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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