DIGITAL ARCHIVING PROTECTS
Savvy facilities managers have found a usually overlooked culprit that saps human resources and places assets at risk. “The typical archival storage areas can best be described as paper chaos, especially when large format documents like blueprints are involved,” explains Ginny Williams, managing partner and founder of Annapolis-based archSCAN, LLC. “Unless the material is organized and easily accessible, employees waste an average of an hour or two a day looking for information. Making matters worse, valuable information stored only on print media is vulnerable to deterioration, damage or being lost. Also, accessing digital blueprints and related information quickly during an emergency can prevent a catastrophe, or can save lives.”
Ms. Williams has been bringing order to repository rooms full of paper binders and drawers of blueprint drawings since she founded archSCAN in 2002. A veteran of the construction and reprographic industries, Ms. Williams used her knowledge of blueprints and electronic media to build a business digitizing blueprints and other construction-related documents. Today the woman-owned business has approximately $1M in sales and a growing clientele that includes the Smithsonian Institution; American University; Johns Hopkins University Hospital System and other major hospitals; USDA, DOE, USHMM and other government agencies; large private corporations; religious institutions and other organizations. Nominated by Southern Maryland SCORE, Ms. Williams was selected SBA’s 2011 Maryland Small Business Person of the Year.
Research, Inventorying and Cataloging
On-site service is an archSCAN trademark. archSCAN sends a crew to client premises to inventory the paper material and to begin a painstaking research process. “With over 150 years of background experience in the reprographic/blueprint industry, we fully understand the types of drawings and documents we are dealing with, how they are used, and how to organize them in a practical, usable way. Our first assessment often pays for itself because we can identify documents that are no longer of value, such as outdated schematics or revisions,” says Ms. Williams.
The digitization magic happens at archSCAN’s 4,500-square- foot facility, where, if necessary, archivists meticulously repair the documents before scanning them. Once the paper is converted, the documents are carefully indexed for easy retrieval and saved in the client’s preferred digital format on the media of their choice (CD, DVD, USB or external hard drive).
“archSCAN managed to take a disorganized pile of drawings from our construction and facilities offices and turn them into a neat and structured user-friendly tool,” says Union Memorial Hospital’s director, facilities management, William B. Braid. “What used to take our team hours of research is now reduced to a few minutes of reviewing a table of contents in order to locate the subject area and quickly determine where the electronic data can be found. This was one of the most cost-effective projects that I have been involved in during my extended career as facilities director.”
Annapolis, MD 21401 • 410-974-8183 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.archscan.com
MD – MDOT, VA – VDMBE, DE – OMWBE, City of Baltimore – WBE, MWUCP – DBE, MWAA – LDBE, SBA – EDWOSB