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  5. ScanSnap™ Case Study: University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley reduces
expenses with the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner

Industries:

  • Education

Offering Groups:

  • Scanners

Solution Areas:

  • Imaging Solutions

Regions:

  • United States

Challenges:

  • Difficult to keep office organized due to large volumes of paper utilizing storage space
  • Time-intensive process of locating student papers

Benefits:

  • Managing and locating important papers is more efficient and time-saving
  • University expenses reduced due to less handouts needing to be distributed
  • Easy to archive student papers and research

Dr. Joonhong Ahn, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, splits his time between teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, conducting research and publishing findings, which has kept him exceptionally busy organizing the mounds of paper that have accumulated in his office. Like most educators, Dr. Ahn relied on traditional filing methods for storing paper documents. His small office was filled with rows of filing cabinets making it difficult to quickly find needed documents and keep a tidy work-space.

Frustrated by the never-ending stream of incoming reports Dr. Ahn sought to find a solution that would allow him to quickly digitize report, handouts, research and other paper documents that had to be archived but readily accessible on demand. During the first stage of his personal document management project Dr. Ahn used a flatbed scanner which forced him to scan each page one side at a time – an extremely time consuming process. Due to the time intensity of the project Dr. Ahn abandoned the scanner and the paper continued to pile up, eventually filling all of his storage space.

Dr. Ahn's high volume of diverse paperwork (multiple page sizes, colors, graphs, etc.) motivated him to find a scanner that would allow him the flexibility to scan numerous documents at a time while working on other projects. After researching the scanner market, Dr. Ahn was impressed by the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner because of its superior functionality and ease of use. The fast duplex scanning capabilities of the ScanSnap, combined with the automatic elimination of blank pages, detection of color, and the ability to scan directly to the universally accepted PDF format provided Dr. Ahn with all the confidence he needed to ensure he’d made the right choice selecting the ScanSnap.

Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanning Solution Organizes while Saving Time and Money

Upon its arrival, Dr. Ahn quickly and easily installed ScanSnap and began archiving his own documents, research produced by other nuclear engineers, student papers, and former tests and lectures.

In the first month of the implementation Dr. Ahn converted roughly 10,000 pages into PDF documents. Within weeks Dr. Ahn's office, once overflowing with paper, became neat and organized saving Dr. Ahn what he was most in need of – time. Finding archived tests, reports and research that used to take up to 15-20 minutes per file is now completed with a couple of keystrokes, enabling him to find even the most obscure document within seconds.

In addition to the significant time savings, Dr. Ahn is also saving himself and the tight-budgeted University of California several hundred dollars a semester. California's recent financial crisis has necessitated that universities reduce expenses at rate of 8.5% annually. As a result administration has required that faculty members avoid distributing paper handouts as much as possible.

In the fall semester of 2004 Dr. Ahn taught a class of fifteen students and each one was assigned about 300 pages of supplemental reading in addition to their text. In the past these readings were photocopied and distributed in person which required a substantial time commitment and a financial burden to either the University or Dr. Ahn's personal research fund. Now, thanks to ScanSnap scanner, Dr. Ahn is no longer required to fight over who pays for photocopies or waste time at the machine because he can quickly email students a PDF version of a reading or post the material to a university server.

The Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner has also made it easier for Dr. Ahn to post new research to his website, a must in this day and age. Until recently it was customary to publish thick research reports solely in paper format. That trend is changing and researchers are now receiving PDF copies, but that still leaves years of research that exists only in hardcopy or various file formats. With ScanSnap, Dr. Ahn was able to standardize all of the research on his website in a matter of minutes. "From the day that my Fujitsu ScanSnap arrived I have been impressed by the scanner’s functionality and durability. It can scan documents at high speeds so that I am not left itching with impatience," said Dr. Ahn. "In my past experiences with flatbed scanners digitizing a stack of documents at one time was a daunting task. Now with ScanSnap I don’t feel like I'm taking on the world when scanning several documents. This scanner has reshaped how I manage documents, organize my office, distribute papers to students, post research and share information with colleagues. In less than a semester the scanner paid for itself in the cost of photocopies alone while freeing up hours that I would have spent searching for files or standing idle in front of a photocopy machine."

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