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Business card scanner


mrmaxx
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Our sales department has a bunch of business cards that one of our former sales folks had collected and sent in once we let her go (nothing against her, just were able to "outsource" her job!) Now the sales department wants to scan them all into some sort of database and then sort them, preferably by city/state.

I need a recommendation on a scanner and also on any software we would need to get to do what sales wants...

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. We are a Windows XP Pro shop and use mostly Office 2003 or Office 2007.

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Integration with your CRM/Contact Management system is the thing. Last place I was at used a commercial version of SugarCRM and a dedicated card scanner to feed the card module (I can get the details but I fancy most/many multi-function printer-scanners have some provision for card scanning and some of those are cheaper than buying replacement print cartridges, certainly cheaper than a purpose scanner though you get what you pay for to some extent).

Does your CRM system make provision for cards? Or is there an available module? That's the question. Really, it's the 'only' way to integrate the data. If it doesn't, maybe you need a new CRM. Your chance for revenge. 'Sales' hate changing CRMs :D (the reassurances that the new one will effortlessly assume the data and functionality of the old one - and Outlook - is always a cruel hoax). But there's probably an add-on module available. Maybe you're only using Outlook for CRM? Well, that can work, there's the vCard functionality and (third party) modules to add scanned cards to contacts, I think.

I'm faintly amazed physical business cards are still so important (so 19th century). But Sales are right. The contacts are critical. So, what are you using for CRM/contact management? LAN or VPN could come into it too, I don't know.

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  • 5 months later...
Integration with your CRM/Contact Management system is the thing. Last place I was at used a commercial version of SugarCRM and a dedicated card scanner to feed the card module (I can get the details but I fancy most/many multi-function printer-scanners have some provision for card scanning and some of those are cheaper than buying replacement print cartridges, certainly cheaper than a purpose scanner though you get what you pay for to some extent).

Old topic... but WHAT CRM??? :D Seriously... we don't really have a "CRM" package. What we ended up doing was buying a dedicated card scanner and then just exporting the data to a special PST for each sales user's contacts and then importing the PST for that user. :-)

It works pretty good. Even allows us to export the contacts in CSV format for our Constant Contact database.

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...It works pretty good. Even allows us to export the contacts in CSV format for our Constant Contact database.
Whatever works - major change would be a major disruption/cultural change and you would have to be pretty sure of what you want out of it and of the ultimate benefit over cost and every member of the team would need to be onside as well (well, those that you wanted to keep).

Change management is tricky - incremental change is minimal effort and minimal risk and if that's enough it is hard to argue for more. That's at the heart of "kaizen" (as applied to manufacturing processes) - and look what it's done for Toyata :lol: No, no, it's all good, really, and certainly better than getting over-ambitious in advance of actual need. CRM? Forget I mentioned it.

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  • 2 years later...

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