Hugh -- while I don't necessarily agree with all your comments, you make
many good points.  But I did not write to discuss 'hostage fees' or
offsite storage or 'win the argument' - I wrote to question the
statement that 300 boxes of files could be imaged for $12K.  That
sentence leapt out at me, as it doesn't jive with my
knowledge/experience with imaging costs.  Thank you for explaining you
used 2000 pages per box in your calculation.  This makes 600,000 images
(simplex), which would be $12K if the price is $0.02 an image - still a
lot lower than anything I have seen.

Liz Allan 

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Hugh Smith
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 9:39 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [RM] Cost offsite storage vs. onsite

On Feb 6, 2008, at 12:01 AM, RECMGMT-L automatic digest system wrote:
> Date:    Tue, 5 Feb 2008 16:27:15 -0600
> From:    "Allan, Liz" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Avg. Cost offsite storage vs. onsite
> Doug -- well, that's my point.  If I'm off in my calculations, please 
> tell me where.  And if I'm not off, then the statement regarding the 
> cost to image 300 boxes is misleading.  If it cost only $40 a box, I 
> could finally get my husband to clean out his files in the garage and 
> park my car there again!
> re:  2600 pages per box, I'm figuring 175 pages/inch and a standard 
> storage box of 15" - usually boxes sent to storage are packed pretty 
> full.
> Liz

I merely used Pat's number of 2,000 pages per box which I think is based
on past discussion on the Listserve about what is reality on offsite
I also used Pat's numbers for imaging even charging for imaging both
sides of a page.  I personally never type on the back page of any
document but to be consistent I kept that calculation in the mix.

> Storage:
> 10,000 boxes @ $0.15 per box = $1500 per month x 12 months = $18,000 
> per year

If you publish an RFP and state you are going to deliver 10,000 boxes to
someone then you will see this rate.

You will not actually pay this rate, as there are all sorts of fees and
the rate will jump up next year considerably but what can you do?  
You let them put in a Hostage Fee so you are stuck.  If you examine the
contracts you will find the $7.60 divided up in 7 different fees so you
need to read carefully. (Data Base Close Out Fee, Final Inventory Fee,
Palleting Fee, Shrink Wrapping Fee, Final Administration Fee, Account
Reconciliation, and then Permanent Removal Fee.)  They all amount to
what was known years ago as Permanent Out Fee but by breaking it up you
can in some cases really dumb companies find it as high as $15.00 per
box. If you are a hospital give yourself a pat on the back, you lead the
league and then in the Silver Medal is banking and legal firms follow as
the bronze.  There is a direct correlation in the total fees to the
dumbness and or arrogance of the client.

Pull out your contracts now and start counting and you can check your IQ
versus your national contract players IQ? Feeling low?  Might be time to
check out the Contract Guideline form that Larry Medina keeps alerting
everyone to. It is available from ARMA before you sign your next

But you are missing the point that whatever the rate is for digitizing a
document you don't need to do it, if it was born digital.  The expensive
thing is if every document you create in your vast array is printed to
paper so you can have a paper copy.  That is where the waste comes in.
Emails, spreadsheets, and a host of other documents never need to see
the light of day beyond the computer screen.

For example with FIRELOCK:  An email comes in asking about a quote on a
vault for a project, a quote goes out via email, discussions occur back
and forth and the email thread grows. The client decides not to go.  It
all stays in the server in case they call back in three months desiring
to move forward.

But XYZ decides he/she is ready to proceed.  A contract is emailed.   
The client emails an approval and we start design drawings.  In a few
days they have printed my contract, signed it and mailed it in. After 50
pages of dialog a 3 page contract and a check arrive and are put in a
file.  The client is emailed Engineering Drawings, they email an
approval or a change and we move forward to build a vault.  How much
paper is put in a file folder? Three pages and One drawing.  More emails
follow during manufacturing and construction and shipping and install.
How many pages of information are created? Over 100 on average.  How
many pages in the file folder as hard copy?  4 pages.

If you add in all the chatter back and forth in house to design, bill
and so forth, our average is better than 97% digital.  So is all of your
paper coming from outdated methods or a desire to  reign over a paper
empire?  Even the signed contracts exist in the digital records.  They
only exist to hold a real signature.( I don't yet trust digital

But the question is:  Did I win the argument that weighing the argument
of offsite versus onsite as a cost justification argument is a poor way
to run a records management program?

Or more importantly have you signed on to the Crusade to strike Hostage
Fees from your contract?  There are several experts among you that can
tell you how they did it.  There are several great consultants here that
have helped their clients strike them from their contracts.  They are
illegal as they are Restraint of Trade. No other industry charges you
for not shopping there or not continuing to do business with them.  I
have seen no court cases that uphold them and when a threatening letter
from your legal counsel arrives, the fees are typically renegotiated as
no one really wants a Judge to issue a ruling. Remember Butzel Long and
GE?  Did they go to court?

There are hundreds of Owner managed paper storage and media storage  
companies out there and they will store records without these fees.   
Then you will be back in control of your quality of service.  Then   
maybe records management could be in the news for something good.

Does anyone disagree with that?

Hugh Smith
FIRELOCK Fireproof Modular Vaults
[log in to unmask]
(610)  756-4440    Fax (610)  756-4134

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