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Scan Documents to PDFs and Manage Their Use with FileMaker

This project involved scanning documents to PDF and managing the process of locating and distributing them over the web.

Before this project was implemented, dossiers averaging 20 pages made up of a mixture of handwritten documents, photographs and printed documents were gathered together and photocopied in sets. These sets were stored in large filing cabinets and later copied and sent by FedEx or UPS as requested by prospective clients.

This was expensive in terms of shipping expense, storage required, time needed to make the copies, time required to retrieve the copies and, perhaps most important, the overall time it took to get the documents into the hands of the prospective client, who was deciding between my client's services or that of a competitor.

In the completed project, dossiers are scanned to PDF files that are stored on a file/web server in a location determined automatically by the FileMaker database. Each PDF file is renamed using AppleScript in order to create a level of "security by obscurity". When there is a request for a dossier, an email containing the URL to the PDF on the file/web server is sent to the client from the database for immediate download.

The result of the project:

  • it is possible to get a dossier to a prospective client in as little as 60 seconds
  • shipping expenses are dramatically reduced
  • amount of office space required for storage is significantly less

This project had an unusually high return on investment.


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