Interstate Architects Boosts Productivity by 30% with a Contex-Scanned Archive
Hindered by a lack of a digital archive, staffers at Interstate Architects encountered bottlenecks each time new projects called for blueprints from its archive. When it took days for architects to access these hard copy documents, the firm wanted a better solution.
Interstate Architects installed a Contex wide format scanner to digitize its collection of blueprints, and free up much needed space in the office.
Benefits & results
A Contex-scanned archive provides high quality images for quick integration into Interstate Architects’ AutoCAD-based workflow, improving architects’ productivity by up to 30%. In addition to safeguarding clients’ blueprints, the digital archive has also reduced printing expenses, resulting in even more savings.
For over 60 years, Nigeria-based Interstate Architects has built a reputation for more than just outstanding design work. The architectural firm is valued for its reliability, consistency and pride it takes, especially with safeguarding its archive of clients’ hard copy blueprints and photographic records. When the assets began to show signs of deterioration, coupled with the time-consuming challenge of accessing them from the archive, Interstate Architects took action.
The firm opted to digitize its archive of over 25,000 documents in-house, and chose the Contex wide format scanner for the task. The Contex scanner makes it easy to scan large format technical documents, maps and drawings, with exceptional results.
Scanning nearly 200 documents a day, the architectural firm completed the project within 6 months. The Contex scanning project has saved days -- even weeks -- from an architect’s workflow. Greater productivity and efficiencies were just the beginning of the benefits the firm achieved.
Remarkable Time Savings with a Contex-Scanned Archive
Before, when clients contacted Interstate Architects for copies of blueprints, the process to locate them would take anywhere from 15 minutes to several days. This was due to different methods of storing the blueprints, as well as human error in filing. Some blueprints were even thought to have been lost, that is, until the scanning project began.
The Contex project involved the scanning of thousands of mostly monochrome, hand-drafted drawings and photographic records. Junior staffers were brought in to sort the documents by project. A standard indexing methodology was developed, and staffers used the scanner’s presets to capture the details of each hardcopy. With one click of the button, the images were captured and saved to a project folder on the company’s server.
“The high speed and precision of the Contex scanner allowed our team to quickly capture high quality images of our hard copy assets. We are now able to email archived drawings to clients within minutes, whereas it took anywhere from 1-3 days before we deployed the scanner,” comments Olusola Adesina, Architect, Interstate Architects. The firm estimates that staffers have improved productivity by an average of 25-30% with the Contex-scanned archive. Images are crisp and precise, capturing rich details in each document.
Since the digital archive went live, architects have uncovered several documents that were once considered lost. The archive has also saved money for the firm -- and its clients -- by eliminating the need to print copies of the blueprints. The archive is accessible to the firm’s staff, and resides on several servers onsite, and in a cloud.
Integrating Hardcopies into an AutoCAD Workflow
With the digital archive, blueprints are easily located, and can be quickly turned into new projects. For example, in a matter of minutes versus days, Interstate Architects’ staffers can respond to clients’ requests for modifications to old drawings. Architects simply access the digital blueprint from the server, then with a few clicks of the mouse, they can integrate the old drawings into AutoCAD. The updated designs are then emailed to the client. Without the Contex-scanned version, designs would have been recreated by referencing a hard copy, or at times, going onsite if the hard copies could not be located.
“As a CAD-based office, we can start projects faster now that we have quick access to clients’ original designs in digital format,” comments Adesina.
Contex Scanner Yields New Business Opportunities
Now that the archiving project is completed, the Contex wide format scanner is used in the office for occasional scans as needed. The Contex scanning project has exceeded Interstate Architects goals, solving the company’s productivity challenges, as well as safeguarding its clients’ assets, while freeing up valuable office space.
The firm plans to notify its client base of the digital archive, and anticipates new business to follow. It has already created new business opportunities. For example, as building owners change hands, the firm is providing new owners with quick access to their valuable legacy building materials, eliminating any potential duplicate steps or rework.
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