OSU Admissions moving forward with document imaging initiative

February 12th, 2007

The Admissions office is moving ahead with the third phase to move the office to a more paperless operation. This involves using scanning equipment along with indexing software that integrates documents with our student information system (SCT Banner). The bottom line will be cost savings and quicker turnaround times on processing applications.

We are looking to launch our live operation beginning the week of January 15th starting with graduate admissions documents. This move to document imaging will not impact what students need to do to apply but will impact the internal movement of documents between Admissions and graduate departments. We hope this will speed response times, reduce lost/misplaced documents, and provide an electronic depository for documents like transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.

-bv

12 Responses to “OSU Admissions moving forward with document imaging initiative”

  1. Can you tell me the software and hardware that will be used to capture documents at OSU?

  2. Blake says:

    Bill,

    OSU has purchased Nolij as our document imaging vendor. As with most state organizations, we had to go through an exhaustive RFP process to get down to our finalists and finally to choose our preferred vendor. Nolij seemed to fit best with our system set up (SCT-Banner), and its usability for our needs was best.

    -bv

  3. Blake says:

    Sorry, neglected to mention our hardware. We are using Kodak brand high volume scanners.

    -bv

  4. DC says:

    Aside from the hardware costs, what is the per unit charge for a scan & index per page?

  5. Blake says:

    DC,

    We are not charged per page for scanning or indexing. We own the machines, have a site license for the software, and thus can ultimately turn some of the savings of paper, toner, etc. into other projects or staffing increases to improve our processes for students and campus staff that we interact with.

    -bv

  6. Mary Patacca says:

    We’re looking at moving our Admissions Office from highly paper-based processes to paperless, using Document Imaging. You mention: “The bottom line will be cost savings and quicker turnaround times on processing applications.”

    Do you have any data on this you can share? E.g., est percentage of time saved, est $$ saved, etc? Any info appreciated (am assisting in the preparation of a funding proposal).

  7. Blake says:

    Mary,

    I’d have to do some digging to find our formulaic rationale for moving this direction. However, a simple calculation of how many photocopies of each document that passes through your office (and are then copied and mailed to other campus offices) can show some pretty staggering numbers (paper & toner costs). Also consider the archiving policies of your state/institution (space required for documents; staff that manage physical documents). The time savings from an employee perspective are more difficult because any time spent currently will be reallocated to other tasks. We are finding other ways to leverage current technology to prepare for our document imaging initiative that is providing some cost savings by themselves (mostly sending electronic reports to departments vs. printing and then sending via campus mail= paper costs & staff time).

    Most processing time saved will be when the admissions office is relying upon another office (say for graduate admission). We speed up the front end which may save some valuable turnaround time once they get an answer back to us. Plus, we can quickly move documents to a department that misplaces a transcript, for instance. The day or two that document spends being routed in campus mail can be spent making decisions.

    Thanks for the comment.

  8. frank says:

    But dont forget, long before libraries, dictionaries, images and even computers it was all because of two witty engineers sitting around a campfire brainstorming the new civilization. Take a look through a window into the past and see how it all happened!
    (43 second video humor)
    The History of Printing?

  9. It makes sense to do so. You will save tons of money on paper, ink, copiers, personnel, as well as help out the environment.
    -Jack

  10. Processor says:

    Don’t forget that scanned documents can also be made searchable using OCR. This is in addition to the metadata of the document. See ELAN Capture for a good example.

  11. I’m glad we are all moving toward green computing. Scanning documents will cut down on tremendous amounts of paper, ink and toner.

  12. cheap ink says:

    This post is now 3 years old but shows great initiative by OSU at the time. Paper and ink can be expensive, in addition to causing storage issues. Electronic scanning and document storage is the way to go. I also like reducing processing time and not worrying about losing paper documents. As long as you have a good storage system and backups, of course.

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