We miss our Elves!

We really miss our helpful elves. For most of the year they are a fantastic addition to our team. They are incredibly diligent and have a great eye for detail. Which is handy when you have to scan and store thousands of documents every day. Although the constant singing can get a bit annoying.

However, when Santa needs his elves back for the big Christmas push we find ourselves short a few staff. Luckily we know how to plan around it and it doesn’t affect business at all.

We miss their cheeky faces for a couple of months but we have a great relationship with Mr and Mrs Claus and of course want Christmas to go without a hitch. In fact we store spare presents for Santa. Which was meant to be a secret but it was exposed when Santa was ‘Papped’ outside our offices last year. So everyone knows anyway and it wasn’t us who ‘let the reindeer out of the bag’ as Santa had tweeted where he was! We think he’d got a bit carried away on mulled wine.

This year our elves have been especially busy as we have our brand new state of the art premises in Bridgewater with loads more clients to help with their document back up needs. We’ve also found out that one of the elves is a whizz with computers and made us a lovely new website, see it here.

So we are really looking forward to a great Christmas and getting our elves back in January. If you would like to get some elves of your own we’d be happy to talk to the Claus’s about it and see if they can spare some. The elves love the change of scene and they much prefer summer in the UK than the North Pole.

We hope you all have a great Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Come on chaps, sort yourselves out

Apparently women are more organised at work than men and this could have a big effect on your business or career. Although we always suspected it from our dealings with many businesses a study by the labelling company Dymo proves it.

The research, covering 4,000 workers, showed that 43 per cent of women claim to be very organised in the workplace but just 32 per cent of men say the same.

They also found that over half of women employers have an organised filing system, but just 37 per cent of men adopt the same approach.

Instead, chaps are more likely to keep their paperwork in a large pile, which they search through when they have to find something.

This has led to 17 per cent of guys losing an important document thanks to their chaos of their workstation, but just 11 per cent of women have suffered the same fate.

But most worrying for us men is that one in twenty has missed out on a promotion because their bosses felt they were so unorganised.

When this is coupled with some other research showing men are more lax at keeping company information in prescribed and protected formats you’ve got to worry even more.

The research by Huddle showed that 49% of UK male employees use personal cloud tools or services to store work documents versus 39% of women. Some 51% of men also keep enterprise documents on USB drives, in contrast to 42% of women.

So it seems men are disorganised and utilise tools they probably shouldn’t more than women. It’s a wonder that women haven’t taken over the boardrooms yet!

So come on chaps let’s get organised. This means working on your personal development or calling in the professionals to put systems and processes in place that make up for our failings. Although we’d like to point out men can carry larger boxes of disorganised paper, which has got to count for something.

3 tips on preparing for renewed business growth

Not only have we had a lovely summer but all the signs are pointing towards growth in the UK economy. It’s about time!

Most businesses we know have been working under a policy of ‘making the most of what they have’. They have been squeezing every efficiency out of their current resources and cutting back to make budgets balance (much like our esteemed Chancellor). They have often maintained the status quo for fear of ‘upsetting the apple cart’. But as every good business person knows when you want growth you need to plan for it and look at change.

These changes don’t have to be big but you do need to ask yourself some key questions. Such as where will your new employees sit and do your systems and processes support the growth you are planning. So here are three things to think about and tips to get ready for growth…

  1. Don’t waste valuable office space storing things you don’t use regularly. If you don’t need that document or file every month then why not scan it, send the hardcopy off site to storage, or even destroy it. Then you can get rid of those filing cabinets, and put a desk in their place for your new recruit(s).
  2. Digitise everything so you can work remotely. Make sure all your documents are in digital format so you can access them anywhere. This will mean quicker access to key information and allow you to employ people to work from home or even abroad – maybe fuelling your worldwide expansion?
  3. Have a really good clear out. Spend the time to get rid of things you don’t need. Maybe get in an objective outsider to help you do this. But just going through the process of clearing things out will get you, and your teams, into the positive mind-set required to drive new growth.

The last point is probably the most important. Getting you and your teams mind-set right is vital and it’s amazing how tidying things up, destroying what you don’t need or at least sending stuff off to storage so it’s not in your face every day can lighten your mood.

Is a paperless office on the beach possible?

Picture this office… Wonderful views across the ocean, not a paperclip, stapler or Tippex stain in sight. Just a stylish laptop that’s a joy to touch. No filing cabinets so the office is spacious and open with a cool breeze and cherubs singing to you as you work. OK, so the cherubs are unlikely but the rest has often been held up as the nirvana of the ‘Paperless’ office.

Ever since the early seventies businesses have been dreaming of having a slick and efficient paperless office. Business Week talked about it in a 1975 article. But very few of us have seen this wonderful transformation take place. For many of us mountains of paper and rows of filing cabinets are still the reality.

Although paper won’t be disappearing from our working lives anytime soon, we can get rid of it as quickly as possible. This gives us the room we need to make our working spaces more comfortable, efficient and spacious. This simply requires a business to have a structured approach to scanning documents and storing paper somewhere it doesn’t clog up the office.

Not only does the removal and scanning of documents mean you have more space to utilise but it also means you are not tied to the physical office itself. You can electronically access the scanned documents on your laptop or smartphone from anywhere in the world. Also if the paper is stored in a box somewhere you should be able to have someone find it, scan it and email it to you within an hour or two. Which means you could be ‘in the office’ while on the beach, in the garden or wherever you wish.

This wonderful world of the paperless office is possible now with help from the experts at Scan Film or Store. So if you want more space, greater efficiency and would rather not be in the office at all then let us know. Of course you may like all that paper and filing cabinets…

You can’t beat a Spring wedding…

Firstly an apology to all (6?) of my blog audience. I have been bad at keeping this blog up to date over the last two months but I have a pretty good excuse…

In mid February we moved into our new offices and warehouse in Bridgwater – not bad considering we should have been in before Christmas! Bad weather combined with complex site conditions to delay our move but the Harris & Harris Construction team triumphed in the end and we are now settled in. We are so proud of our pristine scanning facility, immaculate offices and most importantly a multi-storey document storage area with space for up to 15,000 boxes of stored documents in a secure and fully managed environment. Need document storage? We can help…

During the move we were approached by our main competitor, Line Scan in Yeovil, to see if we would buy them out. Wow!! What an opportunity… and much too good to miss but what to do?

After all we were still trying to settle into the new Bridgwater site, find the kettle etc. We HAD to go for it though – Line Scan complements our existing service offering as it specialises in microfilm, microfiche and aperture card conversions to digital and also high volume large format scanning up to A0 size so it fits very neatly into our portfolio of services.

The deal is now done and we are very proud to have retained the staff and the premises and will continue to trade as two separate companies until the end of the year at least.Customer response to the acquisition has been very positive and we are keen to emphasise that it is very much ‘business as usual’. Many thanks to the the excellent, professional and inspired help from Grant McCall of AMD Solicitors and Duane Shield at Perpetual Tax & Business Advisers who both played critical roles in the purchase – thanks guys.

So, 2013 is already proving to be an exciting year for us – the ‘hatching’ of new premises, the ‘matching’ of SFS with Line Scan (a marriage made in heaven?) and the ‘despatching’ of our Houndstone Business Park warehouses which we outgrew in the last three years.

Recession? What recession? People say to me that John & I must be either very brave or very stupid but you have to take chances and grab life with both hands sometimes…

Anyway let us know if we can help you with your document storage or scanning needs — quote this blog and we will even give you a discount!

Deep snow = working from home time!

As the country freezes it’s bits off some areas are really struggling to get their staff to work because of major disruptions to the transport systems due to snow and ice – well the Midlands and North anyway. Here in the South West we may not have snow but the bitter winds are not exactly conducive to venturing outside!

Many staff can now work from home, particularly if their role is in administration or sales and if they have a good Internet connection and access to a PC or laptop to ‘link’ with their office systems. Depending on who you listen to there are arguments for and against working from home — the lady boss of Yahoo was vociferous in the press recently ‘against’ the idea for instance — and it can be a very productive way of fulfilling your role without the hassle of commuting to the office and all that entails.

And it all works well… until you need that document from the archive to complete your report or presentation. Now, if you were actually in the office you would be able to get up from your desk and walk through to the archive, retrieve what you need (presuming that you can actually find it in the ‘sophisticated’ indexing system that Julie implemented, who left the company 3 years ago without telling anyone how it works) then scan it and use it to make your point.

Why not let us store your archive documents in our brand new document storage facility in Bridgwater where all the boxes are barcoded and we can retrieve a box of documents, a file from a box or a document from a file on demand — and often within hours of your request. We can then either send back the original hard copy to you or scan and email what you need directly to your PC (at home if it’s still snowing).

Managed document storage starts from as loittle as 60 pence per box per month and we currently have several offers for storing over 250 boxes. We are an ISO 9001 certified company with security vetted staff and our new site has robust intruder and fire alarm systems which are monitored round the clock.We can even take your archive files off the shelves and put them in boxes for you — we offer a complete service. Click here for a testimonial from one of our largest customers storage testimonial.

So, we may not be able to organise your archive before the snow melts this year but talk to us now so that you can work from home, in the warm, when the snow and ice comes next winter! For a free, no obligation, quotation call 0800 008 7229 today.

No one likes to get wet – even ducks are miserable

No one likes to get wet and they say it may get wetter. Even ducks don’t like rain for weeks on end. Paper records especially don’t like getting wet, it will ruin them for good.

If your valuable paper records got ruined would it affect the future of your business?

The benefits of protecting your business from floods are numerous, including…

  • Reduce financial losses
  • Reduce exposure to civil or criminal liability
  • Ensure compliance with regulations (e.g Occupiers liability Act 1986)
  • Enhance your reputation with customers

Flooding is the most likely natural disaster to hit businesses in the UK. So here’s some advice on how to mitigate the risk;

  • Have a flood plan – read this document from the environment agency to help, click here
  • Keep a list of vital contact numbers; e.g insurance providers, builders, electricians, IT support
  • Sign up for flood warnings via email and text – register by calling 0845 988 1188
  • Back up your digital data off site – talk to your IT person, or look at ‘cloud’ storage
  • Make sure your valuable paper records are backed up – either electronically or physically in a protected environment

The last point is where we can help. We can make sure your vital paper records are scanned and stored electronically for easy retrieval. Or we can store them for you in our brand new fully protected storage facilitywhere we can offer a fully managed document storage and retrieval system.

Please make sure you have your business protected, follow the steps above and you’ll be able to sleep soundly through the worst of storms.

Colonic irrigation for YOUR business…

After all the rich food and alcohol that you have enjoyed during the Christmas and New Year period I guess that most of us have returned to work full up and feeling unhealthy. The appalling weather over the festive break was hardly conducive to exercising was it?

Businesses can look really unhealthy too. Bursting at the seams and unhealthy with an uncared for pallor. What is the first thing that greets you when you walk back into your office or business? Piled up boxes of last year’s financial records (or older!) or customer files that are cluttering up the place using up precious space and presenting a depressing first impression to customers and staff?

Fear not!! I can offer you a solution to the chronic “paper constipation” that is gripping your business and it will free up desperately needed space that you can use to grow your business that you are already paying rental for and which is currently occupied by ‘dead’ storage.

We can provide the full ‘cleansing’ service – from physically taking the files or records off shelves or out of filing cabinets, boxing them and taking them away to be converted to scanned images, stored in our fully barcoded purpose built warehouse or even security shredded if necessary.

So start your year with a fully ‘irrigated’ storage system. You will feel much better for letting us take all your waste material away. Remember that in recessionary times only the fit survive and we all know that the best time to expand is during a recession. You would thus be ideally placed to take advantage of the improving market in your business sector by having a fitter and more streamlined business for when the growth starts – more space and a less cluttered working environment.

To make our ‘colonic irrigation for business’ even more attractive we are offering competitive introductory document storage rates for new clients who quote this blog when they call us on 0800 008 7229.

So, don’t delay – get your business cleaned out today by the document storage experts at Scan Film or Store.

Need some help? Try our scanning calculator!