling 24/7 access by staff and the public to these frequently requested records.

    Micro Com Systems in Seattle was the vendor chosen by the city to digitize the majority of the drawings and microfilm that would be imported into the target Laserfiche document management system implemented by City of Tukwila.

    We Scanned Over 1.2 Million Images for the GET-IT Program

    Over 1.2 million images were captured and indexed using the permit number to tie the related documents and drawings together for easy access by staff and the public. MCS scanned aperture cards, 16mm and 35mm rollfilm and drawings as well as providing the metadata required to match these documents with their database.

    Ms. O’Flaherty stated “GET-IT is successful thanks to in-house technical and records expertise along with continual multi-department collaboration, ensuring the components would be accurately integrated. No other agency has been identified that offers full permit documents, plans and maps available online.”

    All of us at Micro Com Systems are very proud to have been of assistance to the City of Tukwila on this project. GET-IT is an excellent example of how an image management project is developed and implemented.

    Contact MCS Seattle for Your Document Management Services

    Allow MCS Seattle to assist you with the preparation, digitization, and digital management of your documents. For large volume digitizing of paper records, business records, and for all your document scanning services, please contact MCS in Seattle today! Call us at 206-248-3191.

  3. Meet The Staff: Joe Bryant

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    Joe and Debbie Bryant

    Meet Joe Bryant at Micro Com Systems (Seattle)

    We would like to introduce you to Joe Bryant, the general manager for Micro Com Systems (Seattle).  Joe started in the document imaging business back in 1975 as a courier for Cascade Microfilm in Seattle.  As the years went by Joe learned many facets of the business including copy flo printing, onsite filming and darkroom printing before moving to equipment repair.  After working for a couple of years helping clients with their printers and microfilm readers he moved upstairs (literally) into equipment and services sales.

    Cascade Microfilm was purchased by Ford Graphics which opened up a new type of business for Joe to learn; reprographic services.   After two years of reprographics Joe realized he missed the microfilm business so he left Ford to work in sales at Microfilm Service Company.  A number of years later he, along with some other MSC employees, left to begin a startup company named American Microfilm.  Two years and 100 years of experience later, he moved on to Alpha Information Management.

    It was at Alpha that Joe began to learn about digital services and how they could spawn a revolution in the document management industry.  Leaving sales, Joe transitioned to digital services support, assisting the sales staff and clients with moving toward this new technology.

    In 2000 an opportunity arose to purchase the assets of Alpha Information so Joe contacted his good friends Craig Hollingum and John Ford with Micro Com Systems Ltd. suggesting that this would be a good business opportunity for MCS.  They agreed and tagged Joe to be the general manager for the Seattle branch of MCS.

    Joe is a staunch Seattle Sounders supporter having season tickets with his wife Debbie since 2009.  In his spare time he likes to watch foreign movies, cook and make homemade wine.  Joe and Debbie also love to travel whenever possible.  He is the proud father of two adult daughters who still live in the Seattle area and a dog named Chavo.

    Contact MCS Seattle for Document Scanning Services

    Next time you are rummaging through the storage closet and you come across a roll of old drawings, think about preserving the history.  It’s easy and inexpensive to save these drawings before time takes its toll.

    Allow MCS Seattle to assist you with your document digitization services. For all your scanning services in Seattle, please contact MCS today! Call us at 206-248-3191.

  4. Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse

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    Archive Document Preservation for the End of Days

    Do you believe as I do that soon the world will be covered by flesh eating zombies?  It must be true since there are so many zombie movies and TV shows.  What?  It’s make believe?  Well then, since I have your attention, let’s talk about other types of disaster planning. There are many types of disasters besides zombies that can create havoc for businesses and organizations. Earthquakes, tornadoes, fire and even bursting pipes can destroy valuable and historic records.  Everyone should be prepared on a personal level for such events but have you thought of your records? A document imaging service bureau (such as Micro Com, *wink*) can help in digitizing your critical business documents.  The great thing about digital records is that they can be copied and stored in many different locations as well as in the cloud.  No matter the disaster, your records would be available once it is possible to resume business. Then again, that whole zombie thing could happen and who’s to say that they don’t like a tasty file folder or engineering drawing now and then?  Be prepared!

    Contact Micro Com Seattle for Document Scanning Services

    Protecting your files for the end of days might be a large job, so you can count on MCS Seattle to assist you with your document digitization services. For all your scanning service needs in Seattle, please contact MCS today! Call us at 206-248-3191.
  5. A History Worth Keeping: digitize your large format drawings

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    History Worth Keeping

    There are many reasons to digitize your large format drawings.  Sometimes it is for easy distribution.  It doesn’t get any easier than emailing a drawing rather than obtaining a copy and sending it FedEx.  Other times it may be because it is mandated by a government agency.  Then there is the sentimental reason.  Sometimes we are asked to scan large format drawings for historical reasons.

    Artists drawings of lighthouses

    We recently scanned drawings of lighthouses from all around the United States.  Seeing the architect’s vision for one of these beauties as they first envisioned them is quite interesting.  These artists conception of lighthouses from over 100 years ago makes you pause and appreciate both the beauty and functionality.  These monuments to the sea are still standing today!

    8 feet long

    We have scanned other notable drawings over the years.  We have digitized drawings of ships where the paper was over 8 feet long (not easy to do!).   We have seen the plans for bridges, bungalows and brew houses (the 3 B’s).   Old newspapers are also very popular for digitizing.

    Contact MCS Seattle for Large Format Scanning Services

    Next time you are rummaging through the storage closet and you come across a roll of old drawings, think about preserving the history.  It’s easy and inexpensive to save these drawings before time takes its toll. Allow MCS Seattle to assist you with your large format digitization services. For all your scanning services in Seattle, please contact MCS today! Call us at 206-248-3191.
  6. The Real Story About Document Preparation

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    Document Scanning Preperation Services Seattle

    How to Prepare Documents for Scanning & Digitization

    When I am speaking with potential clients about the process of document scanning and digitization, many balk at the prospect of paying an imaging service bureau to perform the document preparation. Their thought is that they could easily pull some staples, put the pages in a box and they have magically saved themselves hundreds, even thousands of dollars. If only it were that easy! Most lay people don’t understand what document prep is or how vital it is that it be done correctly.

    Proper Document Prep for Scanning

    When we perform doc prep (as we call it in the biz) our main focus is to have the pages scanner ready. This means everything from pulling staples to unfolding pages but it also means smoothing dog-ear corners, rolled edges and orienting the pages correctly. It can also include verifying the order of the documents and inserting cover sheets with bar-codes embedded to streamline the metadata component of the project. We even take the time to smooth out the staple holes once the staple is removed so that it doesn’t cause feed errors. What I am getting at is that doc prep is much more than pulling staples!

    In-house Document Prep before Digitization

    Can an organization perform their own document prep? Sure, with guidance and training. We have a few clients that have mastered the skill but it didn’t happen overnight. Many times we have had clients that took the time to do the prep only to find out that we had to re-prep the documents because their work didn’t meet our standards. It’s all about having quality, well trained people to perform the work. That’s what an imaging service bureau gives you.

    Contact MCS Seattle for Document Scaning Services

    Allow MCS Seattle to assist you with the preparation, digitization, and digital management of your documents. For digitizing paper records, business records, and for all your document scanning services, please contact MCS in Seattle today! Call us at 206-248-3191.
  7. Legacy Microfilm and What to Do About It

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    So, you’re cleaning out a storage room and hidden behind a mop bucket you find dozens of rolls of legacy microfilm. Further review determines that the information on those rolls is important to your organization. The question is, what now? There is no longer a microfilm reader, let alone a printer in your office.

    Document imaging service bureau

    This is where your local Seattle document imaging service bureau (ie: Micro Com Systems) comes to the rescue!  We have the technology to bulk capture the images from 16mm and 35mm roll film, microfiche and 35mm aperture cards and deliver them in a TIFF or PDF format.

    Information management

    We capture the images either in bi-tonal or grayscale depending on the quality of your images.  They will be ready to import into your information management system or just store them on your PC, ready to access!  If you need metadata to go with those images, Micro Com can help you with that as well.

    Microfiche printing

    Or perhaps you get the occasional microfiche that you want to have prints of.  MCS can assist you with printing microfiche as well.  We can produce paper copies up to 11” x 17” in size from all types of microforms.

    Contact MCS Seattle for Microfilm Archiving Services

    Allow MCS Seattle to assist you with your data on old legacy microfilm to make it relevant once again. For digitizing records and for all your microfilm services, please contact MCS in Seattle today! Call us at 206-248-3191.  
  8. Microfilm Is Dead…Or Is It?

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    Benefits of Microfilm in the Digital Age

    By Joe Bryant, General Manager

    When I started in the document management business 40 years ago, microfilm was king. What better way to securely backup paper records? It was inexpensive, duplicates could be easily created and it was an exact representation of the original paper document. Really, the only real issue was the cost of the equipment needed to view and print.

    Years later, digitizing of paper records became the norm. It cost about the same as microfilming but the real savings were the easy distribution of the images and the fact that everyone had a PC on their desktop which allowed for easy access to the information.

    Microfilm still has its place

    Still, microfilm has its place in the information and image management business. It provides an eye-readable form of the original information. This is important if your organization is required to archive data with a state or the federal government. The other benefit is the longevity of the microfilm media itself. If properly processed and stored, microfilm will last well over 100 years.

    Converting digital images directly to microfilm

    It doesn’t make sense to scan the film directly from the paper files so our industry, seeing this need, created cameras that would convert digital images directly to microfilm. This service is available for both regular digital files to 16mm film and the conversion of large format drawings to 35mm. This way the benefits of both digital and microfilm can be realized.

    Next time you have some scanning done, ask your vendor about the option of having film generated from your images.

    Contact MCS Seattle for Microfilm Archiving Services

    For digitizing records and for all your microfilm services, please contact MCS in Seattle today!

    Call us at 206-248-3191.

  9. Go paperless for 2016: Seattle Records Management Solutions

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    A New Year, A New Solution

    By Joe Bryant, General Manager
    As 2016 quickly approaches, it is a good time to think of business solutions that we can benefit from the most. I would like to suggest that getting a handle on your records management would be a great start!

    We all know that company records are difficult to organize and store. Paper is naturally difficult. It is duplicated, shoved in a drawer, stacked on a desk or just plain lost. Why not digitize those records thus making them secure, organized and easy to distribute to all who need them? Let the nature of digital images organize your paper files.

    A document imaging service bureau (such as Micro Com Seattle, of course) can be a wonderful resource. A site visit can be the first step where the imaging consultant will find out what your needs are, review the documents and then tailor an imaging solution to meet your specific needs. This valuable information is generally available free of charge. How often can you get so much information just for the asking?

    All scanning projects are unique. It is for this reason that there are no set prices or solutions. Take advantage that an information service bureau can give you. Get 2016 off to a good start!

    Seattle’s Information Service Bureau

    For records management, accounts payable digitization, and all kinds of document scanning services in Seattle, contact MCS Seattle today!
  10. Meet The Micro Com Staff – Our Large Format Expert, Norm Hedman

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    Meet Our Large Format Expert, Norm Hedman

    Meet Our Large Format Expert, Norm Hedman

    Every company needs that go-to guy and Norm Hedman is one of those guys for Micro Com Systems Seattle. Norm has been in the document imaging business since he was hired by Alpha Information Management back in 1985. His first job was microfilming engineering field books. Since that time he has worked in just about every department over those 30 years.

    MCS Seattle’s Large Format Scanning Expert

    Currently, Norm is large format scanning expert at Micro Com Systems. His responsibilities include scanning, performing quality control visual inspections and post processing procedures. In true tradition, Norm is also versed in all other aspects of our business so he can slip into any position without missing a beat. When he isn’t scanning blueprints and drawings and reviewing digital images, Norm is at home soaking in his hot tub or making trades to better his fantasy baseball team.

    Large Format Digitizaton Services in Seattle

    For large format scanning services in Seattle WA, you can count on Norm Hedman. If you have any questions on our wide range of scanning services, contact MCS Seattle today at 206-248-3191.

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