Wide Format Scanning

STOP! Read This Before Signing Up For Offsite Storage!

“Over the years our business has accumulated a lot of paper documents; we’ve saved them and stored them in our file room.  That room got to be such a mess with so many disorganized files!  And it became a fire hazard in that we just kept dumping more and more rolls of plans and files into it.  Realizing the square footage of our file room multiplied by the price that we were paying per square foot in our lease; it was a small fortune!  And there were other files and rolls of plans scattered throughout the entire office that if combined would have taken-up another file room! We only realized the abomination of wasteful spending when we had thought that we had out-grown our office space.  We considered trashing all of the files, but soon realized that we had to keep them to protect against potential contingent liabilities and was reminded that we do utilize some information as reference points.  Someone suggested that we seek-out offsite storage to clear-out this under-utilized leased space.

The compelling reasons made sense; it would free-up much needed office space, and it would significantly reduce the cost that we were paying per square foot.  The challenges though were that, although lower, it would be adding another expense, and the time element to access the files would greatly increase. We found a sizable company that would pick-up, organize, and deliver back, when needed, any files that we wanted; it sounded like just what we needed.  However, when reading their contract and adding up all of the costs, it was actually going to cost more than the then current cost, and we would have been bound to a contract that was more cost prohibitive to get out of in the future.  So we went to a storage facility that was just up the road, signed a contract and we moved most of the files and rolls of plans into our new storage unit.

When it came time to retrieve a file or roll, it was a challenge; no one wanted to go, when they went, it seemed to take hours to find what they needed, and often required return trips to get exactly what they needed, if they could even find it!  This was not the ideal solution!  Additionally, everyone was hesitant to add plans and files to the storage unit, so the office again became more cluttered.”

There Has To Be A Better Way!

AZ Overland Blueprint came up with a solution that offered an efficient and accessible document management solution that is as inexpensive as renting an offsite storage space, yet provides real value.

Before diving into an explanation it’s important to understand the spectrum of easily available possibilities and the pros & cons of each.

In-House Physical Storage

Although it can be somewhat convenient, whereby documents are kept close by, it’s easy for them to compound and become clutter, making it challenging and time-consuming to find what you’re looking for.  Additionally, it is one less bill to pay, as you’re likely already paying rent for your office space.  However, office rent is typically a lot more expensive than storage space.  As the quantity of documents multiplies, it gets to a point whereby it becomes increasingly more challenging to maintain organization.  If the quantity of documents continues to increase; it’ll require more and more space, which could hinder accessibility even further.  Office space may lack security; so documents become more prone to damage, loss, or theft.

Offsite Document Storage at a Storage Unit

By shifting documents from the office to an offsite storage unit; office space gets cleared out providing the opportunity to more efficiently utilize the higher rent office space.  Storage units can be more secure, and can offer a climate-controlled environment which helps to preserve the paper.  The obvious drawback is retrieval; often requiring someone from the office to get in their car to drive down to the storage facility, and take the time to go through and find the needed documents.  Finding the documents at the storage unit can also be cumbersome and time-consuming. Additionally, to find the right documents can also require making multiple trips. When signing up for the storage unit it becomes an expense that’s never ending.

Offsite Document Storage via a CONEX Box/Container

“The CONEX box (Container, express) was a type of cargo container developed during the Korean War that was used to transport and store supplies during the Korean and Vietnam wars. It was reinvented by Malcom McLean to form the standard Intermodal shipping container (often called an ISO box, after ISO 668/ISO 6346) that is used widely by container shipping companies today.” – Wikipedia

Some companies that have plenty of outdoor space will purchase a CONEX box to store documents on the premises.  This can be a low cost option if you have the available space and want to make this type of permanent purchase.  These containers offer a somewhat safe space, but are difficult to control temperature and insect penetration. Since these containers become susceptible to high variances in temperatures, documents are likely to degrade more quickly, and it can be rather uncomfortable for those that have to spend time retrieving documents.

Offsite Document Storage at Home

So, you want to bring the documents home and store them in the garage.  Now you’re just cluttering your garage.  If your garage is not insulated, you have some of the same issues as the CONEX Box as well as the storage unit.  And does it leave enough space for your vehicle?  Without going into detail, isn’t this just a bad idea?

Offsite Document Storage via a Records Management Service

There are companies that will pick-up your documents, they’ll catalog each box, and they store them at their facility.  When you want to retrieve a document, you contact them and they’ll deliver the selected boxes.  If you want documents scanned or shredded, they’ll perform those services too.  Sounds like the ideal service! But wait!  These services can be quite costly, they typically charge for every little thing, at high prices that are not competitive!  They don’t have to offer competitive pricing because they have you captive in a contract.  And within the small print of the contract is the astronomical fee to close-out the account.  So, when you get enticed to enter this agreement, know that you are entering into an expense that’s never ending with escalation costs. Enter this type of agreement and you’ll be helping to pay for fancy high end real estate!

Offsite Document Storage via AZ Overland Blueprint

Our approach is quite different than what you’ll find anywhere else.  At AZ Overland Blueprint we will provide offsite document storage for FREE!  If you want to retrieve any document that too is FREE (except for the delivery cost)!  What does cost is for AZ Overland Blueprint’s professional Service Bureau to scan your plans or documents; and our in-house experts scan for the same price that you’d pay for an offsite storage unit! Yet, you actually get amazing value in the form of organized digital files. When agreeing to Scan-Storage at AZ Overland Blueprint it becomes an expense that actually does end!  When we complete all of the scanning you no longer are obligated to continue paying.

Scanning as a Document Management Solution

Simply stated, scanning converts physical documents into digital formats.  Document scanning is a transformative solution for businesses.  It simply allows for quick & easy retrieval of organized documents or plans.  In addition to easy retrieval, scanning reduces the need for physical storage space, and scanning allows for easily sharing of documents providing improved collaboration.

Utilizing a Service like AZ Overland Blueprint is cost efficient too.  Compare the costs of investment in production grade scanning equipment and the labor time to outsourcing scanning services and you’ll come to the conclusion that utilizing an experienced professional document scanning service bureau is easier, quicker, more efficient, and less costly.  Also consider how your business utilizes your resources/employees; do you want to focus on your business rather than becoming a sort of scanning business?

Although digital files can be deleted they are safe from: aging and deterioration, fire & water damage, insect infestation, etc.  To safeguard against improperly being deleted, it’s imperative that digital files are backed-up to various sources, including cloud storage to protect digital assets.

Scanning plans and documents is going digital which aligns with sustainability goals and has an environmental impact.

Having scanned documents allows for organizing or categorizing the same documents in a variety of ways so that the scanned images become even more easily accessible.

Digital documents provide for seamless integration into new and existing workflows.

Real-world Success Story Continued

As you may recall, the business scenario depicted at the beginning of this blog had decided to move their plans and documents to an off-site storage unit. When it came time to retrieve a roll of plans, it became challenging; no one wanted to go, when they went, it wasted hours to find what they needed, and they often had to return multiple times just to retrieve the right drawing that they needed, and sometime they could not even find what they were looking for!  Also since they stopped adding plans and files to the storage unit, the office again became more cluttered.

Since our print shop had been printing plans for them; on one occasion while picking up plans, we began to talk about their dilemma when I offered our scan/storage program. They were so excited about the concept that they delivered all the plans from the storage unit the very next day!  After we completed the 1st phase of the project (plans from the storage unit), they cleared out the plans from their office, which we also scanned.  They are so happy now, because now there is no cost associated with storage, their office is clean and they are utilizing the office space more efficiently.  And since we properly organized the digital files, they can find whatever they need, quickly!

In Summary

Offsite document storage is an improvement over wasting expensive office space; however, AZ Overland Blueprint’s scan/storage program is the ultimate efficient means for document storage and document management. Embrace the digital transformation for enhanced efficiency and competitiveness. Outsourcing scanning services to a trusted service like AZ Overland Blueprint offers numerous additional benefits too; our expert knowledge and specialized equipment help you to focus on your core business and provide time and cost saving efficiencies. If you want to further explore our scan/storage program call us today at (602) 224-9971 or contact us now, we’re happy to help!

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