Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I outsource my scanning?

Outsourcing the scanning processes can save your company both time and money. The costs of scanners, software, storage, personnel and space add up very quickly. In addition, this hardware and software needs to be updated, maintained, and even replaced.

What do Scanners Cost?

High quality scanners that are capable of production speeds can be very expensive to purchase and operate. Desktop scanners, although relatively inexpensive, don’t give you the quality and speed necessary for small production environments. Scanning hardware continues to be a major expense in the overall digitization processes. Outsourcing your digitization process eliminates your need for scanning hardware.

What is the cost of servers and storage?

A Microsoft Windows Server with SEQUEL database and multiple hard drives for storage can be an expensive investment. Most servers have a general life span of 4 to 6 years, so the ongoing costs of servers, storage and backup can be a very large investment. But you’re not done there – you need a backup drive, uninterruptible power supplies, software licenses, backup software and many more items.

Who should I trust to do my scanning?

You want a company that has a long-standing reputation for quality and trustworthiness. A.M.I. has been scanning highly sensitive documents for over 3 decades for courts, hospitals and businesses. Don’t trust your documents to just anyone!

What does it truly cost today?

Organizations spend significant amounts of financial and human resources internally managing volumes of information and documents generated within their businesses. As a result, organizations must pull these valuable resources from the operations that support their core missions. Outsourcing your document and information management function to A.M.I. allows your organization to maximize internal operating efficiencies and focus resources towards what is most important — your organization’s goals.

Finding the Right Document and Information Management Partner?

River City Data is part of a large global industry focused on providing organizations with document and information management solutions. River City Data is a central Minnesota based company, headquartered in New London, MN. Our mission is to provide your organization with a quality, comprehensive document management system, and with secured storage outsourcing solutions. These solutions include: document scanning, image hosting/application services provider, secured vital document storage, document destruction and consulting services. As your organizations document and information management partner, River City Data offers your company a complete outsourcing solution from start to finish.

It’s all about the Bottom Line.

Does it make sense for your organization to consider an River City Data outsourcing solution? To answer this question, first you must determine if an imaging solution better positions your organization for success versus its current paper-based document management system. In addition to the real costs listed below, your organization should also consider cycle time and any time lost due to the use of a paper-based management system. Consider the following current and forecasted costs to determine your organizations return on investment:

Imaging Solution vs. Paper-Based Document Management System

After determining if an imaging solution better positions your organization for success, you will then need to evaluate an outsourcing solution from a valued partner versus the investment in an in-house management system. In addition to the real costs listed below, your organization should also determine if any elements of your paper-based system would still be required to support an in-house management system. Consider the following current and forecasted costs to determine your organizations return on investment:

Fixed Costs

  • Cost of filing cabinets and storage shelves on-site.
  • Total annual cost per square foot of space needed to occupy this function.
  • Cost of filing cabinets and storage shelves located off-site.
  • Total annual cost of any off-site facility dedicated to this function.
  • Cost of equipment and supplies needed to manage files and boxes (carts, folders, labels, etc.).


  • Total cost of staff strictly dedicated to document management function.
  • Cost of contractual or temporary staff dedicated to document management function.
  • Cost of total average staff hours of all others that review, index and file documents.
  • Cost of total average staff hours used searching, retrieving and returning documents.
  • Cost of total average staff hours used retrieving and managing documents off-site.
  • Cost of total average staff hours used searching for misfiled or misplaced documents.
  • Cost of total average staff hours used retrieving, copying information from and re-filing documents.

If you determined that an imaging solution from an outsourcing partner better positions your organization for success, then A.M.I. can help you build a better bottom line. Through its comprehensive package of document and information management services, A.M.I. can provide a simple outsourcing solution that is just right for your organization.

Return On Investment Calculator (ROI):

Use this easy ROI calculator to help you determine your costs for storing paper documents. This simple spreadsheet can help you determine your labor hours, storage costs and other overhead variables.

Other Articles on Out Sourcing vs. In-House Scanning.

Source: BCR – Bibliographical Center for Research http://www.bcr.org/cdp/best/digital-imaging-bp.pdf

Every organization should carefully consider the pros and cons of outsourcing digitization projects or conducting them in-house. For projects being considered for outsourced digitization, a visit to vendor facilities is recommended to ensure that the Workspaces provided meet the criteria above. Following are some points to consider for both strategies:

In-House Pros:

  • Development of digital imaging project experience by “doing it” (project management, familiarity with technology, etc.)
  • More control over the entire imaging process as well as handling, security and storage of originals
  • Requirements for image quality, access and scanning can be adjusted as you go instead of defined up front
  • Direct participation in development of image collections that best suit your organization and users

In-House Cons:

  • Requires large initial and ongoing financial investment in equipment and staff
  • Longer time needed to implement imaging process and technical infrastructure
  • Limited production level
  • Staffing expertise not always available
  • Institution must accept costs for network downtime, equipment failure, training of staff, etc.

Outsourcing Pros:

  • Pay for cost of scanning the image only, not equipment or staffing
  • High production levels
  • On-site expertise less risk
  • Vendor absorbs costs of technology obsolescence, failure, downtime, etc.

Outsourcing Cons:

  • Complex contractual process: image specifications must be clearly defined up front, solutions to problems must be negotiated, communication must be open and problems must be accommodated
  • Vendor may know more than client or may presume a level of understanding on part of library/museum/archive that the client may not have.
  • Originals must be transported, shipped and then also handled by vendor staff


It is difficult to predict just how much a digital imaging project is actually going to cost, because little hard data on the cost, cost effectiveness and costs over time of digital projects is readily available. Generally, capture and conversion of data often comprises only one-third of the total costs, while cataloging, description and indexing comprise two thirds of the total costs. Upfront and ongoing costs can be significant, and economic advantage may be better realized through collaborative initiatives or cooperative/regional digitization initiatives, where costs, resources, goals and expertise can be shared.

Initial investment in equipment, staff training, capture and conversion, handling, storing and housing originals, producing derivative files, cataloging, building the image database system and developing web interfaces are all possible areas of cost for any digitization project.

However, the cost of a project does not end after conversion. Some ongoing costs that an institution must commit to, include the costs of maintaining data and systems over time, including media migration costs and infrastructure costs.

River City Data
As a Kodak Certified Document Conversion Center and a leading representative of Canon imaging products in the Midwest, River City Data is the Midwest’s premier document management company.

Contact Us

Address : 608 4th Ave SW New London, MN 56273

Email : info@rivercitydata.com

Phone : (320) 334-2875

Toll Free : (877) 723-3181

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