The time Scan Film or Store helped save my marriage

Magazine Scanning helped save one client's marriageIn this month’s blog post, one Scan Film or Store customer explains why working with us had unexpected benefits…

I have a confession to make – I’m a hoarder. I still have the sticker book I was given in junior school, countless printed photos from the days before iPhones and Instagram, and a collection of letters and diaries that span most of my lifetime.

As a journalist, I also have an awful lot of magazines. Well, I did. Shelves of them. Granted they were neatly categorised – some for research, some for fun, most because they contained a piece of work I’d done at some point in the last decade – but they were taking up increasing amounts of room. And gathering dust (confession number two: I’m not much of a housekeeper). Something had to be done.

One option was for my husband and I to move from our two bedroom flat into a three bedroom house. Except that decision, when we made it earlier this year, was precipitated by the discovery that we were expecting twins. Yes, a new house would give us more room, but it would instantly be filled with cots and nappies and various other small person paraphernalia. There wouldn’t be much left over for all those magazines.

My husband was adamant. The move would be a chance to reduce our (read: my) clutter. We would have a clear out as we packed, and another as we unpacked. I knew he’d be ruthless, and I feared for my magazines.

Luckily, I knew someone who could help. I spoke to Mark at Scan Film or Store about how easy it might be to get my articles scanned so I could keep a record of my portfolio without the bulk. “Oh, very easy,” he assured me. I think he might have said a few technical things after that, but I’d heard all I needed to hear. Easy is what you want when you’re preparing for a house move and two babies, as well as running your own business.

And it was easy, from start to finish. Mark even provided me with boxes, and collected them once they were full. The magazines were carefully disassembled, and the articles I’d marked were scanned using the kind of technical wizardry that is well beyond my understanding.

Next thing I knew, I was holding a single disc containing 635MB of high-res PDF files, all perfectly square and in focus, labelled up with the magazine name and issue. I was thrilled – as was my husband when he saw the empty shelves in the study.

Having this digital portfolio has also given me the raw materials to update my website with visual examples of my work (when I get a chance) or email new editors with clippings if they ask for them. Ideal for those pieces that never got published online.

I’m not sure there’s a cure for being a hoarder, but there’s certainly a way to stop it taking over your life – or wrecking your marriage. I can’t recommend Scan Film or Store highly enough, for everything from technical expertise to excellent customer service.

If they could do such a great job with my relatively small stash of magazines, imagine what they could do with a whole office storage room or even a warehouse full of paperwork?

Schools are back – time for a clear out!

September Office Clear Out neededListen! Can you hear that? Yes, that empty, echoey sound. Don’t recognise it, do you? Allow us to remind you – it’s called silence, something that for parents has been sorely lacking over the last few weeks. Now the kids are back at school, life can get back to normal. Well, after the chaos has been cleared anyway.

Spring may be the traditional time for a clear out, but we think September is a much more sensible option. After all, you’ve undoubtedly got either a wrecked house to put back together or an office that’s been rather neglected since that final school bell rang way, waaaaay back in July. Having a back-to-school / back-to-work clear out is pretty therapeutic (honest) and will at the very least help you delay the start of actual work for a day or two.

So, how can we help? Well, one thing we offer here at Scan Film or Store is the gift of space i.e. document scanning. We can scan anything from photos to receipts, old bank statements to the kids’ first pre-school drawings, archived employee records to… well, you get the picture. Anything that’s currently clogging up dusty shelves, filing cabinets or quite possibly whole rooms where no one dares to venture.

Here’s the science bit:

  • We use top quality Bell & Howell, Kodak and Fujitsu document scanning equipment and are ISO 9001 certified, so you’ll always get accurate, high-quality results.
  • We can output digital images in .pdf, pdf/a, .tif or .jpg format, in colour, greyscale or black and white.
  • We also offer a full indexing service and optical character recognition (OCR) of .pdf documents, creating ‘digital filing cabinets’ and readable, searchable documents.

Pretty snazzy, right?

There are then three options for the originals. We could give them back to you, although that would rather defeat the object. Instead, option two is that we can store them in our secure, dry and protected premises in Bridgwater or Yeovil. We use an advanced barcode tracking system, logging everything within our auditable document storage system, so they’ll always be easy to find and retrieve.

Or, option three, if you don’t actually need your originals anymore, is that we can destroy them for you. And we don’t mean chuck them in the bin out back – this is high tech stuff, with cross shredding and pulping (the pulp is then recycled, so it’s good for the environment too – bonus). We can also destroy CDs and DVDs, computer hard drives, microfilm and lots of other things, so do add those to you ‘get rid of’ list too.

If you need help decluttering your home or office, give us a ring on 0800 008 7229  or email info@scan-film-store.co.uk and we can talk you through the best options to suit your needs and your budget (the initial chat is free and without obligation, of course). After all, it’ll be Christmas before you know it, so you need to make room for all those presents!

5 (not entirely serious) ways to survive a summer stuck in the office

5 ways to survive a summer stuck at the officeSo summer is upon us, and Facebook will soon be full of holiday snaps from a rash of exotic beaches around the world. Which is great if they’re yours, but less fun when you’re looking at them from your desk, with its ineffective air con, wilting rubber plant and view of the skyscraper next door.

There’s only one way to survive a summer stuck at the office, and that’s to cheat and bring the holidays to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1) Join the tourists and get the open top bus to work instead of your usual commute

Be sure to abandon your laptop in favour of a backpack (worn on both shoulders, naturally) and hang a digital SLR around your neck so you fit in with the crowd. Then relax as the usually frustrating journey to the office becomes a mini staycation adventure in your own town.

2) Suggest a theme for dress down Friday – Hawaiian, beachwear, mermaid etc

You’re not the only one who isn’t eating paella and swigging sangria on the Costa del Britsabroad – your colleagues are bound to be feeling the effects of the green-eyed holiday monster too. What better way to boost moral than to get everyone out of their shirts and ties and into something far more suited to a resort theme night?

3) Buy a cocktail kit and mix everyone up a pina colada* at lunchtime, complete with umbrellas (*It may need to be a virgin one, depending on your boss)

If anything’s going to distract you from the why-am-I-here-when-it’s-sunny-outside blues, it’s a cold glass of something cheerful. Even if you decide that vodka at midday is probably not going to help you balance the accounts or proof read that report, a well made summer mocktail can do wonders for the soul.

4) Insist that everyone in the office speaks with a foreign accent

Granted, this one may be harder to pull off, but if you can get everyone on board (and we suggest trying this after the cocktails, assuming you were able to persuade the manager to let you have real ones) the sound of non-English chatter should help you feel like you’ve escaped home shores for a little while.

5) Fill a tray with sand, put it under your desk, take off your shoes and pretend you’re on a beach

If you can’t go to the beach, the beach must come to you. If anything signals being on holiday, it’s the feeling of sand between your toes, and this particular summer survival kit is so easy to make (helpful hint: sand is readily available at any good DIY store, or your kid’s sandpit).

Of course, you could always book yourself an actual real life holiday. In which case, we’ve got one final summer survival tip – make sure you don’t forget data security while you’re gone. Thieves tend to see the holidays as a chance to notch up a little overtime, so get your documents stored securely, either by locking them away at an alarmed and monitored unit like ours or by transferring them to protected digital formats.

Then lock the door behind you, and forget about it all for a week. Oh, and before you go, don’t forget to send these tips to the colleagues you’re leaving behind – after all, if you’re going to make them look through your exotic Facebook snaps, you should at least give them the tools to survive a summer stuck in the office.

Shredders Grimm – Terrifying Stories of Data Destruction Disasters

Data Destruction DisastersWhen it comes to data or document destruction you may think hitting “delete” or shredding is sufficient to protect your data.

This month we are here to share some terrifying tales of what happened when data destruction went wrong.

Secure data destruction should be a key part of a document management process. All too often businesses leave it to chance and could therefore be just minutes away from featuring in their own horror story about customer data getting into the wrong hands.

So with that in mind, are you sitting comfortably and ready for some real life stories that will keep you awake at night thinking about whether or not you disposed of your data correctly?

Let’s begin…

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Protecting your documents like a CSI

Scan Film Store - protecting your data like a CSIDid you read about the US airport security company that faced ridicule last month after leaked documents showed the checklist they use to spot possible terrorists? Or maybe you remember that time when a bunch of secret government documents were left on a train?

That’s the kind of publicity most companies want to avoid. Which is why we’re really, really careful about tracking your documents from the moment we pick them up until the moment they are destroyed (if that’s the service you’re after), returned to you (in the case of scanning) or all the way through the storage process (because we do that too, of course).

You don’t have to take our word for it either. Because we’ve just been been certified under BS10008:2014 “Evidential weight and legal admissibility of electronic information”, which enhances our ISO9001:2008 certification.

No, don’t stop reading! Honestly, it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. It’s kind of like the standards that police have to keep to when transporting vital evidence in criminal investigations, so that they are considered legally admissible in court.

See? We’re practically CSIs (ok, maybe not quite).

The point is, when you entrust documents to us, you can rest assured that they will remain safe, secure and very much away from the prying eyes of the press and anyone else that might want to steal data from you (or mock your terrorist spotting checklist).

We’re one of the first companies in this industry – if not the first – to get this certification, which only came in in December last year, so we’re justifiably pretty chuffed. And so should you be, if you’re one of our clients. Because nobody wants to be the next “leaked data” headline, do they?

If you want to find out more about storing or safely destroying data, or having it transferred to digital format, get in touch for a free consultation.

Why Companies Fail to Back Up Their Data – Scan Film or Store Exposes the Truth!

For many businesses data is crucial, so have you ever thought about what might happen in the event of a disaster? Imagine having a fire, flood, or complete crash of your computer systems and losing all your data because you have failed to properly back up your data; something like that could completely destroy a company.

With that in mind there are businesses out there that do fail to back up their data properly for some ridiculous reasons, and we are here to make sure you all understand the importance of backing up your data.

This month’s blog post will enlighten you on the 4 most common and ridiculous reasons for not backing your data.

Data Back Up

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How to declutter your office – and boost business efficiency

How to declutter your office - and boost business efficiencyClutter is bad for your business. Seriously – it’s probably costing you money as you read this.

For a start, it takes up space. Assuming that you pay for your premises in some way, unnecessary paperwork is effectively squatting.

Clutter also makes you inefficient. How long do you spend looking for documents you know you filed “sensibly” a couple of months ago but now can’t find?

And it’s stressful, isn’t it? For you and for your staff, who are probably as demoralised by chaos as you are.

If you’re shifting uncomfortably in your seat right now, don’t worry – you’re definitely not alone! But scheduling in a declutter or spring clean soon would be a good idea. After all, it’s the right time of year for it.

“But I need all this paperwork!” you may be saying. And maybe you’re right. But do you need it languishing in flimsy archive boxes or rows of rusty filing cabinets?

Here are three things to ask yourself:

Do I need it at all? If the answer is no, get rid of it. If it’s sensitive, make sure it’s properly destroyed so you don’t run into security issues.

Do I need it on site? A safe and secure storage facility could well be the answer – just make sure it’s one with a good barcoding, cataloguing and retrieval system.

Do I need it in hard copy? If not, scanning it will reduce its physical impact without you losing the content you need.

No one likes spring cleaning, but we all love an uncluttered, efficient workspace. And at least it will be done – until next year, anyway.

If you’d like us to help you assess your business data and how it can be more efficiently stored, expertly scanned or securely destroyed, contact the team on 0800 008 7229 for a no obligation assessment.

Just how Secure is your Document Storage?

Here at Scan Film Store one of our main services is document storage, whether holding your physical paper records securely off-site or scanned copies in a digital format.

So we were intrigued to find out about some of the most secure storage facilities in the world. When you think about the ultimate in secure storage Fort Knox would probably be one of the first to come to mind, but in fact there are a number of more unusual places that can rival it in terms of security but it’s likely you’ve never heard of them.

Svalbard Seed Vault

Svalbard Seed Vault StorageHow many of you have heard of the Svalbard seed vault before today? Well to tell you the truth neither had we. As the name might suggest the purpose of the vault is to store duplicates (‘back ups’) of all seed samples from the world’s crop collections.

The seeds are stored on the island of Svalbard which is located halfway between Norway and the North Pole under what is known as “black box” arrangements. This means that once the packets of seed are sent for storage they will not be opened or sent to anyone other than the original depositor in the event that they are required. No one will have access to anyone else’s seeds!

So if you want to make sure that your business records are backed up and have no possibility of being altered by anyone else then the seed vault sounds like a pretty great place. What a shame that your business records don’t come in seed format.

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