What should a Law Firm look for in a scanning application?
Here are some suggestions:
Barcode Separator Functionality - Separator pages allow the user to insert a specially coded page between documents in a stack. Once scanned, the software uses these pages to determine when a document begins and ends. This allows the scanning of many documents at once, rather than scanning one at a time. There is also the notion of "intelligent separators" which allow you to encode data on the separator page, such as case, matter, attorney, etc.
Image Enhancement - These tools will automatically adjust contrast and brightness, remove problematic colors, remove speckles, and thicken fonts. If you want the highest quality image, with the least amount of scanning operator intervention, this is a key component to any scanning system.
Indexing - The application should allow for the entry of case and matter information, and this should allow you to automatically rename the files based on these values, and create folders. Rapid indexing features should allow quick entry of these fields for multiple documents.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) - OCR takes the scanned image, and converts it to a text-based format. When looking at this feature, it should allow conversion to the following 3 formats: Adobe Image + Hidden Text, Word/WordPerfect and plain text. If you can test the software, see what type of results it provides with several sample firm documents.
Export - Depending on how you are managing your cases, the application should offer maximum flexibility on where you can direct the end product. I have several firms that use multiple case/document management systems, depending on the case type and size. Folder Export, Summation, Alchemy, SharePoint, etc should all be supported.
Bates Numbering - Get rid of that old stamp!! Most Advanced Capture Applications provide the ability to digitally Bates Stamp your documents. Huge time saver.
Obviously this is just a starting point, but these are some necessary features that will make processing documents easier, and much more efficient.
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