BWE BELL + HOWELL Scanners have introduced a free, interactive online tool to help people discover the ideal scanner model and correct number of scanners to best fit their document imaging needs. The company manufactures and markets a full line of high-end, midrange and entry-level document scanners.

Document management and IT professionals who are considering a scanner purchase can go to the company's Web site and use the BBH Scanner Configurator to determine the type and quantity of scanners they need before speaking with a salesperson.

"End users do a ton of research online before they start contacting people," said Sean Parnell, head of product management for BWE BELL + HOWELL. "This tool will save them time and help them to better describe their needs to a Value Added Reseller."

Program Requires Only Basic Information

Four basic parameters are used to determine the number of scanners and ideal model for each user. End users input the average number of pages they will scan per day, the maximum number of pages they will scan per day, the number of staff hours available for scanning and the average page length in inches. The BBH Scanner Configurator then calculates the results and breaks them down into a three-step analysis of what scanner is best suited for the user's needs.

Step one tells the user the total scanning speed required to scan the number of pages in the time allowed. Step two, the Compatibility Matrix, lists the scanners available and places a checkmark by the models that are compatible with the criteria selected. Step three tells the user how many of each model is required to meet the user's scanning needs and singles out the one that would be the best fit.

"We ask the minimum number of questions in order to point the user in the right direction," said Parnell. "They don't need to be scanning experts. The four parameters ask the basics, and the BBH Scanner Configurator calculates the results based on those answers." Parnell says the tool is designed not only for new scanner users, but also for new VARs and channel salespeople.

Advanced parameters are available for scanner-savvy users who have more specific requirements. For example, sophisticated users can input the scanning resolution desired, specify if imprinting or ultrasonic multifeed detection is required, and indicate if a flatbed is needed. Special needs such as "difficult" paper -- paper that is fragile, crumpled, torn or dirty -- can also be taken into consideration, and the user can stipulate the minimum and maximum page width and length. The BBH Scanner Configurator also allows the user to take into account whether there are backlogged pages that need to be scanned, the total days available to scan those backlogged pages and typical time efficiency for scanning.

The BBH Scanner Configurator is available online at

Users can find it in the "Products" section, under "More Info" or at

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