Frequently Asked Questions
The following topics are discussed in more detail below. Click on any link to go directly to the topic.
1. What does ITG do?
2. Why have paper files scanned and changed into PDF files?
3. How does the scanning process work?
4. How long has ITG been in business?
5. Does ITG only provide scanning services for local clients?
6. What kind of quality can I expect from scanning?
7. How are the scanned images delivered to me?
8. What if I already have an imaging system, but need files scanned?
9. Are scanned images considered to be legal copies?
10. What is “OCR”?
11. How are the PDF files named?
12. What about the security of my documents?
13. What happens to the paper files after they have been scanned?
14. How much does scanning cost?
 
1. What does ITG do?
ITG provides a variety of document imaging, document scanning, paper file conversion to PDF files, microfilm conversion to PDF files, and other document management services. ITG also provides a variety of B2B data services, such as EDI, schema transformations, XML, and so on. BACK
 
2. Why have paper files scanned and changed into PDF files?
We are so used to using paper that we often overlook some of the drawbacks. Paper files take up a great deal of space in the office, or may require paying for space in an off-site storage facility. Paper deteriorates over time and becomes unreadable. Paper files stored even in the office, but especially in an off-site storage facility, are not easily accessible. Paper files are subject to loss or damage from environmental problems, like a fire, or a leaking water pipe. The information in those paper files is critical to your business. Having the paper files scanned and converted into electronic PDF files creates a “business insurance policy” by protecting all the important documents. BACK
 
3. How does the scanning process work?
The process is very easy. We do all the work. We come to your office or your off-site storage facility and pick up the files to be scanned. The files are taken to our imaging facility in Irvine, where they are logged in, cleaned, and scanned on high speed scanners. After the files have been scanned, the images are converted into standard PDF files. Each paper folder becomes one PDF file, of one page or of hundreds of pages. Those PDF files can then be copied onto CDs or uploaded directly into your existing imaging system. BACK
 
4. How long has ITG been in business?
ITG has been in the document imaging business since 1987. BACK
 
5. Does ITG only provide scanning services for local clients?
ITG has clients in more than 35 states, from California to Maine. While the majority of our scanning clients are located in Southern California, we have a number of clients located all across the United States. For those clients who are outside of Southern California, the boxes of files to be scanned are usually shipped via UPS, FedEx, or a trucking company.Wherever your company is located, ITG can help. BACK
 
6. What kind of quality can I expect from scanning?
The quality of the scanned image should be very close to that of the original image. It should be no different that the quality you would expect from a photocopy. And, just as with a copier or a fax, there are some things that will reduce the quality of the image. There are some shades of paper or ink that are difficult for a copier, fax, or scanner to reproduce correctly. Just as with a copier, it is possible to adjust the brightness and contrast on a scanner. This sometimes helps to improve the overall quality of the image. Prior to undertaking a new scanning project, we usually run a small sample through the scanning process to show you what the actual results will be. This is gives you an actual scanned sample for your review before you commit to a project. BACK
 
7. How are the scanned images delivered to me?
The two most common methods of delivering the scanned images are by using CDs or by an FTP transfer. Using CDs is the most common method. After the images have been checked for quality, they are copied onto one or more CDs. The PDF files on the CD appear just like any other directory in Windows when the CD is opened. They can be used directly from the CD or can be copied onto the hard drive of a PC or Mac. If there is a large volume of data, it is sometimes easier to set up an FTP transmission. Using FTP allows us to send all the images directly to your existing server. This eliminates the need to handle lots and lots of CDs. BACK
 
8. What if I already have an imaging system, but need files scanned?
Not a problem. This is a very common situation. In this case, we just need to know what format is needed to import the scanned images into your existing imaging system. We generally run a small test batch through the scanners, then have you upload it, just to make sure everything is working correctly before we start. BACK
 
9. Are scanned images considered to be legal copies?
Yes. In 1999, the United States Congress passed the “Electronic Records in Commerce” act which, among other things, basically says that a copy from an electronic source such as a CD or an imaging system is considered to be the same as a photocopy. BACK
 
10. What is “OCR”?
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a process that converts a scanned image into text. Even though the scanned image can be read by the users, it appears to the computer to be just a series of black and white dots. This is sometimes called a bit-mapped image. OCR looks at each character on the scanned image and tries to determine what letter or number it is.

The success rate of an OCR process is highly dependent on the quality of the original document. If the original document is a clean, laser-printed page, should correctly read 95%+ of the page. If the original document is from a dot matrix printer, will probably only get 75%-85% of the characters correct. Even with a clean, laser-printed page, if the original is a form with boxes, lines, and shading on it, will have a difficult time reading it. OCR does NOT read handwritten information. The advantage of using OCR is that it creates a new text version of the image. That text version is fully text searchable. That means that you can search for any word or phrase and have the imaging system pull up just those pages on which that word or phrase appears.

OCR is of great benefit in certain situations and of limited value in others. For example, OCR is a heavily used tool with law firms. They sometimes need to scan in hundreds of boxes of documents and then need to find any page where a particular word or name appears. Doing this manually, by reading through every page, is obviously a laborious, time-consuming, expensive, and haphazard approach. With OCR, we can scan all of the pages, process them through the OCR module, and create a complete set of fully text searchable documents.

On the other hand, OCR is not used much in accounting environments. While OCR is a good tool, at best is can only be expected to hit about 95% accuracy. Most accountants are not very happy with 95% accuracy. They need to have 100% accuracy. This means that the text that OCR creates has to be checked and verified. This process often takes far longer than just keying in the important index information manually to begin with. BACK
 
11. How are the PDF files named?
The naming scheme will vary with the type of documents being scanned, but in most cases, the PDF file will be named with the File Name or File Number of the file folder itself. BACK
 
12. What about the security of my documents?
This is a very common question. We understand that these files are the core of your business. We have been in the scanning and imaging business since 1987 and have never lost a file. Some of our clients, such as the Los Angeles County Superior Court, or Scripps Hospital, have extremely stringent security requirements that we need to follow. While your files may not have the same legal requirements for security, they will be treated just as if they were files that fall under the requirements of the courts or of HIPPA. BACK
 
13. What happens to the paper files after they have been scanned?
There are two choices. Most clients, after they have reviewed the CDs for accuracy, ask us to shred the documents. We have a certified document destruction service that comes each month to shred documents for us. Some clients have their own shredding service or simply want to have the paper files back. In this case, the paper files are returned to the client.   BACK
 
14. How much does scanning cost?
There are a number of factors that affect the cost of a scanning project. Our scanning projects are billed on a “per image” basis. That means that you will only be charged for the actual number of pages that are scanned.

In general, the larger the scanning volume, the lower the cost will be. A big factor in determining the cost of a project is how much pre-scanning cleaning has to be done. Before a file can be scanned, all the paper clips, staples, sticky notes, two-hole clips, and so on have to be removed. This can use up a lot of time. The cleaner the files are, the lower the cost will be.

Most of the scanning projects are scanned in black and white mode. This is fine for most business documents. We also have the ability to scan documents in grayscale or in color. Both grayscale and color increase the cost slightly, since they require a slower scanning speed and take up significantly more disk space than black and white.

If you are considering a scanning project, we would be happy to look at some samples of the documents and to provide a quotation. BACK