How choosing local businesses can benefit yours

Small businessHave you ever thought about whether choosing local businesses as suppliers can benefit your own business?

There’s something about the start of a new year that makes us a little bit philosophical. Perhaps it’s the feeling of new beginnings, that sense of starting afresh with a blank slate, ready for the next 12 months of adventure. Or it could, admittedly, be too much Christmas pudding and sherry.

Either way, the thing we’ve been mulling over recently is the whole question of multinational vs independent local business.

Because as a local business ourselves, we’re really rather proud about how much small businesses contribute to the local economy.

Over 99% of business in the UK are classed as small (in other words, with less than 49 staff) which is quite something when you think about it. In fact, around 76% of businesses don’t employ anyone at all aside from the owner, which means that even the really tiny sole trader business are absolutely vital.

Sadly the multinational conglomerates, with their endless pots of cash, can buy the kind of marketing that often overshadows the humble local business. Which is a shame, because we really believe there are some sound reasons why choosing a local business can actually be good for your own business.

Here are three of them:

1) You’ll benefit from easy access

As a time-pushed business owner, you don’t want to be trekking up to London to meet your accountant or getting on a plane to sit down with your marketing agency, right? Being able to get face-to-face with your suppliers quickly and easily is definitely a bonus of choosing a local business. It’s also better for the environment, whether you’re looking at your own transport or that of any goods being shipped. And in the case of document storage – our particular passion, in case you’d missed that – it’s an awful lot easier to access your files quickly if they’re nearby in the South West rather than up north somewhere.

2) You’ll build important networks

There’s nothing like a local business community. So many small businesses live and die by referrals they get from people they’ve met at local networking events, exhibitions, conferences and the like. By choosing to work with other small, local businesses, you’ll almost certainly find your services being used in return. It’s a symbiotic relationship that can only be good for the economy and for everybody’s bottom line.

3) You’ll discover great quality

Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Just because a company has fancy offices in London, New York and Singapore, doesn’t mean they’re actually going to produce work that’s of a better quality than Nearby & Sons down the road. Local businesses are often started by very passionate, very skilled people who genuinely want to help their clients and build something they can be proud of. There’s more accountability, more personal pride and often more attention to detail.

And of course, there’s the feel good factor of knowing that you’re contributing to the local economy, and stopping the world descending into a bland monopoly of faceless corporations. You can’t really beat that, can you?

7 New Year’s resolutions every business owner should make for 2018

sfs-new-year-resolutionGosh, where did the time go? It feels like we were just enjoying Wimbledon the other week. And yet here we are, about to dive into a whole new year. Which can only mean one thing: it’s New Year’s resolution time. If you’re a business owner, we’ve had a few ideas about what you could tackle in 2018 that will actually benefit you and your business. Let us know if you think of anything else.

New Year’s Resolution #01: Set a vision for the year

First things first: there is no point setting yourself a bunch of arbitrary goals if you don’t know where you’re going. And don’t just say ‘forward’ or something silly like that. You know as well as we do that setting a strong vision at the beginning of the year will motivate not just you but your entire team. So give it some thought. And don’t forget to tell the rest of them or they’ll get very lost indeed.

New Year’s Resolution #02: Declutter

You know you’ve been putting it off. That storage room is a hazard to anyone who dares venture beyond the first stack of archive boxes. It’s time to decide what can be destroyed, what can be scanned, and what can be stored off site. Don’t wait until spring. You’re a business leader – be ahead of your time! Get it done now. You’ll feel smug when March rolls around.

New Year’s Resolution #03: Turn off all IT notifications

You know what it’s like when you’re just getting your head around the latest P&L forecast, and suddenly: ping! You’ve got an email. It’s from Susan in HR, and judging by the shouty capital letters in the subject line she doesn’t sound pleased. Notifications are the enemy of productivity. Turn them off. That means social media too. If Susan needs you that urgently, she can come and talk to you in person.

New Year’s Resolution #04: Start taking a lunch break

We don’t mean to sound like your mum, but are you getting enough rest? And decent food? You won’t be particularly productive if you’re running on empty you know. And no, coffee doesn’t count. Get a sandwich into you! And go eat it outside. We don’t care if it’s cold, that’s what coats are for – you need a screen break.

New Year’s Resolution #05: Introduce flexible working

This is super trendy at the moment, so if you’re looking for good boss bonus points then this is the way to go. It’s actually a win-win staffing strategy too. Your team will be less stressed and more productive if they can work hours that suit them better, and you’ll attract more (and potentially better) candidates when hiring. Plus it’s an excuse to knock off early on a Friday, which is always nice.

New Year’s Resolution #06: Go paperless

Another worthy cause, and a tick on the environmental responsibility checklist. Again though, this is not just about looking good. Going paperless – by switching to a digital filing system, for example (less-than-subtle plug: we can help with this) – will actually save you time and money. So everyone is happy. Except maybe your stationery supplier.

New Year’s Resolution #07: Learn to delegate

Finishing with a corker, aren’t we? No matter how big your team, there are probably jobs you do that someone else could do just as well, right? Perhaps even better? Sitting at your desk until 8pm every evening doesn’t make you successful, you know. It makes you tired. And grumpy. Just ask your PA.

If you’ve got a goal for 2018 that we can help with, drop us line. Or come and see us. We might even let you have some of our left over Quality Street. See you soon!

Why Santa loves us and other festive testimonials

sfs-santaWe work with some brilliant clients and we like to think they’re all pretty happy with the work we do for them. But every now and then we get a testimonial through that really warms our hearts. And this time of year seems to generate an influx of them for some reason.

Whatever the case, we thought you might like to find out why some of our favourite clients enjoy working with us and how we’ve managed to solve their particular challenges. We think you’ll rather enjoy these…

Document storage – Chris Cringle (aka Santa Claus, aka Father Christmas), founding director, North Pole Enterprises

“I was absolutely drowning in paperwork when someone suggested I give the team at Scan Film or Store a ring. The North Pole might be pretty roomy, but if you think about how long I’ve been in this game, you can imagine that even the most extensive headquarters might get a little crowded. The elves were getting fed up of rooting around in the archives to find historic Naughty & Nice lists, and I was worried that before long we’d lose one of them to a toppling box of candy cane receipts.

“The Scan Film or Store team came out to take a look around, and promptly provided me with a very reasonable quote for document storage. They helped us getting everything packed, and even brought their own sturdy boxes. Now they’re tucked away safely in the company’s Bridgwater warehouse, cleverly barcoded so if I should happen to need a copy of my sleigh MOT certificate, they can quickly find it and get it sent over. I can’t recommend them highly enough. They’re definitely going to be getting an extra special gift in their Christmas stockings this year.”

Document scanning – Ebenezer Scrooge, credit broker, Past Present & Future Ltd

“I’ve always found the idea of paying out for off site storage space an utter waste of money. I’ve got a perfectly good office, after all, and if Cratchit can’t find anything then it’s his fault for being a useless clerk. Though I shouldn’t be too hard on him, as it was he who brought Scan Film or Store to my attention.

“This rather remarkable group of people took one look at my archive – most of which I don’t actually need in its original form, as it turns out – and told me I could reduce it all via document scanning to digital files which would take up no room at all. Even though there was an initial outlay, I am forced to admit that it’s been well worth it. Not only is it much easier to keep a close eye on who owes me what now that I can access their files at the touch of a button, I’m also cashing in on that extra space by renting it out to local business folk. And Cratchit complains a lot less.”

Data conversion – The Snowman, holiday rep, Scandi Travel Inc

“I’ve done an awful lot of travelling in my life, mainly around northern Europe – Norway, Iceland, that sort of place. Anywhere with snow, I guess. It’s the cold I really like. You can’t beat that frosty air, the nip at your nose. The only thing I enjoy as much as a holiday is photography. From stunning snowscapes to family gatherings, I’ll snap pretty much anything.

“Of course, I’ve been doing this for long enough now that a lot of my collection isn’t easily accessible. It’s hard to find a proper slide projector these days. That’s why I was so pleased when my friend Chris referred me to Scan Film or Store. In no time at all they were able to transfer all my old analogue travel slides and even Christmas home movies into digital format thanks to their data conversion services. The other snowmen and snowwomen are going to be thrilled when I fire up the laptop at this year’s Christmas gathering!”

Gosh, it makes us quite emotional reading back over those lovely testimonials. Because we really do love to help our clients achieve their goals, no matter what they are. If there’s anything we can do to help you achieve yours, do let us know. In the meantime, happy Christmas!

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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