All You Can Eat! Two for the Price of One! More is Better!

burgersHave you seen that awful commercial on television?  Yes, I know there are so many that I’ll have to give you more details.  It’s the one where the actors are overwhelmed by huge drink cups, or a pizza that’s bigger than the table.

Americans are perceived as a culture that always wants more and more, or bigger and bigger.  George Carlin use to say that when we filled our houses, we just bought a bigger one so that we could buy more stuff. The Fast Food industry is at war with one another trying to make a bigger, better burger.  Some are stuffing three or more patties in one bun, others are adding onion rings and/or French fries right on the burger. Every smart phone is getting bigger and bigger–thinner too, but the screen is increasing in size and soon the mini-iPad and the iPhone will be the same size. Ask yourself, just because a contestant on Top Chef can make bacon ice cream, should he?  Where does it all stop?

File size. Yes, that’s where you have to draw the line. A smaller file size is better. Smaller files are easier to store, easier to send and easier to receive.  Just because you have a super-duper, top-of-the-line scanner that can scan an image in high resolution with full color doesn’t mean you have to use that setting. Try 100 to 200 dpi with Black & White or Grayscale. Shoot for 30 to 300KB per page (vs. the 2 MB per page that full color and high resolution require).

If you use templates to generate files, consider them too.  The company logo that you use in your full color, slick glossy brochure has no place on your templates. Even when you resize that stunning logo from 8 x 10 down to 2 x 3 inches in a Microsoft Word document, it’s still a 2 MB (or more) logo.  All you need is a 2 x 3 inch GIF file designed for web or screen that uses approximately 7 KB. Your generated documents will be smaller and will email quicker, open quicker, and take up less space on that terabyte hard drive or in-the-cloud storage.

Just because you have room to store large files doesn’t mean you should not apply some reasonable restraint. Consider that less is always more practical when it comes to file size. Think of that 2 MB logo reproduced in every generated file in your system and then multiplied by the number of backups you keep.

The same is true for other documents that you scan, such as AP Invoices. If you are scanning in color with high resolution, you are storing and backup up hundreds if not thousands of 2 MB files instead of 30 KB files. It all adds up!

Larger files that use more resources than needed to get the job done waste valuable and limited resources such as time and bandwidth.  You don’t boil 8 quarts of water to make a cup of rice: you boil exactly what you need. So our advice is to save your high-resolution, full-color images and files for when it really makes a difference, and use the practical lower-resolution images the rest of the time.

This entry was posted in Document Management, File Management and tagged by Dorothy McGovern. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dorothy McGovern

Dorothy McGovern (VP of Client Services at Spitfire) has been with Spitfire since Day 1. Prior to Spitfire, Dorothy worked at IBM and the National Aero Space Plane group at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (where she made a hole in one on the 18th hole on the same day she fell out of the golf cart. Since it was the 2nd time she had ever played golf, it seemed like a good day to retire from that sport.) The postings on this site are her own and don’t necessarily represent Spitfire's positions, strategies or opinions.

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