City of San Mateo Community Development Department Partners With BMI for Multiple Digitization Projects

The City of San Mateo Community Development Department (CDD) chooses BMI to digitize microfiche records & planning application files, and assist in its EDMS transition

Sunnyvale, California – October 19, 2022

In the CDD’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-evaluating the ongoing scanning of plans while also adding in permits, previously scanned in-house.

BMI was chosen for two reasons: first, familiarity. It had to go through the same process as everyone else, but the CDD knew it did good work and that they could trust them. Second, BMI provided a solution to the CDD’s request at a viable cost; just because BMI was already working with the CDD they didn’t try to use that to their advantage but instead put together a response as if this was a new client asking.

During the project, the CDD was provided with BMI’s Digital ReeL software application to augment their transition to Laserfiche. Before starting, there was a concern that CDD staff would either have to scan in small batches or send out larger batches of microfiche and risk not having access to them to fulfill requests. Digital ReeL solved this issue: BMI was able to pick up the entire 125,000 microfiche collection at one time and bring it to its Sunnyvale headquarters. As microfiche was scanned and converted, they were loaded to the Digital ReeL site for CDD staff to review and perform QA checks, as well as access the records to complete requests from city patrons.

By the end of the project, BMI worked with the CDD to scan 125,000 microfiche sheets and over 500 boxes, containing over 4,000 Planning Application records. CDD staff no longer have to use the hard copy documents but can instead access them directly within their Laserfiche application.

Read the entire case study here.

About BMI
BMI Imaging Systems is an information management company that helps people digitize, organize, and access their records more effectively. Services provided include digital scanning (microfilm, microfiche, aperture card, paper), legacy conversion, software development, and hosting applications.

A large chunk of BMI’s client base is in the public sector (city and county departments, state departments), with many private entity clients. Industries include law enforcement, courts, healthcare, title, and land records, insurance, and education, among others.