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Dear Michelle, 
 
You state the you are "a full service Center" and I suggest you should be
more specific than that. I am full service document management company. I
took a look at your website and see that you are a moving company that has
diversified into record center storage. That makes total sense in that the
new service takes full advantage of the expertise and resources that you
have invested 47 years in building. 
 
I have to agree with your higher management and suggest that you NOT venture
into the world of scanning from your current offerings for several reasons! 
 
1) The production side of records management is a completely different beast
that will require skills and abilities that your current staff do not need
or probably have right now. Training and finding the right employee with
those skills will be a challenge to say the least in a newly developing
technology. I DID go into scanning but FOR just that reason. My staff is
vested in the skills and abilities needed from our microfilm bureau
offerings. 
 
2) The cost of the equipment and software (don't ever forget the software)
can be small or huge, either way it will cost you even more in the end as
you try to meet a wide variety of client needs and stay current with the
technology. I invested in 2000 and only just this last year have managed to
get enough business since then to match my original investment! Given that
the growth projection was 26% per year and my microfilm services were
supposed to decline by 10% per year it also seemed like the best way to
balance my production offerings. I was wrong, scanning production did NOT
have that growth and microfilm production did NOT decline one iota! So much
for statistics!And now that it IS finally starting to pay for itself my
software and my commercial top of the line fastest scanner available is now
on the trailing edge of technology not the leading edge like it was 5 years
ago...you get my drift! 
 
3) "Many of our current accounts have in-house scanners" is exactly right
and the majority of them have probably decided that the receptionist can do
the work - in her spare time, with no training, inadequate equipment and no
standards or procedures. Does this sound like something they are putting
great VALUE in or just doing it because it is the latest greatest way to 
show" how cutting edge they are? My greatest "competition" has been this
prevailing attitude of low value for the service by my customers. Why pay
someone else when all we have to do is buy a scanner and set it next to the
copier - voila our paper problems are solved! RIGHT, but their Records
Management problems prevail through the new technology!!! 
 
These are based on my own personal experience with my bureau. I would like
to note that the business plan for this expansion was beyond beautiful, full
color graphics, state of the Industry statistics and funded in 5 minutes
flat - and STILL a flat revenue stream for 4 years!!! I wish I had had 
higher Management" to rein me in! 
 
I strongly disagree with your statement "We all know we have quickly
progressed in the RM world leading us into the scanning industry". NO, but
we are having to adjust to the new DIGITAL technology which is a much wider
stream to navigate and requires a much bigger boat to float, such as an IT
department vs a new piece of scanning equipment. 
 
What I would suggest you consider is continuing to build on your long term
expertise and consider offering Data Vault services to your clients. Right
now paper still is pervasive but as your research revealed the growth of the
new digital technology is designed to lead us away from our paper based
information society and down the road of digital adventures. A record center
with no paper is hard to imagine but the information is still going to be
generated, required to be maintained and need to be managed, so I suggest
you set your sights on moving with the medium not into new process. 
 
A data vault is going to be the NEW record center and YOU already have all
the expertise to inventory, move and store disks, hard drives & tapes you
just need a different type of facility which is going to reap much higher
returns for much less investment. 
 
..in my humble opinion! 
 
 
Janie Wait 
 
 
Janie Wait, CRM, MBA 
President 
Director of Marketing 
Intermountain Record Center, Inc 
3765 Airport Parkway, Casper, WY 82604 
PO Box 2770, Mills, WY 82644 
307-265-9553 
307-237-8225 
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www.intermountainrecords.comr

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