Since microfilm scanning is such a niche industry, many salespeople don’t understand the terms or methods of microfilm, microfilm scanning, and digital imaging. Some sales representatives believe that microfilm conversion is the same as paper scanning, or don’t realize the important details about digital imaging. Some think that all microfilm scanning services and microfilm scanning companies are the same.
Here are some questions salespeople should be asking when dealing company, organization, government, or municipality that has 16mm roll film:
1) Is the film original, silver halide, a diazo duplicate, or vesicular? Generally speaking, originals and silver film create a better copy than duplicated microfilm.
2) Does the 16mm film have dual level blips? These are counters that generally group frames by document and page, for example a big blip indicates the start of a new student record, and is followed by the pages of that folder with small blips.
3) Does your potential client have an existing electronic data management system or are you trying to sell your own EDS? This is important when it comes to the imaging file format: does the software have any limitations or requirements concerning bi-tonal vs gray scale compression, CSV format, XML format, TIFF, PDF, or JPEG?
4) Do the images need to be indexed via data entry, OCR (ICR), blip folder, or sequential digital number? Does the data need to be in the image filename or exported into a comma delimited (CSV) text file, Excel spreadsheet, or XML file?
5) Do the images need to be scanned at 200DPI, 240DPI, 300DPI, or something else? If not, 200DPI is standard.
6) Can the organization use CD’s, DVD’s, USB external hard drives, or FTP? You’d be surprised how many places don’t know how to upload images to their servers.
7) What is the cost of microfilm scanning?
Answers to these questions would greatly enhance the chance of you pricing the microfilm scanning project the right way.