Strettons Property Management advisory company converts 700 boxes of paper into 6000 online digital records
Data is an essential part of our day-to-day lives and business operations, but there’s no getting around the fact that it is causing many problems for companies. With limited space available in offices for the storage of documents, companies downsizing for cost reasons and computer systems that can only cope with so much, how on earth are businesses going to make room for reams of client records, receipts, emails and countless other variations of paperwork?
Established by Jack Tobin in 1931, Strettons is a property advisory company offering services that include commercial and residential estate agency, professional consultancy, management and auctions, to clients in London and the south-east of England.
Strettons has a network of five offices and employs 90 staff, including nine directors. A medium-sized firm, Strettons strives to retain its original family values, which has resulted in the company building a well-deserved reputation for integrity and professional competence. Indeed, the organisation features in the Top 50 Commercial Property Agents list compiled by the Estates Gazette.
Since the company was established, staff at Strettons had been diligently retaining paperwork of all kinds, as the process was essential for regulatory compliance, data protection and research purposes. Unlike in some other sectors, it was not possible for the paper records to be kept for the duration of a project – and then simply thrown away.
However, it was this exact conscientiousness that was also causing major problems for employees. An astonishing historical backlog of 700 archive boxes had built up over the years, containing everything from internal administration and HR information to confidential client lists.
Not only did this mass archive take up a huge amount of room, but it also meant that employees were finding it increasingly difficult to find specific documents- and this had started to have a negative impact on customer service.
Valuable time and resources were being spent on the manual quest to locate various items of paperwork – naturally, this was a less than ideal situation.
When Strettons decided to relocate from their existing Shoreditch office on Artillery Lane to a newer building on Sun Street, it was clear that something had to be done quickly, if the problem of moving 700 heavy boxes of paperwork was to be avoided.
Dajon steps in with a robust digital solution
In 2012, Strettons got in touch with Dajon for help – and we quickly realised that our document scanning service would provide significant benefits for the company. We knew that by digitising their files, we could provide Strettons with much easier access to documents, as well as bringing their aspiration of a paperless environment to fruition.
Simple storage with a third party provider would not have suited this particular case, as employees would not have been able to access their archives without embarking on a slow, inflexible and impractical process.
In addition, the nature of the documents being stored meant that privacy was of paramount importance; electronic documents are far more secure against unauthorised access, loss and damage than their paper counterparts.
Once the formalities had been dealt with, Dajon embarked upon the task by collecting all of the 700-plus boxes from Strettons offices and holding them in secure storage, ready to be scanned.
Each individual file was then prepared, scanned and indexed – before being provided to the client as searchable, multi-page, 300 DPI PDF, so as to maintain the highest possible quality. Despite more than one million sheets of paper being involved in the project, the whole process only took around 20 days – thanks to Dajon’s efficient scanning team, high-speed production scanners and the very latest capture software providing maximum productivity.
Over 1 million pages were scanned during the project
If the client required a particular file urgently, we were also able to employ our free Scan on Demand Service to rush it through and ensure that the data was online and ready to go within an hour. At all times, the data could only be accessed by authorised Strettons and Dajon staff, so there was never a question of privacy being compromised.
Finally, once the project had been completed to the client’s satisfaction, the original documents were confidentially destroyed – no more boxes of paper to be a burden to the company!
How things worked out
The staff at Strettons have already noticed a vast improvement in administrative speed and efficiency as a result of the documents being uploaded to in-house servers. They now have access to a secure, backed-up archive that can easily be referenced – letting them find the exact document that they need, when they need it, with minimum fuss.
Eliminating the manual searching process has resulted in the saving of valuable time and money, the data is protected against potential disasters (i.e. flood/fire damage) and Strettons have also made a positive mark on the environment by adopting a paper-free system!
Additionally, Strettons noted that it is now much easier to adhere to data security and compliance regulations, due to easier access to their data.
Strettons were able to move to Sun Street without 700 hefty boxes in tow – and this has resulted in a less cluttered new workspace!
Dajon’s project was deemed so successful that Strettons has already commissioned us to carry out further work on an ongoing basis in order to make even more business improvements.