From a service bureau point of view, all the prior comments have made good
points and brought out things to consider.  Obviously, there are no easy
formulas for the cost of scanning.  Many of the considerations are the same
as would apply to a microfilming project.  Rather than relist all of the
considerations previously mentioned, in addition to those, one that I
haven't noticed is the size of document.  I suspect that the quoted prices,
thus far all relate to letter sized documents.  Larger documents,
particularly over 11 x 17 require different scanning equipment and methods
up to and including E sized drawings, for example.  Obviously, the cost per
drawing is significantly higher than the cost per page of 8 1/2 x 11.

As in microfilming, document preparation is of prime importance and has a
significant effect on the finished product.  Indexing is highly variable and
also has a significant effect on cost per page.

Those of us having evolved from the world of micrographics, I feel, have an
advantage in providing the services necessary for quality scanning, having
learned the ways and nature of paper documents the hard way.

In our case, we strongly encourage customers to provide a sample of any
documents to be filmed or scanned, to be used as a demonstration.  The time
and cost of such a sampling not only provides the customer with a result to
be evaluated, but provides us with an opportunity to determine the
requirements of the project, the effort necessary to provide a quality
product, and in some cases, the need to explain to a customer why his or her
project doesn't provide the needed result, or cannot be accomplished.

Our normal range of scanning letter sized documents is from $0.05 per page
to $0.12 per page, inclusive.  We strongly believe in providing the customer
with a fair cost per page for evaluation with no hidden charges or
'additional  costs'.  Typically, our cost includes transportation, file
preparation, imaging, and the original documents medium, whether that is
specified as microfilm, CD, or any other means required by the customer.
We provide quality services to our customers in many instances at $0.08 to
$0.09 per page, indexed.  Of course, scanning of clean documents in high
volume, no indexing, and minimal document preparation would reduce this
cost.  Poor quality documents, substantial preparation, frequency of
indexing (pages per document), file output requirements, and larger document
size would all serve to increase those costs.

Hopefully, these and the other comments will give a better indication of
scanning costs.

Ken Marcheselli
MicroImage Systems
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