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Case Studies – Sharp Drivve Image

Drivve|Image Software Streamlines Document Processes

It is an acid test. Does a company have faith in its own products and solutions? Does it employ them to drive improvement in its own processes? Sharp does; capturing essential business information using intelligent imaging software that runs on Sharp multifunctional products. The solution has streamlined processes and is helping the company respond efficiently to customer needs.

Mike Stancombe, administration manager at Sharp Electronics, is responsible for the company’s Jobtrak service database. The database contains information about many thousands of machines serviced by the company. Maintaining accurate service records is essential if the company is to deliver an effective service and bill customers accordingly.

The Jobtrak service database contains detailed records of every service transaction, from the initial machine order, to delivery and installation paperwork, and ongoing service records. The records are compiled from a variety of sources and include paper-based copies of the original machine order, pre-delivery inspection report, delivery note and service contract.

Mike Stancombe explained that until the intelligent imaging software was deployed, paper-based records had to be manually collated and stored in a bank of filing cupboards. The process was time-consuming andthere was potential for information to go astray. The paper-based records were, moreover, only accessible to staff working in the office where the files were kept.

“We needed an automated filing system that would enable us to capture paper-based documents and drop them into a digital database for access by staff working at remote locations. We already used Sharp multifunctional products for copying and printing; adding intelligent scanning functionality was simple.”

Sharp multifunctional products feature Open Systems Architecture (OSA); a platform which allows technology partners to develop applications that are accessible directly from the control panel of the MFP. Having listened to Mike’s requirements, Sharp’s Solutions Consultants recommended automating the process using Drivve|Image software.

Drivve|Image software, which can be integrated with Jobtrak, would improve business efficiency by automating repetitive tasks such as document scanning, indexing and filing. A trial was established and proof of concept successfully demonstrated before the installation went ahead. One to one training ensured that users were familiar with the new system.

Explaining how the software works, Mike said: “It is very easy to use. We scan hard copy documents into the Jobtrak service database directly from the document feed of the Sharp MFP. Users authenticate themselves at the MFP and activate the scanning software by pressing an icon on the touch-screen panel of the MFP.”

Drivve Image Case Study - Clarity Copiers
Drivve Image Case Study - Clarity Copiers Southampton

“The software prompts the user to place documents in the document feed. It checks whether documents are single or double-sided, and whether they are to be scanned in black and white or full colour. It then prompts the user to press the scanning button. Documents are saved as print-ready PDFs and uploaded directly into the Jobtrak service database.”

“The Jobtrak service database is effectively an electronic filing cabinet. Documents stored in the database are accessible to authorised employees no matter where they are located. Nothing is ever misplaced or lost. Less time is wasted searching for documents. And, with ready access to information, we are able to respond more efficiently to customer enquiries.”

“To help staff identify and retrieve relevant information, Drivve|Image indexes scanned documents by date and by type. We use pre-printed barcode sheets which we scan with the documents, to tell the system whether a document should be indexed as an order, a dispatch note, or as some other category of paper-work.”

The new system has significantly reduced the administrative burden associated with collating and filing information. As Mike commented, “We have moved from a labour intensive manual filing system to an intelligent and fully automated electronic process. It’s idiot proof. The system has a simple scanning interface which tells the user exactly what to do.”

A large and rapidly expanding fleet of filing cabinets, which had housed the original paper-based records, is now virtually redundant. Mike plans to retain the paper-based records, but will move the files to an off-site storage location, reducing storage costs and releasing a considerable amount of office space for other use.

The electronic records, which are held on a network server, are more secure than the paper-based originals. Unlike paper records, which can easily be mislaid, the electronic records are centrally maintained and regularly backed up. The colour PDFs are true facsimiles of the original documents, showing, for example, any annotation and highlighting.

By providing ready access to information, the system has improved productivity elsewhere in the business. Mike estimates that 10 to 20 minutes is saved every time an electronic record is viewed. As Mike explained, “There is no need to go looking for information; thanks to Drivve|Image, it can be viewed from within the Jobtrak application by double clicking the item.”

Drivve|Image software can be used to integrate Sharp OSA-enabled MFPs with virtually any commercially available database. The intuitive interface can be customised to show document specific indexing choices and will allow meta data to be added to documents as they are scanned. Sharp is happy to recommend Sharp products and solutions!