Moving Sites or Buildings

Probably the biggest single driver for companies to scan and digitally archive documents is an office move or relocation. On average the cost of storing and retrieving documents electronically is less than 30% of the equivalent cost of physical storage and retrieval, even before considering the access and security advantages.

Sometimes it takes an event such as a building move to cause us to evaluate just how much paper is currently being stored and how costly it is to keep it all. The idea of having to move it all out and then back into a new location often leads managers to consider other alternatives. It's a bit like clearing out your garage or loft when you move house - you often can't remember why you needed to keep it.

Whether you are planning a building move or just want to review your existing storage and access arrangements, here are just a few of the things to consider:

1. What are the requirements for keeping hard copies?

  • Inland Revenue
  • Legal Admissibility
  • Contractual

Documents often need to be kept for legal reasons or statutory purposes. Happily, there are only a few instances where a scanned document is not legally admissible in place of the original. For most Inland Revenue purposes for example, an image is acceptable.

We covered the subject of the Legal Admissibility of Scanned Documents in an article in the previous issue of this newsletter [INSIDE ADEC Preview, July 2003]

2. What access requirements are needed over future months and years?

  • Is the access regular and frequent or not?
  • Is access required by more than one party concurrently?
  • How should documents be indexed and managed electronically to enable them to be retrieved quickly?

3. What should be done with the documents after they are scanned?

For instance, is long-term deep storage offsite necessary or is destruction more applicable?

Depending upon the answers to these questions it may be appropriate to develop an internal questionnaire for staff in order to determine the right mix of solutions. Departmental documentation owners may have a perception that they require paper-based filing systems but may be unaware of the latest archiving and retrieval technologies, including web-based solutions such as ADEC Preview's eView+

ADEC Preview has developed a checklist to help companies start the review process and can provide a fully project managed service for managing documents, either in connection with a building move or as part of a routine documentation audit. We would be delighted to arrange an initial free consultancy meeting without any obligation.