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“BMI prioritized the scanning and processing of the fiche and put them in Digital ReeL for my team to access. It was so simple and effective. Working with the BMI team as a whole – they were a pleasure to work with.”

– Heather Stewart | Senior Management Analyst


The City of San Mateo Community Development Department (CDD) provides services related to land use and building construction, including building permits and inspections, planning permits, code enforcement, and neighborhood improvement and housing.

For over 15 years, the City has worked with BMI to scan hard copy plans to a digital format on a recurring basis. The scanning stayed consistent though improvements were made over time to create a more effective process. In the past few years, the City switched to BMI’s OLIS indexing system to mitigate the possibilities of incorrect or non-existent indexing data tied to the scanned images.

In the City’s offices, cabinets full of 16mm and 35mm microfiche constantly reminded staff that they needed to move toward digitization as the quality of the images and the tools to view the records were both degrading. After years of using the hard copy microfiche on a daily basis, the CDD decided it was time to get the microfiche scanned.

Along with the microfiche, the decision was made to include scanning over 500 boxes of Application records as well as re-evaluate the ongoing scanning of plans while also adding in permits, previously scanned in-house.


  • Deteriorating microfiche records
  • 500+ boxes of paper records in storage, hard to access
  • Dual process of digitization and transitioning EDMS


  • Scan microfiche first and provide in-project Digital ReeL access
  • Monthly pickup and scanning of Application files to allow the City time to prepare records
  • In-house Laserfiche expert assisted the transition from SIRE


  • Rapid conversion of microfiche to digital with no impact on request fulfillment
  • Smooth transition from existing digital EDMS (SIRE) to Laserfiche
  • Hard copy records scanned and retired, staff utilizing digital records going forward