INTEGRATED RECORDS MANAGEMENT CUTS COST
Jacobs Engineering reduces cost and improves document storage security by consolidating its UK document archive management with Iron Mountain
CHALLENGE: Lack of standardised archiving processes meant low visibility of total costs and excess material stored in archive
SOLUTION: Off-site document management and storage with one provider
VALUE: Process consistency, improved information security, reduced administration and lower costs
Jacobs Engineering is one of the world’s largest providers of professional technical services. It supports all aspects of engineering, construction, operations and maintenance projects, as well as scientific and speciality consultancy. In the UK, Jacobs Engineering has grown significantly over the past ten years through merger and acquisition. It employs around 6500 people in over 40 offices.
In the face of an uncertain economic environment, Jacobs Engineering, like most organisations, was focusing on the identification and delivery of cost-saving initiatives. One of the areas of opportunity for savings and process improvement was its records management policy and practice.
Tom Shaw, Business Process Manager at Jacobs Engineering, explains: “Given the high degree of merger and acquisition activity, we had inherited a host of different approaches to archiving. We kicked off a project to review current practice and look for synergies to reduce costs and standardise working practices. It was also our aim to consolidate our records with a single service provider.”
Much of Jacobs’ work is project based and many files must be stored long term. Survey results, for example, would be needed should a design query arise in the future. Some Jacobs Engineering records were stored with Iron Mountain and some with other companies. Diverse practices included storage with small local removal companies, use of self storage facilities and on-site storage at company offices.
Andy Adams, IT Leveraged Services Manager at Jacobs Engineering, says: “Our approach to archiving was inconsistent and of variable quality and security. What is more, Jacobs employees were sometimes transporting archive records to and from storage facilities, so the full cost of archiving was not transparent.”
Jacobs Engineering has been working with Iron Mountain for records management and storage services in the US and UK for many years. At the start of the project Jacobs selected savings long-term but not increase our current year costs. Iron Mountain understood this requirement and worked with us to agree mutually acceptable arrangements.”
The first step was to create a UK company-wide records management policy and a process that incorporated clear guidance on document retention and destruction. To do this, Jacobs Engineering was able to draw on existing Iron Mountain best practice.
In order to minimise the burden on company resources, Iron Mountain centrally managed the consolidation project, negotiating as necessary with other storage contractors and local office managers to retrieve stored files. Around 20 per cent of previously archived material was earmarked for disposal. Retained files are now clearly identified, fully indexed, and can be managed through IM Connect™#8482;, the Iron Mountain internet-based secure customer portal.
As well as the management of paper-based records, Iron Mountain supports the Jacobs Engineering IT team with off-site back-up tape storage. This service comprises daily collection, secure transportation and vaulting of tapes from each of eight company data centres. Tapes are rotated on a daily or weekly basis. The service mitigates the risk of data loss, aids compliance and is a key enabler for rapid disaster recovery.
Consolidating its paper-based records with Iron Mountain has enabled Jacobs Engineering to standardise its approach to records management - lowering costs and enhancing security.
The transition enabled records to be consolidated and catalogued, with redundant information securely destroyed to reduce the company’s ongoing storage costs. Jacobs Engineering has been able to reduce the size of its archive from some 100,000 boxes to around 80,000 boxes.
Tom Shaw confirms: “The most important thing was having a service plan that worked for us. Iron Mountain proved very flexible in adjusting its processes to take account of our unique needs. The net result is a cost reduction of £75,000 over the first two years, with recurring savings going forward.”
Billing is now easier too, as Jacobs Engineering receives a single bill for all storage services. Andy Adams says: “With fewer invoices to process, administration costs have decreased. We’ve also developed a software programme in-house to automate cost analysis and Iron Mountain is working with us to integrate this with IM Connect™.”
Via IM Connect™, trained co-ordinators at every Jacobs Engineering site can send new records to store or request retrieval of archived material with a few clicks of a mouse. The whole process is much simplified and, with Iron Mountain managing the archive, Jacobs Engineering people no longer need to get involved in records management tasks, leaving them free to concentrate on other duties.
“Iron Mountain is a very professional company and easy to do business with,” concludes Andy Adams. “I have not heard a complaint about the service we get. Everything works very smoothly.”