DSA Interview with Lisa Desautels: Large-format scanning, Hoover Dam, and Quality

By Bryant Duhon posted 08-23-2011 12:54


Distinguished Service Award (2011) recipient Lisa A. Desautels has been instrumental in the creation and growth of AIIM Nevada. She owns and runs Graphic Imaging Services, a scanning service provider and has extensive knowledge of both large-format scanning and GIS. She’s been kind enough to share her expertise on large-format scanning in this community, and previously in the pages of AIIM E-DOC Magazine and Infonomics.

Q: What made you decide to start your own business?

Lisa: I wanted to received the true rewards of my efforts, both in satisfaction of doing a job right and financially.

Q: How did you initially become involved in service bureaus and large-format scanning?

Lisa: My previous work experience was with Autodesk, ESRI, and Microstation Resellers. There were so many vertical markets within the Design and GIS markets, that in order to be effective for my customers, I decided to focus on three markets (Civil Engineering, GIS, and Imaging). Having sold the Vidar Scanners to a few customers, I really seemed to have a passion for this market. Suddenly there was a demand for scanning drawings. At first, it was more about the conversion of scanned images to vector data (that would be like OCRing a document but for an engineering drawing). The knowledge of CAD and GIS and securing paper information was somewhat lacking in experts. I think it was my historical experience with AutoCAD, ESRI’s ArcGIS, and the knowledge of making the paper data useful for these applications that really took me down the path of large-format imaging and document management.

Q: Most interesting project/document that you/your company has performed/scanned?

Lisa: In 2004, we were awarded a contract for Bureau of Reclamation – Hoover DAM. This 2 ½ year project involved scanning drawings of this historical landmark from the early 1900s. There were so many lesson’s learned on this project. I used the phrase “psyhic indexing” because this was part of our scope for indexing. A lot of projects today also think that you will know just want to do to get their data the way they want it. Scanning was another challenge. Large-format color scanners were just hitting the market (and they were very slow). The drawings we scanned were old, very old. They were every type of media you could imagine. We learned what to do to make sure the image and data were captured; after all, this was going to be their reference in the future.

Best lesson of all was to establish standards and get the customer involved.

Q: How does GIS and large-format scanning fit together?

Lisa: Within government agencies, there is a huge backfile of historical, paper documents on which decisions are made even though they are not in the current flow of technology. Making an historical map digital and converting to vector allows you to do analysis in GIS (change detection, errors in taxation, pavement management, and so on). Scanning maps provides a starting point.

Q: You’ve created a loyal customer base, judging from your letters of support, what do you think is key to that?

Lisa: We take pride in the quality of work, being a “team player,” and developing relationships with our customers. This is part of our staff’s work ethic. It’s not just a project. Decisions are made based on the quality of our work. Working with good project managers who are invested in the project doesn’t hurt either.

I like to do the job right the first time.

Q: Why be involved in chapters? And AIIM in general?

Lisa: It’s a vehicle to share and educate others as there are so many in our market who don’t understand the issue of Content Management.

Q: Favorite part of being involved in the ECM industry?

Lisa: It’s for everyone! It’s not just for one group. Everyone has records. Every group has unique needs and there are a lot of good people who are willing to help and have the answers.

Just for fun:
Q: What are your three favorite websites?

Lisa: My bank (lol), my kids school for checking grades, and LinkedIn.

Q: What are the three greatest books ever written—and what’s on your nightstand today?

Lisa: The Psychology Influence of Persuasion, Gorilla Marketing, and The Sacred Journey. My nightstand has my daughters book “The force of Hands and Teeth;” I can’t stay awake long enough to read at night.

Q: What are the three greatest movies of all time—and what’s the last one you’ve seen?

Lisa: True Lies, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and The Illusionist. Recent movie – Saw three this week: Crazy Stupid Love, Cowboy’s and Aliens and Capt. America.

Q: What was your first concert—and what are the three greatest songs on your iPod?

Lisa: First concert was Van Halen in 1980, Top three songs on my iPod are Pink-Glitter in the Air, Andre Bocelli- Con te Partiro (Theme for Bellagio Hotel in Vegas), Sade-Smooth Operator.

#largeformatscanning #award #AIIM #ScanningandCapture #HooverDam #servicebureau #GIS #DSA