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Itella Information standardises on Kodak’s production scanners
Itella Information, the service bureau division of Itella Group, has harmonised its production scanner infrastructure selecting Kodak as its main partner. To support ongoing growth of the business and add future capacity for growth, four i1860 scanners, the fastest ever high volume systems from Kodak, have been purchased for use at its production centres in Finland and Sweden.
This is a significant deal as Itella Information’s extensive scanner fleet will be now be predominately Kodak based thereby simplifying hardware management, improving efficiency and flexibility in a hugely price sensitive and competitive business.
Operating in three business areas
Formerly known as Finland Post Group, the company was renamed Itella Group in June 2007 and provides traditional consumer focused postal services in Finland under the Posti brand, along with services to businesses in Finland and eight other northern European countries as Itella. Operating in three business areas –Itella Logistics (freight services), Itella Mail Communication (letter and direct mail delivery) and Itella Information (outsourced document management services, invoicing and business communication), the Group employs over 24k staff with net sales in 2006 totalling €1,550.6 million.
Unto Kariniemi, Itella Information’s global product line director, says, “Our goal is to be the number 1 intelligent logistics services company in northern Europe by 2010, with intelligence based on advanced technology, efficient processes and competent staff .”
Itella Information provides a range of standardised and bespoke services for customers with particular focus on digitising solutions which covers invoice processing and document process outsourcing. Itella manages the whole lifecycle of documents from initial scanning, workflow, document management, electronic archiving and subsequent access.
Rapidly expanding service bureau scanning 70 million documents annually.
To standardise on “best of breed” scanning technology to manage expanding volumes.
2 x KODAK i1860 Scanners.
“With the new i1860’s throughput capacity, Kodak is able to off er a scanner to cope with almost unlimited volumes which we need for a business operating 24/7”
- Unto Kariniemi, Global Product Line, Director, Itella Information
Working with companies of all sizes, but specialising in supporting those with heavy document processing needs, key digitising customers operate mainly in the banking, insurance and government sectors and include the Scandinavian banks, Sampo and Nordea, Pohjola, a non-life insurance company, and the Finnish vehicle registration and tax authorities
Kariniemi explains, “The banks, for example, have outsourced their paper-based payment handling process to us. So, their customers send in their completed payment forms which outline who is to be paid, for how much, and we process this, scanning in the information and then sending the data to the appropriate banking system.
Similarly with insurance, we are involved at the start of the claim handling process – receiving claims in the post, sorting them, digitising documents and preparing them for the relevant handler.”
The volume of documents and invoices handled by Itella Information is substantial. In Finland, the company processes some 260,000 separate items daily which equates to approximate 70 million annually, with the total number of documents throughout all Itella regions now topping 100 million each year.
This makes the digitising solution service area a fast growing part of Itella Information’s business with revenue tripling in 3 years and invoice scanning volumes in Sweden, for example, doubling in the first seven months of 2007.
To support this growth and add capacity for the future, Itella Information has installed two KODAK i1860 production scanners in Finland, purchased through Kibi, with two units being installed shortly in Sweden through ReadSoft. Processing 200 pages per minute, the i1860 is the fastest ever scanner from Kodak and has been ergonomically designed to improve operator productivity. At a touch of a button, the height of the unit can be changed, with a LCD touch screen control unit making it easy to operate.
Itella Information has created a “Reference Architecture” meaning that for scanning it is standardising on Kodak and harmonising the equipment used within the digitising business.
Kariniemi says, “Itella Information business group has made two acquisitions during 2006-7 to augment our business – buying DigiDoc AB and Infologistics Scandinavia AB and in both companies the equipment will be changed to Kodak.”
Creating an unified international scanning production environment – based on Kodak – we will improve efficiency and simplify management, training and support. The company already has a range of i600 and i800 series scanners at six production centres.
Kariniemi explains, “We can handle the Kodak scanner fleet without restriction and rotate equipment as we need. For example, when a i1860 was first installed in Finland one i660 scanner was moved to Latvia where the document volumes are smaller. After the transfer, the service was up and running in just a few hours.
Kodak was chosen because of its heritage and expertise in the scanner market, reputation for making reliable products and its ability to provide thorough and fast service and support. This is crucial since the invoice management business is extremely competitive and price sensitive, so any system downtime would mean considerable revenue loss.
Itella Information is also using KODAK’s Capture Software which enables it to take full advantage of all features in the hardware such as Kodak’s Perfect Page technology with iThresholding which produces extremely high quality scanned images without any need for settings to be adjusted. This is very important in a service bureau environment where the range of paper types processed is wide and continuous manual intervention to adjust settings would slow down operations considerably.
Kariniemi concludes, “With the new i1860’s throughput capacity, Kodak is able to offer a scanner to cope with almost unlimited volumes which we need for a business operating 24/7. We like to talk about trust and quality as preconditions to our business – customers trust us with their corporate information and they expect a high quality job. We want a scanner partner who will support us in the same way, understanding the importance of up-time. Kodak fulfils this role precisely.”