Scan or store? How to choose the right option for your business

SFS scan vs store - document storage and scanningAs you can tell from our name, here at Scan Film or Store we offer both document scanning and document storage services (among other things). While choice is always a good thing, it does pose a potential dilemma to clients who aren’t sure which option is the right one for them.

We’re always happy to sit down with people and work out a plan that suits their particular business needs. But in the meantime, we’ve come up with this list of questions to get you thinking about the kinds of things that will help you decide which route to go down.

1) How often do you need to access your records?

This is the first and most important question you should be asking yourself. If you need information on a daily basis, having your records stored off site – even if it is just down the road – will be a nightmare. In fact, even storing them on site can be a waste of time if you or one of your team is spending half their working day in the archive room ferreting around in dusty boxes for whatever is needed. Far easier to have everything scanned so you can access it at the touch of a button.

2) How quickly do you need to be able to access your records?

If your answer to question one is “not very often”, off site storage could be the answer for you. However it may be that when you do need a document, you need to be able to get your hands on it really quickly. In that case, you either need to make sure your storage company is local and able to provide a rapid delivery service (which we do, in case you were wondering). Or you’re better off getting your documents scanned so you eliminate any wait time. This is especially important if your internal processes or quality systems require you to be able to produce certain documents within a specific time frame.

3) Will you be required to produce an original at any point?

There are some documents that are only valid in their original hard copy form. For example, in the aerospace industry, if a Certificate of Conformity were to be needed, only the original would do. In this case it is important that the documents are securely stored, ideally with the environmental controls and security checks that a professional storage company like Scan Film or Store can offer.

4) How long do you need to keep your records?

There are some archive documents – like financial records and pupil files – which you’re unlikely ever to use again but which you might be required by law to keep for a certain period of time. In that case you will need to store the originals, and a professional off site storage company almost certainly offers the best security for this kind of important document. If you also need frequent or very fast access to these documents, however, you might want to consider getting them scanned as well.

5) Do you prefer to send documents electronically or by post?

If you want – or need – to send your documents by post, you can either photocopy your hard copy originals or print out copies from electronic ones. So either scanning or storing would work. But if you’re going to be sending them electronically then it makes sense to have your documents stored electronically, rather than having to scan hard copies before they can be sent. In this case, scanning will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

6) Will your documents need to be destroyed at any point?

If you’re holding onto documents simply because you’re legally required to, you will most likely want to destroy them once you’re allowed to do so. Boxes of paper files are more easily destroyed, especially if you track boxes by date, which we do here at Scan Film or Store with our special barcoding system. Electronic data (ie scanned archives) can be harder to keep track of, which can make destruction that bit more complex, especially if you keep backups on different servers.

7) What’s your budget?

In the short term, scanning is more expensive than storage. So if cost is an issue, you might want to consider getting your documents stored. However, take the time to work out your longer term calculations. Because while scanning is a bigger initial outlay, it’s not ongoing in the same way as the monthly rental cost of off site storage. And don’t be fooled into thinking that your best bet is storing everything in your own premises. When you work out the cost of your rent or the maintenance of your own premises, you’d be surprised at how reasonable professional storage actually is.

If you’re still not quite sure whether you need to scan your documents, store them, or go for a combination of the two, give us a call. One of the team will be able to talk you through some more individual questions to help you figure out the perfect solution for your business or organisation.

7 fun things to do in an empty office

Scan Film or Store man on trampolineImagine, just for a moment, that you had a free office. As in empty rather than rent free. Like if you somehow managed to eliminate several dozen boxes of paper archives (you know, by getting them digitised, or having them stored off-site) and could actually see further than a  metre  into the archive room. Just think what you could do with all that space! We do a lot of driving to go and see our clients in person, and these are a few of the ideas we came up with while traversing the highways and byways of the South West.

1) Trial trampolining desks for your more energetic staff

Everyone scoffed at standing desks when they first went on sale, didn’t they? And now look at all the trendy kids with their, “Oh ya, it’s just so fantastic for the posture, don’t you know?” Some of them even have treadmills attached to make them into walking desks. Well, you’ll show them. They won’t be laughing when you’ve cornered the trampolining desk market and have the world’s fittest staff.

2) Start a mini petting zoo

There are studies out there from eminently sensible, scientifically qualified people who have proven that spending time with animals can lower stress levels. You’d need the right kind of animals, obviously. No one’s going to feel especially relaxed after half an hour enclosed in a former storage room with a silverback gorilla or a pack of wolves. But some nice ducklings and puppies and things would be fun.

3) Practice your wallpapering skills

Putting up wallpaper is one of those annoying and fiddly jobs you don’t have to do often. Which means it always starts badly and by the time you start getting good at it, you’re done. And then when it’s time to do it again in a few years, you’ve forgotten everything you learned. The answer? Daily practise. Get in there and make those bare walls beautiful!

4) Build the world’s largest collection of promotional stress balls

Everyone needs a hobby. It’s proven to be very relaxing (like being around animals – it might have been the same study). And there’s something just so satisfying about a stress ball. Like chewing gum for your hand. If you go to even a moderate number of conferences and exhibitions you’re bound to come across dozens of them, and they’re free too, so this won’t be an expensive hobby. That’s the definition of win-win, right there.

5) Make a Bat cave

You know you want one. Yes, you do. You do really. Ok, we want one, but we kind of have to dedicate our space to our clients’ documents, so it would be really great if you could make one and then invite us round. You can be Batman, we don’t mind being Robin. Or even Arthur. We’ve always thought he was the unsung hero of that franchise.

6) Have a team-building sleep over

Everyone can bring their sleeping bags and their PJs, and stay up late eating chocolate biscuits and telling ghost stories. It will be just like Scouts, when they go off to get all their outdoor survival type badges. Only with less trees and mud and, well, the actual outdoors. But still super fun.

7) Install a panic room

Not one of those impenetrable bunkers sealed with reinforced steel bars designed to keep assassins at bay. Just a room where people can go when they’re panicking. You know, because they’ve only just remembered that report is due tomorrow and they haven’t started it. Or they heard on the grapevine that Laura in accounts is after volunteers for the company karaoke night.

So there you have it – seven perfectly good ways to use an empty office. Can you think of any more? Tweet us your ideas at @scanfilmorstore or post a note on our Facebook page, and we’ll reshare the best ones.

And if you’re feeling blue because you don’t have any spare office and you’d like one, get in touch today to find out more about how we can help give you the space to make even your craziest dreams a reality.

3 super useful scanning apps you should download today

3 super useful scanning apps you should download todayYou’ll hopefully know by now that document scanning is basically the reason we get up in the morning. But we’re happy to admit that you don’t always need a local team of experts on hand to service your every document scanning need.

Sometimes, for example, you might simply want to scan something with your phone. Like a receipt. Or a signature. Or a secret blueprint of an underground lair. In which case, you probably need an app. Actually scratch that – you do need an app. One of these, in fact.

Scanning app #1: CamScanner

We love a PDF. The portable document format, as we’ve said before, is the most accessible file format around. If you have a document you want to share or store electronically, just stick it in a scanner, convert it to a PDF and you’re good to go. But what if you don’t have a handy full size scanner to… well, to hand? No problem. CamScanner is a nifty mobile scanner that uses your built in smart phone camera to scan everything from receipts to white board discussions, with built in OCR (that’s optimised character recognition, for those who aren’t regular readers) in the paid for version. Mark up your scanned document, email it, fax it, print it out or collaborate by inviting colleagues and friends to view and comment. No wonder CamScanner was voted the best app of 2014 and gets a reported 50,000 sign ups a day.

Use it for: scanning receipts so you don’t end up with a wallet bulging with scrappy bits of faded paper that even your book keeper can’t read.

Scanning app #2: Adobe Fill & Sign

Signing a form isn’t all that challenging. Assuming you can hold a pen and give it a good squiggle in a relatively consistent manner, you probably won’t have any trouble. But what if you’ve been sent a form electronically and need to sign and return it quick smart, without relying on finding a printer and a super fast carrier pigeon? That’s when you need the Adobe Fill & Sign tool, which works with any form, from a paper permission slip to a digital health intake. You can even use it on a photo of a form taken with your smart phone. The app gives you options to save, share and send completed forms too, and stores them securely in the Adobe Document Cloud so they’re always at your fingertips. What’s more, the autofill function means you can save data securely for next time, allowing you to just drag and drop information on future forms.

Use it for: Getting the permission slip for your daughter’s school trip sorted before the 3pm cut off, thereby avoiding a half term full of bitter teenage tears.

Scanning app #3: Scannable by Evernote

This is one for the iPhone and iPad users (sorry, Android folk), and especially those of you who couldn’t live without Evernote to organise your extremely busy lives. Scannable by Evernote has all the functionality you’d want in a scanner, and a whole lot more. Not only can it instantly scan business cards, sketches, and even multipage documents, the app will automatically store the resulting electronic documents in your Evernote account. It will crop any images to remove the background, and enhance the text to make it more readable too. And best of all, it’s totally free, with no paid for upgrade version.

Use it for: Scanning business cards so the contact information is automatically lifted and added to your contact card.

If you have small batches of documents to scan for a particular purpose, these apps really will make life just that little bit easier. And, of course, when it comes to the big jobs, you’ve always got us.

To discuss your document scanning requirements, just get in touch and one of the team will be happy to talk you through your options.

How we helped David Wilson Homes digitally rehome their clutter

How Scan Film or Store helped David Wilson Homes digitally rehome their clutterOne thing we’re particularly proud of here at Scan Film or Store is the relationships we build with our clients. Many of them stay with us for years, and we get to know them pretty well. Which is nice.

David Wilson Homes is one such client. They first came to us in 2012, to help them reassess the way they stored their archives. They’d been housing them in an off-site unit that was some distance from their offices, which means accessibility was an issue.

After asking lots of not-especially-interesting questions about their specific requirements, we were able to recommend our scanning service, giving them digital records they could not only access whenever they wanted, but saving them money on physical storage.

From sample scanning to staff training

The first thing we did was take a sample away and cost up their options. Then we had a meeting to discuss things like indexing, and the pros and cons of more vs less detailed indexing. We always to replicate our client’s existing filing system, you see, so they can find their electronic copies very easily indeed. Admittedly, it probably wasn’t the most exhilarating meeting they’d ever sat through, but they were very happy to have the choices laid out clearly and simply so they could make a sensible decision.

Once the decisions had been made, we got started with the scanning. There were around 90,000 documents in that first batch, but thankfully our trusty machines don’t tire or get paper cuts, so it all worked out very nicely indeed.

And then all that was left to do was to train up the David Wilson Homes staff so they’d feel really confident using their new online filing system – which was designed to match their physical archives to save too much confusion. And we’re pleased to report that the team were so pleased with the new system that they’ve been sending us batches of invoices and other files ever since.

Lovely words about our scanning skills

How Scan Film or Store helped David Wilson Homes digitally rehome their clutterOf course, it’s easy enough to say why we think our clients are happy with our service – but far better to ask them to say it for us. Here’s what Maria Tyley, Divisional Accountant at David Wilson Homes, thought about the whole experience (and yes, we’re still blushing):

“It’s so much easier since we got our new system set up. Whereas before we’d go, ‘Oh I need that invoice!’ and then we’d have to go and get it from the storage, now within minutes I can load the hard drive up and we’ve got the information.

“The Scan Film or Store team are experts on what they do and the quality of what I get back is very good. If we need to print copies off for audit, they’re clear enough for that. Their speed and their return of information is excellent too. We’ve just sent them another 25,000 invoices to do within the last week and I know that within a few weeks it will all be done. And they’re very competitive in the market.

“I have to say they are amazing people. Mark keeps in contact with me but not in a pushy way – he genuinely cares. And if I need anything, I can email him and within hours he’s back to me with the information I need. The whole team is very good at keeping their clients happy. They’re just nice people to have working alongside you, and they really know their business.”

Well, you can imagine how happy it made us to hear that. After all, it’s our clients that make our business. Without them we’d just be sitting around staring longingly at our high tech scanning equipment and drinking far too much tea.

We’d love to help you like we’ve helped Maria and the rest of the team at David Wilson Homes. So if you have any storage or scanning needs – or data destruction, microfiche conversion or CD duplication, for that matter – drop us a line to see how we can help.

12 genuinely fascinating facts about paper

Paper. It’s pretty simple, as technology goes. Sure, you can get it in different sizes and colours and textures, with lines or without, sturdy or flimsy enough to see through. But essentially, it’s bits of flat stuff that you can write or draw on. Not especially complex.

And yet it’s so important. Even in these digital days, as we try and reduce the number of trees we need to cut down, we still use 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard every year. Without it, we wouldn’t have magazines and till receipts and books and toilet paper (perish the thought!).

So how much do you actually know about this stuff that you probably use every day? We’re willing to put good money on the fact that you’ll learn at least one thing from this blog post. Which, at the very least, will stand you in good stead next time you’re at a pub quiz.

Historical paper facts

1) Paper is thought to have been invented around 100AD by the Chinese, although it was supposedly kept secret for a number of years. The Chinese are also credited with the first paper currency and the first toilet paper.

2) The English word paper is derived from papyrus, a material which predates paper and was originally used in Egypt thousands of years BC.

3) The first newspaper was printed in Venice in 1556. The monthly publication was available to buy for one Venetian coin called a gazetta, hence the word gazette can now be used to refer to a newspaper.

Record breaking paper facts*

*As authenticated by Guinness World Records!

4) The furthest a paper aeroplane has flown is 69.14m. The plane was made using just one sheet of A4 paper, and was designed by John M Collins and launched by Jo Ayoob in North Highland, California in 2012.

5) The largest building made entirely from paper was 6.4m tall, with a base that measured 15.2m by 17.9m. It was constructed in the form of a traditional Thai house and manufactured using nothing but corrugated paper by Kwag Hua Industries, who unveiled it in Bangkok in October 2003.

6) The biggest roll of toilet paper ever made was 2.97m in diameter and stood 2.59m high. It was made in August 2011 by Charmin in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and was later sent to a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum.

Current paper facts

7) It is possible to do a degree in Paper Science. If you’re interested in analysing the factors that influence pore size distribution or modelling shrinkage during manufacture, this is definitely the course for you. Probably don’t try and explain your choice down the pub though.

8) The average person in the UK gets through 38kg of newspapers a year. Most of which is probably due to excessive consumption of fish and chips (we may have made this last bit up).

9) The amount of paper used in the UK each year takes the equivalent of a woodland the size of Wales to make. Which is a great reason for working towards a paperless office.

Office paper facts

10) The average office worker uses around 10,000 sheets of photocopy paper every year, according to Xerox. That’s the equivalent of four boxes, which works out to about £50. Multiply that across your entire company and you can see where the cost saving potential lies!

11) A standard three drawer filing cabinet, which takes up around 4 square foot of office space, can hold around 9,000 sheets of paper. According to a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the costs associated with buying the cabinet and maintaining the space add up to about £1,500 a year.

12) There is way more to measuring quantities of paper than you’d imagine. For example, 25 sheets of paper = one quire. 20 quires = one ream. Two reams = one bundle. And five bundles = one bale. Try asking your stationery supplier how much a quire of A4 costs next time they ring – that should stump them!

So, there we go. Consider yourself well and truly informed about paper.

If you’d like any help tackling your own paper related issues, whether you could use some extra storage, want to explore the idea of going digital, or need to securely destroy sensitive documents, do get in touch.

Scan Film or Store wins Cyber Essentials Scheme certification!

Scan Film or Store wins Cyber Essentials Scheme certification!Well, this is a very good day. After months of work logging our firewall defences and detailing how we manage passwords, we’ve finally been awarded certification under the Cyber Essentials Scheme. Which, in case you were wondering, is really rather an honour and not something that every Tom, Dick and Harry can claim to have done.

The Cyber Essentials Scheme is, in their own words, a programme that “aims to help organisations implement basic levels of protection against cyber attack, demonstrating to their customers that they take cyber security seriously.” Which we do, of course.

To achieve certification, we had to complete a thorough (really, really thorough) self-assessment, evaluating ourself against five security controls, and then submit all that information to be verified by a qualified external assessor.

Scan Film or Store wins Cyber Essentials Scheme certificationGranted, it was not the most thrilling of jobs. There was a lot of paperwork to organise, and systems to catalogue, and other things that you probably aren’t all that interested in hearing about. But it was an incredibly useful process, and even helped us make improvements to our already very good security processes.

Now we can officially say that we’ve taken absolutely every precaution possible to make our company as digitally impenetrable as a conspiracy theorist’s basement tech hub.

How our Cyber Essentials Scheme certification affects you

So what does all of this actually have to do with you? Well, nothing if you aren’t a client. What do you care about whether we get hacked?

If you are a client, however, or you might be one in the future, then knowing that we’re certified under the Cyber Essentials Schemes should be rather a weight off your shoulders. Because what it means is that if we process or store any of your data digitally – which we would if, for example, we were scanning all of your paper records to create a digital archive – it won’t be hacked, leaked or otherwise allowed to get into the wrong hands.

So basically, we’re mega safe to do business with. Which is what you want, really.

Anyway, we won’t bang on about it too much (unless you bump into one of us and mention it, in which case we reserve the right to bore you just a bit more). But suffice to say that if you have any document storage, scanning or destruction needs, and your data is particularly sensitive, you should definitely give us a call.

Why microfilm isn’t just for spies

Why microfilm isn't just for spiesRemember that old James Bond film, The Spy Who Loves Me? In it, Roger Moore’s Bond is tasked with recovering stolen plans for a highly advanced submarine tracking system – plans that are contained within a roll of microfilm.

Incredibly, it’s been 40 years since that film came out (yes, we feel old too). But despite the technological advances of the last four decades, microfilm is as relevant today is ever. Likewise microfiche – which brings to mind images of Jessica Fletcher hunting through the Cabot Cove records in search of a clue – is still being used in organisations up and down the country.

(In case you’re wondering, the main difference between the two is that microfiche is formatted as a flat card of negatives rather than a roll. In both cases, a backlit reader is used to view the images – although these days you can also view microfiche and microfilm digitally using special software.)

Why microfilm and microfiche still matters

The main benefit of microfiche and microfilm is that they can turn very large documents into very small images. Which makes them particularly useful for companies with lots of large format documents such as architects, engineers and hospitals. They’re also a great way of accessing rare or fragile documents that shouldn’t be handled without proper care.

And that’s just the start. Converting your documents to microfiche or microfilm has loads of business benefits, allowing you to:

  • Create secure backups of important documents (guaranteed for 500 years!)
  • Free up storage space and move towards a paperless office
  • Share documents easily, quickly and cost effectively
  • Access critical data without having to hunt through endless archive boxes
  • Reduce retrieval costs if your physical documents are stored off site

All of which can save you lots of hassle and potentially money too. Which, let’s face it, is what we’re all aiming for, right?

Specialists in microfilm and microfiche conversion

At Scan Film or Store, we’ve been working with microfilm and microfiche for longer than we care to admit.

That’s why we can offer such a wide range of services around microfiche, microfilm and related media, including:

  • Digitising microfilm and microfiche (oh, and aperture cards too, if you’ve got some of those)
  • Converting photographic images into a range of popular electronic formats such as .pdf, .pdf/a, .jpg and .tif
  • Producing printed hard copies of microfilm, microfiche and aperture cards (we can even supply Diazo microfiche copies of microfilm, if you can get your head around that one)
  • Integrating digitised film with your existing or new document management systems
  • Destroying, cataloguing, indexing, archiving and/or storing the originals, depending on your needs

Not only do we have the technical skills required to do all this, we’re also fully secure – our staff are all DBS checked with full security clearance to BS7858 standards. So you don’t need to worry about your data falling into the hands of a reclusive megalomaniac like Karl Stromberg.

If you have any microfiche or microfilm jobs you need taken care of, give us a ring and one of the team will be happy to help.

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How to choose a document storage company

How to choose a document scanning company by Scan Film or StoreIt’s surprising how long making a decision can take. Even something simple like what to order at the local Chinese or whether you ought to wear the red or the blue tie for that client meeting tomorrow.

So it’s not surprising really that business owners can get themselves all knotted up over something like which document storage company to go with. After all, if we do say so ourselves, it’s a pretty important role. There’s valuable data at stake; you don’t want to be handing it over to any bloke with a warehouse.

That’s why we’ve given you a few things to think about when choosing a document storage company, to help you avoid the cowboys and make a decision you’ll be happy with.

Your document storage company should be able to help you create a brief

Beyond knowing that you want someone to please, please make all the paperwork go away, do you actually know exactly what it is that you need? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. Why should you understand the ins and outs of document storage? You’re an expert at what you do. That’s why a good document storage company should be able to ask you the right questions to help you work out a thorough brief. Like how often you’ll need to access your document, whether they’ll need storing long or short term, or whether you actually need paper records at all. It could be that you’d be better off with a scanning and secure data destruction package, to create easily-accessible, mega space saving digital records instead.

Your document storage company should have top notch security

This may sound a bit obvious, but the document storage company you choose should be able to guarantee the safety of your valuable documents. And not just by storing them in a facility that’s alarmed, protected and monitored. They also need to be thinking about the environmental conditions (we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – paper doesn’t like the damp, mould does), not to mention rodents (who have a surprising penchant for paper archives). Oh, and they need a good barcoding system, like we have, so your files don’t simply disappear amongst the many thousands of others they’re storing.

Your document storage company should be certified to industry standards

It’s not enough for your document storage company to say they’re good at what they do. They really ought to be able to prove it. Here are some of the reassurances we can offer:

  • ISO 9001:2008 certification, which we’ve held since 2011 and which we’ll shortly be upgrading to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard – we’re one of the first in the industry to achieve it!
  • DPA registration, which means we are compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 (our registration number is Z6020186, if you want to check).
  • BS7858 compliance, which means we’re all security vetted and have had our DBS checks too.
  • BS10008 compliance, which means we can ensure the integrity of any files from point of collection to point of return, much like CSIs transporting evidence<link to Protecting your documents like a CSI post>.
  • A fully documented business continuity plan, which means we can keep working and protecting your documents in the case of a catastrophic event.
  • A comprehensive Health & Safety policy, including regularly updated risk assessments, COSHH assessments, PAT tests and electrical testing across all our premises.

There’s also the Official Secrets Act <link to You’ll never make us talk post>, which we may or may not have signed (we can’t tell you, or we’d have to kill you).

Your document storage company should offer you a bespoke service

No two companies are the same. Well ok, there are similarities. But still – whether you’re a school or a hospital or a firm of architects or an Aerospace Engineering business, your document storage needs are going to be just that little bit different to the next school or hospital or firm of architects or Aerospace Engineering business. A standard ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t going to be as efficient as a bespoke solution, neither is it going to help you make the most of your budget. That’s why we meet with all our clients and even do a sample job when there’s scanning involved, so you can work out exactly what you need and pay only for that.

So for goodness sake, don’t stick a pin in the Yellow Pages or go for the cheapest option on the market. There’s nothing financially prudent about sticking vital business data in the care of anyone you don’t utterly trust.

Want to give us the once over and see whether we meet your standards? Give us a ring and one of the team will be happy to help.

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5 facts about data security that will keep you up at night

5 facts about data security that will keep you up at nightData security is something every organisation of any size needs to think about. Whether you’ve got a few client files locked in a store cupboard or a multi-premises operation linked via sophisticated technology, everyone is at risk.

And the scariest thing is that because the majority of us aren’t data security experts, we very often don’t even understand the problem, let alone the solution. These five rather startling facts are a great indicator of how big the problem is.

1) Your photocopier is spying on you

Your photocopier keeps records of everything you’ve ever printed or copied (yes, even those unfortunate anatomical pictures from the office Christmas party). If the hard drive isn’t properly wiped or destroyed once you’ve finished with it, you could find your sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.

2) There are way more viruses than you think

During just one three month period last year, 18 million new malware samples were captured by cyber security experts Panda Labs. Which works out at around 80,000 every working day. And that’s just the ones they found.

3) Your staff may not be a as tech savvy as they think (and fibbers!)

One recent study by a German university sent mock phishing emails to a group of people who had previously professed to be aware of these kinds of scams. 45% of them clicked on the link in the fake email. And only 20% admitted that they’d done it. Let’s face it, the others were probably a bit embarrassed.

4) Data breaches are crazy expensive

Ponemon and IBM do a study each year, looking at the cost of data breaches across several countries including the UK. Last year’s report showed that the costs associated with a data breach have gone up by 29%, from an average of £2.37 to £2.53 million. Which is probably not the kind of money you have lying around in case of emergency.

5) Data loss can kill you

Ok, we may be slightly exaggerating that one, but it could kill your business (and if you’ve got a dodgy ticker then actually, there is a bit of a risk there too). In fact, more than 60% of companies never recover from a major loss of data. Not only is there the actual monetary cost to consider, but major data loss can also severely damage your reputation, so that future work is threatened.

Anyway, before we have you reaching for the gin bottle, there is some good news. Because forewarned is forearmed, and if you anticipate the possible data issues you might face then you can at least take steps to try and prevent them.

For example, make sure your paper records are stored securely, that your digital records are suitably protected, that your staff are well trained and trustworthy, and that any waste is securely destroyed.

Scan Film or Store can help with quite a few of these issues, so if you’re worried about your data security then give us a ring today.

Head teachers, are you drowning in paperwork?

Head teachers are you drowning in paperwork?Remember the days when teachers set their pupils’ teeth on edge writing with actual chalk on dusty old blackboards? When the kids wrote out their lines in simple manila covered exercise books, correcting their mistakes with Tipp-Ex?

Ah, those were the days, eh? Or maybe not. There’s something to be said for modern school tech like interactive whiteboards and digital marking software.

One of the things that doesn’t seem to have changed is the amount of paperwork hanging around though. In fact, it may well be getting worse.

Some pupil records need to be kept for years, even once they’ve graduated. And that’s before you start on curricula, teaching notes, reports, employee records and the rest.

So what’s the answer? Well, you could stop letting new pupils in and just wait it out until your current records are old enough that you can get rid of them. But that’s probably not all that practical.

Or your could build a new wing to house the endless box files that are currently threatening to breach health and safety regulations. Though that might be stretching the budget somewhat.

Digital archives for schools

The best answer, as you may already have heard on the grapevine, is to go digital.

No, don’t run off! It’s really not as scary as it sounds. At Scan Film or Store we’ve got a few little tricks we use to make the whole process incredibly easy:

  • First, we’ll come and visit you so that we really get to know what it is that you need. We don’t do off-the-shelf solutions; they just don’t work properly.
  • Next, we’ll take a sample of your paperwork and provide you with an example of what we can do for you. At no charge.
  • If you’re happy, we’ll collect your paperwork so you don’t have to lift a finger, and get it all scanned on our really rather snazzy machines.
  • The data will then be indexed as closely as possible to your original system, so it’s really easy to access.
  • We can even provide staff training on how to use the new digital archive, in case there are a few technophobes you need to convince.
  • Oh, and then we can either store the originals in our climate controlled, 24-7 monitored storage units (with fast retrieval services available if you need them), or if they’re surplus we can destroy them securely and in compliance with data protection legislation.

So there you have it. Not quite so alarming, is it?

If you’re thinking of going digital, this is a great time to do it. With the children off gallivanting on the beach / cruising the shopping malls / sleeping in until mid-afternoon, the school should be nice and quiet. Perfect for a little light paperwork.

Just imagine going back in September and being able to get hold of little Johnny’s report from year 2 Geography at the touch of a button. Now wouldn’t that be nice?

For help getting your school’s paperwork under control, contact the genuinely friendly Scan Film or Store team today for a chat.

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