OCR used to capture data from compliance certificates quickly and accurately
January 9, 2013 - Kodak announces today that the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s leading certification body for the security and fire protection sectors, has selected Kodak Capture Pro data extraction software and a Kodak i2600 scanner solution to streamline the processing of 4,000 alarm related compliance certificates received each month from NSI approved companies.
The new Kodak solution means that administrative staff can now manage the documentation faster and more accurately, with the OCR [optical character recognition] technology included reading customer and alarm installation data from the forms automatically. This is then used to update NSI’s certificate management database. The Kodak Capture Pro software and the scanner hardware were supplied and installed by reseller, AAC Systems.
In addition, the NSI is saving almost £3,000 per annum on maintenance costs associated with an old legacy system from another vendor which it has used for the past seven years.
Founded over 40 years ago and based in Maidenhead, the NSI helps protect businesses and homeowners by providing high quality independent audits of security and fire safety service providers to ensure they adhere to stringent UK and European standards.
This means that NSI approved contractors – who total over 1,800 - meet the correct guidelines and use approved equipment as demanded by the police, fire and the insurance industry. NSI audited firms include companies such as ADT, Chubb, Banham, as well as a host of smaller independent suppliers and contractors.
Moira Page, NSI’s head of information systems, explains, “When a burglar alarm is installed by a NSI approved contractor for example, a compliance certificate is issued which comes in three parts – a copy for the customer, one for the installer and the third is sent to us for reference. It is proof that a bona fide alarm has been fitted and that the company installing it meets all of the relevant standards for the security systems sector.”
The certificate lists a range of information such as customer’s name and address, date and type of alarm installed, signal used, supplier, BSI standard met, and other information including police authority code and alarm receiving centre.
The NSI stores certificates on its database for accounting purposes – it can then check and cross reference that it has received payment from contractors who often buy certificates in bulk. Furthermore, copies of certificates are also retained for reference purposes for businesses and consumers – in case paperwork is mislaid - and for insurance firms who often want to see copies when claims are made.
Andrew Chescoe, managing director, AAC Systems, says, “The requirement was all about cost-effective efficiency. From our first review of the business operation, it was apparent that an easy-to-use, fast and accurate system was needed, without costing the earth. Kodak Capture Pro met all of these criteria and could be fully implemented in just a few days. Combined with a modern scanner, such as the Kodak i2600, the quality of the scanned images is vastly better compared to the previous equipment, improving the quality of service NSI offers its customers.”
The Kodak system was installed in September 2012 after AAC Systems had completed some integration work to ensure the right data from the certificates could be extracted using OCR.
Carol Whitfield, IT and certificates co-ordinator, explains, “Our old scanner solution was a bit of a plodder. It did the job, but the new Kodak equipment is very fast and the quality of images are really good. It’s simple to use and makes the task of certificate processing much easier.”
The total project cost was just £3,300, representing excellent value for money for a departmental solution which is being used for a specific task, namely alarm certificate management. Moira Page explains, “Our old annual maintenance fees were practically the same as what we’ve paid for the brand new Kodak solution. We’ve saved financially plus we’ve got a much better, more modern feature-rich system which works much, much quicker.“
The Kodak i2600 scanner has a recommended daily volume of up to 4,000 pages (50 pages per minute at 300dpi) and comes with dual indirect LED document illumination which uses less energy, ensures excellent reliability, and radically enhances image clarity, consistency and colour stability. LED does this by ensuring even light distribution when images are scanned, with optical resolution up to 1,200 dpi. Kodak is the first manufacturer to use dual indirect LED document illumination in this category of product.
Neil Murphy, Kodak’s UK sales manager, says “Documents have valuable data in them that organisations like the NSI want to capture and turn into information. Kodak Capture Pro delivers this without any click charges. It has been designed for fast and accurate image digitisation and, combined with our scanner hardware, means a cost competitive solution to improve productivity.”
The Kodak i2600 scanners support all Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 operating systems along with Windows Server 2008 and Linux Ubuntu, backed by a three-year warranty for free.
To learn more, please visit www.graphics.kodak.com.
 British Standards Institution
 This documents the police force responsible for responding to an alarm call out.
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