The Insolvency Service

Topics: Records management

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Integrated Inventory Lifts Efficiency At Lower Cost

The Insolvency Service enhances performance and reduces expenditure by consolidating document archives with Iron Mountain


Challenge:

Rationalise procedures and suppliers to improve management of extensive paper archives

Solution:

Single supplier for off-site archive management in pan-government procurement framework

Value:

Higher quality service at reduced cost with excellent reliability and consistency


Client

Part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Insolvency Service administers individual and company bankruptcies. It provides guidance on personal and corporate insolvency and is responsible for investigation and enforcement if misconduct is suspected. The agency also makes statutory redundancy payments if employers are unable to.

“The reliability and consistency of our inventory management have improved beyond recognition, while service costs are falling. We’ve got more time to focus on the bigger picture and are better able to fulfil our front line responsibilities.”

-Peter Hale Senior Knowledge and Information Management Officer The Insolvency Service

Challenge

As well as extensive computerised records, the Insolvency Service amasses large amounts of paperwork, much of it in books unsuitable for scanning. Those documents typically have to be stored for six years, although some are retained for decades or even in perpetuity. About 85 per cent of the agency’s case load is handled by official receivers who deal with liquidation and bankruptcies.

Until recently many functions were spread across different government departments, each with separate suppliers for off-site storage and archiving. “It was impossible to reach an acceptable level of consistency,” explains Peter Hale, Senior Knowledge and Information Management Officer. “We needed to consolidate the holdings with a single supplier so we could standardise procedures and systems and improve inventory control.”

When the contract for the official receivers’ archives came up for renewal the agency, now with 1,700 people in 21 locations throughout the UK, decided to adopt a pan-government procurement process. That offered advantageous terms without lengthy tenders. Iron Mountain® won that contract for off-site paper records management under Lot 1 of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) RM1689 framework agreement. Since its remaining contracts were soon due for renewal, the Insolvency Service took the opportunity to migrate all its archives to Iron Mountain.

Solution

Iron Mountain completed the migration on time, liaising with outgoing suppliers to arrange the uplift schedule and working closely with the Insolvency Service to resolve any queries. On arrival the boxes and their contents were registered in IM Connect, the Iron Mountain customer portal.

Nearly 88,000 boxes containing more than 126,000 files are now safely held by Iron Mountain. New documents for archiving are collected on demand from the agency’s nationwide office network at an average rate of 1,555 files and 950 boxes each month. Meanwhile an average of 1,670 boxes are retrieved from storage during the same period. Next-day collection is standard although different options are available if required.

“Our relationship with Iron Mountain couldn’t be better,” says Peter Hale. “It’s rare for issues to arise and they’re dealt with promptly. We’ve had little in the way of teething troubles and the whole process is running very smoothly.”

Iron Mountain provides detailed monthly invoices itemising all activity, while monthly management reports offer invaluable performance analysis against SLAs. Files retrieved from storage but not returned after six months are highlighted. The reports also list boxes due for destruction so the agency can make timely decisions about whether or not to extend their retention dates. Iron Mountain arranges secure destruction once authorisation is given.

Insolvency Service employees have been trained to use IM Connect to amend inventory data, register new boxes and request collections or retrievals. “IM Connect is an excellent system that’s easy to use and very popular with our team,” says Peter Hale.

“Our relationship with Iron Mountain couldn’t be better. It’s rare for issues to arise and they’re dealt with promptly. We’ve had little in the way of teething troubles and the whole process is running very smoothly.”

-Peter Hale Senior Knowledge and Information Management Officer The Insolvency Service

Value

Working with one supplier has improved the quality and reliability of off-site records management. Through consistent procedures, Iron Mountain has made it easier for the agency to control its inventory and budget. Information is more accessible, bringing transparency and integrity to a once-fragmented process.

Efficiency is increasing. Boxes used to be kept far beyond their destruction dates because busy employees didn’t receive timely reminders. Under the new regime the number of archived boxes has dropped from 120,000 to 88,000, helping reduce costs and streamline access, including public Freedom of Information requests. Unit storage costs have fallen and, with the entire archive united and re-catalogued, further savings are anticipated.

The precision and clarity of Iron Mountain reports are greatly appreciated by the Insolvency Service, which can obtain information directly from IM Connect at any time without additional fees.

Peter Hale concludes: “The reliability and consistency of our inventory management have improved beyond recognition, while service costs are falling. We’ve got more time to focus on the bigger picture and are better able to fulfil our front line responsibilities.”

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