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We bought 2 Fujitsu fi-6130 scanners about 8 years ago. We scan 100% of everything and have a 2tb drive in our server which is also backs up into the cloud. We currently have 51 gig's of data. Neither scanner have given us any issues. We created and use a windows folder system which works for us. I can retrieve any document from my computer, the scan computer or my bookkeepers computer. The advisors can look up old notes, invoices and parts receipts from their work stations. If we did not have this system we would have at least 10 filing cabinets. My bookkeeper scans for maybe 15-20 minutes a day when she finishes her paperwork. I would be happy to share more if needed.

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I'm big into computers and technology. There are a lot of advantages to scanning everything, but there are some drawbacks. It does take a considerable amount of time to scan and organize everything. It can also be challenging to find what you are looking for at times. Did you file it by date, supplier name, category, or something else. If you are looking for a specific part, unless you know what invoice it is on, you may have to find and review numerous invoices to find the part. My service manager is great with customers, but no so much with computers and technology. Which means he would be coming to me a lot to help him find things. Right now he can open the file cabinet, grab the folder for the month he is interested in and recognize invoices quickly, because most of the suppliers have unique invoices. 

What I was doing is keeping a years worth of the paper in the file cabinet for easy retrieval. I would scan all the older stuff and recycle the paper. I would create 2 files for each month. One for parts, and one for everything else using Adobe Acrobat DC. I would then use OCR to recognize and save all the text. Then when I needed to find something, I would just open the file and do a text search. 

I have gotten away from scanning and back to putting everything in file boxes that is more than a year old, and at the start of the year, I recycle everything more than 5 years old. Also, so much can be retrieved online now (WorldPac invoices, bank statements, NAPA invoices and statements, etc.) that there is less and less of a need to save a lot of this. 

Let us know what you decide and how it works for you.

Scott    

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm going to agree with the scan snap people. I have been using it for almost seven years and it is still going strong. 

We just have everything save to our computer (backed up to the cloud). The files are so small that it really isn't a problem. Each year I go into the scanned folder and delete anything over 5 years old. I figure that we have our shop management system that keeps all digital copies of the ROs forever, and if we would have needed anything from the scanned copy, it would have been within those 5 years.

The most important thing we figured out with the scanning took us a while to realize. Scanning does take up a LOT of time if you are doing it all at once. It used to be a real drain on our time. But then we started scanning as soon as we checked the customer out. We check them out, scan the RO with any associated parts invoices, label them with the customer name and RO #, then stick the hard copy in the shred pile. It takes no time whatsoever and we are always caught up!

 

Every now and then we get a rush on customers and the ROs pile up for a few minutes, but scanning 5-10 ROs takes no more than 5 minutes at the most. 

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If you use something like scan snap you will be able to label/name each scanned file you create. Any information you want to be searchable can go right in the name and then you will be able to pick it up using whatever you used to name it. You just want to make sure that they are all being saved to the same location, so that you know where to look for them. 

For Example: I scan all our invoices as we pay them. I scan them all at once, and then name them with the company name, the date and 'bills'. So last week's file was named 'bills 3/5/18 polsinello comcast fastenall oreilly bfcp'. I can pull up this file by searching for any single word/date in the filename. If I searched for bfcp, it would pull up all the bills with bfcp in the filename and I could then figure out which one I needed based on the date. I am also surprised at how much they actually let me put in the filename. You could really put a lot of searchable info in there. 

 

I hope that clarifies a little. 

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Rereading your last post, I am realizing that maybe you want a system that scans the invoices directly into QB and pulls the info from the invoice and enters it into QB for you? If that is the case, you should ignore everything I wrote previously. I have no idea how to do something like that. 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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