Now that I am pretty committed to publishing the drawings of all of our past projects that anyone could learn from, I thought: "Specs!?"
We have produced specifications by Masterspec using Framework III and, later, Word; then by SpecLink and SpecLink+. But most of the digital files that were produced are gone. But we do have hard copy, paper Project Manuals. A lot of them.
So how can I get these paper specs scanned and ready to publish? A Google search turned up several companies that do this paper to PDF conversion. One of the companies was "docufree".
So I filled out an online form like this: "I have approximately 100 specifications (Project Manuals) that contain about 200 pages each. They are GBC punched and bound. I would like them converted to PDFs."
The next morning I received an email with a link to a very complete proposal, including a step-by-step description of what I would need to do and what they would do. My job would be to put the specs in the boxes they send me. They do everything else, starting with picking up the boxes; and ending with sending me a DVD and shredding the originals.
A day later I had an enjoyable (no joking) low-key conversation about the process with Mike Matton at "docufree", followed two days later with a memorable reminder by mail! [The ballpoint pen is for scale.] I guess the miniature foam rubber box is a conversation starter (seems to be working).
The experience reminded me of how powerful having a niche can be. They are clearly experts at docufree, and they have taken the trouble to explain the process in a memorable and engaging way.
I could give the job to Kinko's but they charge by the scan, plus hourly for them to scan, I have to drop off and pick up, I have to organize the work for them (remove bindings, add file name, place in separate folders that I will have to buy), and hope that they don't get confused sometime during the 20,000 page process.
I don't know if I will get the specs scanned, but I do know who will do the scanning. Mike Matton at docufree, 877-362-3569 x 1143