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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