We smashed our fundraising target! Guess how much we raised?

The Scan Film or Store team with their new defibrillatorSo you may remember the rather dramatic blog post we wrote in November last year about our colleague Sophie. A few months before, at the age of just 28, she had collapsed at home in front of her 2-year-old daughter. For no reason that anyone can explain, she’d had a cardiac arrest.

Thankfully Sophie’s husband was there and was not only able to call an ambulance but to perform CPR until they arrived with a defibrillator and could shock her heart before taking her to the Bristol Heart Hospital.

Sophie’s experience shocked (honestly, no pun intended) all of us and we decided that we wanted to do something to make a small difference locally, as part of our 10th birthday celebrations. 

Sophie set up a JustGiving page with the aim of raising the £1500 needed to buy a public access defibrillator (AED) for Woodlands Court Business Park, where the Scan Film or Store HQ is located.

You guys are the best

The community stepped up with even more enthusiasm than we could have hoped for. Friends, family and other businesses on the estate and beyond pledged their support. The Bridgwater Mercury printed the story to spread the word. At SFS we chose not to send Christmas cards, instead donating the money we’d have spent to Sophie’s cause.

Before long we had hit our target – but the figure kept on growing. In the end the total raised stood at nearly £2,500. Amazing!

A new top quality defibrillator suitable for adults and children is now installed in a secure wall case at Woodlands Court thanks to Integrity Electrical in Bristol, who kindly installed it at no charge. London Hearts came along to give us all specialist training on how and when to use it, and several of the other businesses on the estate joined in.

Funding research and care

Smashing our fundraising target also means we have cash left over to donate to the Bristol Heart Institute at the BRI and to SADS, a charity that raises awareness and does research into sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, also known as sudden adult death syndrome. 

We know that this post doesn’t contain your usual dose of document storage and scanning related tips, puns and general silliness, but we hope you’ll excuse the diversion. After all, cardiac arrest could affect any of us – and we might not all be as lucky as Sophie was.

Sophie’s JustGiving page is now closed so if you’d like to donate then please do so directly to one of the charities we’ve mentioned. And if you want to find out more about SADS please visit the SADS website.

Document storage – the risks of adopting a DIY approach

Mouse running through shredded paper - Document storage - the risks of adopting a DIY approachThere are many things in life you’d never attempt to do yourself. Like rewire your house. Or clean the outside of a 25th floor window. Or catch an escaped anaconda. Unless you were an electrician, an aerial window cleaner or zoo keeper, obviously. But when it comes to document storage… well, that’s a different story.

On the surface, it’s understandable. How hard can it be, right? You pop down to Staples, pick up a few reasonably priced archive boxes, stick all that pesky paperwork inside, lob it into the nearest spare room. Job done, and no need to pay those onerous ongoing storage fees.

If it were as simple as that, we’d be encouraging you to follow just such an approach. But sadly it really isn’t that straightforward. We know this because we’ve been doing it for more than 20 years and we’ve seen just how many ways there are for document storage to go wrong.

Here are a few things to add to your risk assessment* when you’re weighing up whether to take a DIY approach to your document storage or to use a professional service like ours.

Fire and flood

“Never going to happen,” you say. “Wellllll….” we say. Thing is, it may not be one of the top three most likely problems you’re going to face in any given week (depending on where your HQ is located and how cavalier your attitude is to chucking lit matches about). But on that rare occasion where a disaster like this does strike it can be devastating.

That’s why we built a bespoke, climate controlled storage warehouse that is monitored and alarmed 24-7, alerting us to the slightest whiff of a problem so we can swoop in and protect the precious papery loot within.

Rats and other nasties

Much more likely than fire or flood and potentially just as damaging. Imagine you’ve finally located that invoice from 2006 that your biggest client suddenly wants a copy of… only to find the key information has been chewed to the point of illegibility. And it’s not just rats. Mice, pigeons, wasps – all enemies of the humble office document.

GDPR fines

Don’t worry, we’re not here to bore you with the intricacies of the recent GDPR legislation. What you do need to know is that we could if we wanted to. In other words, we understand the ins and outs of the legal ramifications of storing physical data and we’ve done everything we need to to ensure the stuff we store is covered. Can you say the same about the spare room at your HQ?

Damp conditions

We’re not talking floods here. We’re not even talking about a leak in the corner of that spare room where you’re stashing your documents. We’re talking about the natural moisture in the air. It’s not good for paperwork. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll end up with a rather unfortunate spread of mould across it all. Oh and don’t imagine that sunlight is any better – then you’ll get fading. You really can’t win, can you?

Being flattened

It’s not just your documents that are at risk if you go down the DIY document storage route. You’ll be surprised by how often we see storerooms piled high with boxes just waiting to topple on an unsuspecting staff member innocently looking for a hard copy of last year’s accounts. That could be you, in which case – ouch. Or it could be a member of your team, in which case – lawsuit. And also – ouch.

Losing stuff

Far less dramatic, far more likely and equally frustrating – and potentially damaging to your business. If you need to get hold of documents quickly, you might think the DIY approach is the only option. After all, you don’t want to be bombing across town to retrieve files every five minutes, do you?

But what are your filing skills like? Do you have a system in that store room of yours? We’ll wager it’s not as good as ours, which includes individual barcodes so we can instantly pinpoint where any given box is. We can also scan documents (even oversized documents) if you need to see them quickly and even send them round via courier so you don’t need to leave the comfort of your desk.

If you’re rethinking the DIY approach to document storage and want to find out how much it might cost to bring the professionals in, give us a call. A chat is always free.

(*What do you mean you haven’t done a risk assessment? Never mind, we have, just give us a call and we’ll look after everything for you.)

The new decade decision: to destroy or digitise

Man holding pile of papers - The new decade decision: to destroy or digitiseThe Twenties are upon us. But instead of piling into jazz clubs, drinking bootlegged liquor and swooning over Picasso, we’re preparing for a decade driven by technology, speed and a very different set of rules. 

During the last 10 years it has remained possible – just – to do document storage the old way. We could wistfully enjoy the way that paper piled our desks, crammed our drawers and blew away whenever the window was opened. We could send humans to fetch documents and be glad when they returned within half-an-hour, out of breath and a little sweaty. We could even keep expanding our DVD collection, blissfully ignoring the internet and its popularity these days. 

“That’ll do” won’t do anymore

If we keep doing things the old way, the times will take us out. Our approach to document storage needs to be digital. And anything left cluttering the office needs to be burned with pyromaniacal glee or cross shredded and pulped into soft tissue. 

This decade there’ll be new challenges that no-one has predicted yet. With technology screaming ahead like a runaway train, markets and industries could change overnight. The more out-dated our systems of storage and operations, the harder it will be to adapt when the next change comes. We could cross our fingers and hope for the best, or we could build something robust – something future-proof.

Speed of the times

Instant isn’t a moment too soon. Now, couriers are racing against same-day deliveries, and WiFi is in direct competition with lightning itself. There’s no place for the slow any more.  These days, if your website takes longer than a second to load, Google won’t even allow you to appear in their top search results. It’s a pirate code of “anyone who falls behind gets left behind”.

While we may be able to function internally at the speed of last year, the moment we start working with other business partners, contractors and clients, the expectation will be now. Generation Y already represents well over a quarter of the world’s population and soon generation Z – who have known smartphones their entire lives – will be making key decisions for many businesses. Things are only likely to get faster.

Whenever we digitise (scan) documents for clients, we can embed sophisticated search and retrieval software in the analogue format of your choice so that everything remains an instant away. That data can then be uploaded to cloud systems to ensure that impatient millennials can find it in less than a moment.

Fire proof or fire away

62% of businesses never recover from major loss of data. Offsite storage is a sensible precaution – which we do also offer – while digitisation protects you from the three data doombringers: damp, heat and age. We’ll offer to keep backups of whatever we digitise so that your business can survive an apocalypse with ease.

Time’s up. Our documents are in need of digitisation or they’ve become clutter, so they should be shredded/incinerated/insert destructive verb of choice here. Whether you need to create space for the new decade, or you need to prime your documents for the future, we can make it happen. Check out our document scanning services to go digital, or our data destruction services to give the past the send off it deserves.