Is Converting Your Microfiche Archive To Your Permitting System the Right Approach?

Building departments manage many different types of documents, including building plans, geologic survey information, permit copies, and other residential- or commercial-related records. A lot of staff time is spent searching through physical microfiche archives for specific records. Misfiled and lost fiche present further hassles. Although many building departments see the value of digitally converting their microfiche records, many have not.

Building Department Microfiche Conversion Solution

Why Haven’t Building Departments Converted Their Microfiche Archives To Digital?

Expense and staff time required are the two main reasons. Most building departments start with the position that they want all of their digital records converted and migrated into an existing permitting system or document management system. This typically comes with a hefty price tag. To accomplish this, each individual image on the microfiche must be separately digitized and indexed. A content review needs to take place which requires your building department staff to dedicate a lot of time reviewing the documents after conversion. The review is to ensure that the microfiche indexes are properly mapped to the permitting or document management system index. This is time-consuming and the amount of labor required quickly drives the price up.

There’s A More Affordable Way To Convert Microfiche Archives

A microfiche conversion solution is really a two-step process: (1) scanning and (2) indexing. Many building departments want all of their digital records imported into their existing permitting or document management system. This requires (1) scanning and (2) indexing. Most of the expense of a microfiche conversion solution comes at the (2) indexing phase. What if there was a solution that could provide (1) scanning at an affordable price as an initial stepping stone? In that way, your building department could digitize your microfiche records quickly and affordably and then tackle the (2) indexing step later.

Our Digital ReeL microfiche conversion solution delivers an affordable solution to accomplish the (1) scanning step and also offers you a stepping stone to (2) indexing and permitting system integration. In addition, any record converted into Digital ReeL is stored in a non-proprietary format (PDF, TIFF) and can easily be imported into any existing system.

How Does Digital ReeL Work?

Digital ReeL is designed to be affordable so that you can focus on digitizing your records and not break the bank. We’re able to convert the entire microfiche and digitally preserve it as it looked in its original physical state. Very little building department staff oversight is required and, because we create digital replicas of each microfiche, there’s no requirement to examine individual images for indexing purposes.

How Do I Access My Records In Digital ReeL?

Digital ReeL offers an easy to use web-based retrieval application that resembles a reader printer. With Digital ReeL your physical microfiche is converted to electronic replicas. Instead of using legacy physical readers, you can turn as many computer workstations as you’d like into access points. Staff and citizens use the same index method for your physical microfiche archive to find information (e.g. APN, address). We also include full-text search options to quickly and accurately pull up a record that is needed (e.g. search using a name, date, or other keyword).

All records are stored in nonproprietary formats, including PDF, TIFF, JPG, and GIF. It is easy to email, print, or save documents right from Digital ReeL. Any document can be imported into an existing permitting or document management system.

Next Steps

Reach out to us today! Click the “Get Your Quote” button below, fill out the form, and we’ll quickly reply to you to discuss your project.

Further Reading

“Digital File Formats & Conversion Project Delivery” covers the output options available to you when you scan your microfiche.

“How Much Does Microfiche Scanning Cost?” presents 9 factors that affect what you pay when you decide to have your microfiche scanned.

“How Much Microfilm & Microfiche Do I Have?” gives you methods to estimate the number of microfiche sheets you’ll have when you decide to start your digital conversion project.