Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just Hanging Around

By Brian Kopack

So I’m hanging there thinking, “Now what?”

I have hundreds of options but nowhere to go.  I know what I want to do (and what I don’t want to do – fall), and I think I know what I am capable of, but for now I am just hanging.  Trying to decide what to do next - before the helicopters come to rescue me.

At that minute, I’m living a metaphor.  The one about facing challenges, overcoming obstacles, charting a brave new course through bold action, triumphantly reaching the summit.

Sounds great, but I was really just hanging – no real grand plan except trying to figure out what to do in the next minute and the minute after that.

At IOS, we see customers living a different version of the same metaphor.  The challenge isn’t a mountain; it just feels like it.  The real challenge is breaking away from the status quo – the archenemy of progress.

Companies tell us they know they should be scanning their records but they are afraid of being without the paper.

Companies tell us they have so many boxes they can’t move around their offices.  They thought about sending the boxes off-site, but how will they get access to what they need?

Companies tell us they know that the processes that worked for them since the last century are woefully past their prime, but they don’t have the horsepower to automate.  They know their business, what they don’t know is workflow development and business process automation.

So instead of changing, they’re just hanging – no real plan.  Someone has to come along to make things better eventually, right?

Someone will combine cutting-edge technology with a disciplined, quality-focused process to make scanning simple and secure.  Someone will provide customers who have enjoyed the convenience of having their boxes stored and managed off-site with the luxury of having access to those documents electronically, saving both time and money.  Someone will come along who can analyze business processes creatively and improve efficiency by adding functionality to existing systems.

Actually, that someone is already here.


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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How to prevent desiccant drying...or something like that

By John Trimble

I took a meeting yesterday with a national company interested in partnering with IOS. This company specializes in the disaster recovery of water damaged documents; damage caused by everything from a Superstorm Sandy to a burst water pipe in the office basement.

Their process is daunting: the boxes are shipped into their facilities – usually wrapped in individual garbage bags and placed into huge freezers. “Freezers that would kill you in less than two minutes if you were locked into one” was the exact phrase. Using both “blast freezing” as well as “freeze drying” the moisture is somehow turned into a gas and then the documents move into the desiccant drying stage which eliminates the moisture that fungi require for mold to grow, mold obviously being a big issue. This is if there is no soot damage from a fire and if the source water is clean, meaning all of this is best case scenario. More often than not it is not best case scenario.  At that point many other steps are required, none of them inexpensive or recreational.

So my question to him was where do we come in? IOS is one of the largest scanning companies in the United States but where does he see the fit? The answer was simple:

“Trust me after a company goes through something like that they never want to go through it again. And I am not just talking about the expense which is considerable. They see their information floating under three feet of water, all their files? It’s awful. I had an attorney actually crying on the phone because all of his clients’ records were submerged in sewer water.  It’s tough.”

“So generally the first thing they ask us if we know any really good scanning companies – not only to scan what we just recovered but going forward. Believe me they have seen the light for backing up their paper.”

I did believe him and told him he was preaching to the choir; the whole world was going digital so the reluctance to move beyond technology created around the first century AD was increasingly hard to understand. At IOS this is what we talk about every day, modern document management – losing the paper but keeping the document.

I understand why this message is embraced so thoroughly by companies who have seen the light and have simply lost the paper…under three feet of sewage water. But isn’t it time all companies, even those companies who have not had the pure fun of having their documents go through “blast freezing” to do the same?

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