What does Grace Information & Records Management offer that is different to my current supplier?
Grace is the only information and records management provider that runs a twice-daily standard transport service in metropolitan areas. Our drivers are employed and salaried by Grace and are not commissioned by contracting courier services. This allows us to always provide an exceptional service to our clients.
I would prefer to deal with a local supplier. Do you have other branches?
We understand that you’d like to keep your records nearby, which is why Grace Information & Records Management has opened a facility that’s local to you. In fact, our local clients enjoy a double benefit: Not only do they have the convenience of local storage, they can also take advantage of the cost savings and best practices of a national company.
Our records are maintained by each department, which works for us. So why would we need to store and catalogue with you?
Each department may catalogue differently to the next, and the quality of cataloguing can vary from person to person. Having your files catalogued and stored off-site allows for data integrity and consistency, as we have experienced data entry personnel that data-capture your records the same way every time. This means that if you are ever audited, your records will show quality record keeping.
We have on-site storage and plenty of room. Why would we need your space when we have our own?
Legislation regarding record-keeping standards goes beyond the simple test of space. You need purpose-built racking, temperature control, fire protection and 24-hour security to completely ensure your records are being stored safely and appropriately.
I’m happy with the proposal, but I need a quote. Why won’t you supply a formal quote?
As the full extent of a project may vary as it gets underway, and there may be additional services required once your items have been received at Grace Information & Records Management, it’s important to use our estimate as a guide for the expected cost. Often, the estimate may turn out to be more than the actual cost, but we try to ensure our estimate is provided to the best of our knowledge of your requirements.
I have all my documents in generic off-the-shelf archive boxes. I don’t want to fork out a fortune just because your facility doesn’t accept them. What’s the difference? A box is a box, isn’t it?
Off-the-shelf archive boxes are not designed for archive warehouse conditions. They cannot withstand the weight of additional boxes and fail to maintain their strength when handled over the course of usual box activities. Grace boxes, however, have a 7-year life expectancy and are designed for archiving up to 16 kilograms. A Grace box doesn’t crease, bend or break like a generic standard archive box would. Our boxes have thicker handles to ensure OHS compliance for our drivers’ safety. In this respect, the off-the-shelf boxes are not on par with ours.
How do you catalogue my files when you don’t know the information I need from them?
Our data entry department is staffed by specialists who catalogue information for a variety of industries, including government, legal, medical and finance. Each market has different requirements and our data entry team is able to cope with these needs. Before you transfer to Grace Information & Records Management, we will evaluate the information-capturing process and provide processes for our data entry experts to follow. We can capture alpha, numeric and alphanumeric data for your electronic files and boxes, and we have the capacity to keep this description in our system.
How do I get my documents from my office to your warehouse?
To get started, you need some Grace barcodes so we can track your documents. Once each of your cartons has a Grace barcode on it, you simply place an order for a pick-up and we’ll do the rest.
How do I get my documents back when I need them?
It’s easy to place an order using our online ordering system, via fax or email. We’ll send you a confirmation work order number if you send your order via email. If you use our online ordering system you can track your order online at any time of the day.
How long does it take to get my documents back?
It depends on the delivery address and the location of the Grace site at which your documents are stored. In most CBD locations we offer a same-day service. In many regional locations the delivery time may be up to 24 hours. Please check with your local branch for its service response times. We also offer 2-hour urgent and 4-hour priority services at some locations for those retrievals that can’t wait.
I’ve been using another records management supplier. Do I need to repack all my boxes into Grace ones before placing them into storage?
No, not at all. This is not a requirement at Grace Information & Records Management; we accept other suppliers’ cartons as long as they meet the required OHS standards. There may be times when some cartons need to be repacked due to their poor condition; we will advise you in advance if this is required. Even when repacking is required, we retain the barcode previously used, so you don’t need to worry about updating your records with new barcode numbers.
Will I need to change my current numbering system for existing boxes and files?
Our system requires all cartons to have a Grace barcode (if you’re retrieving to a file level, your files will also require a Grace barcode). However, we can also use your current numbering system as an alternate code field, allowing you to ask for your documents back by either quoting the Grace barcode number or your own unique number. If you’re transferring to Grace from another supplier, we can retain the previous barcode number as the alternate code. This means you don’t need to learn all your Grace barcode numbers; you can carry on with your business as usual because our system is capable of managing more than one barcode numbering system.
Why should we convert paper documents into electronic images?
Your organisation stands to gain many benefits from document conversion, including faster retrieval of documents, simultaneous access to a single document, elimination of misfiled and misplaced paperwork, and reduced physical storage requirements. In addition to these benefits, you can incorporate converted images into your company’s web content. Document conversion may also give you a competitive advantage in your industry because you’ll be able to access information more quickly and therefore better service your clients.
What should I do to start converting documents?
Before you buy any hardware or software, we recommend that you conduct an internal survey and assessment of your current records and any workflow process where these records are accessed. Without putting in this initial effort, implementing an automated solution to an ill-defined process and set of records will simply automate the mess, and the potential benefits of an automated solution won’t be realised.
Should I tackle the internal assessment and survey myself?
If your organisation has qualified records managers, it’s certainly possible to assess the current state of your records and the business processes in which they are used. Otherwise, you should consider bringing in a consultant. This can be someone who specialises in records and technology solutions, or a document consultant sourced through a conversion service company.
What’s the advantage of using a conversion service company to provide consulting?
A conversion service company with the appropriate expertise is capable of assessing document characteristics and working with you to determines which, if any, of your records should be considered for conversion. In addition, they can map the documents through the business process and plan any conversion that needs to occur. Conversion companies that don’t provide hardware and software solutions can be more objective in helping you to establish the correct solution, and many typically partner with a variety of technology providers representing the industry’s best software.
Where should the conversion project take place?
Your choices may include on-site, off-site or a combination of both, depending on your physical space, business requirements and legal dictates.
What type of material (paper, forms, maps) will be imaged?
You need to consider the various sizes, colours and condition of the documents. These factors will affect the speed of conversion and the type of scanners and software required to capture the images. Some special considerations may be necessary for older, brittle documents, or documents considered confidential. Few organisations have records that are consistently the same type and quality. Therefore, more than one type of document scanner may be required to provide the best image quality. Conversion service companies operate with a variety of document scanners and capture software, thus supporting such variations in an organisation’s business records.
What type of indexing utility (OCR, ICR, barcode separator sheets, text separator sheets) will you use, and why?
Each of these options has pros and cons. Some methods are faster but less reliable. Others are necessary but slower. Backfile conversion dealing with large volumes of paper may require one set of indexing rules, while day-forward efforts may use a different solution.
How is your organisation going to track the documents and images throughout the process?
From the time the document or file leaves its ‘home location’ you must have a way to retrieve it instantly if necessary. A barcode scanning system is the most practical way to ensure converted and yet-to-be-converted documents and files are retrievable, regardless of location or status.
How are you going to plan for and incorporate multiple document types? Are indexes going to be handled differently for different types of documents? (For instance, if a loan document has a loan number but a correspondence file associated with the loan has no reference to the loan number, you still need to marry the two in an image file.)
Many predetermined conditions may affect what you can and can’t do during document conversion. The way documents have been assembled in folders may have a great impact on your approach to imaging. Unfortunately, file folder assembly techniques may not have been optimised for your imaging project. Are the documents generally in good condition, in good order and grouped together? Is paperwork filed in chronological order and well organised? Over time, the contents of files may have been duplicated, cross-referenced to other files, combined or interfiled with related folders. All of these conditions must be addressed before you start converting documents.
How will document conversion affect my business and workflow processes?
Document conversion projects deal with a real asset of the organisation: information. It’s critical that your employees are considered when the project is planned, and that procedures are established to ensure operations and workflow are not negatively affected.
Should we do a backfile conversion or just day-forward documents?
This decision depends on several factors. Generally, backfile conversion procedures will be quite different from day-forward procedures. Retention periods of documents and records must be examined. Older documents may be ready for destruction and scanning may be unnecessary. Obsolete documents should not be imaged. Day-forward imaging decisions should be based on current and future retrieval patterns. These should be reviewed to see how frequently the documents are accessed, why they are accessed, and how many users require them for viewing to complete their tasks.
How long will it take before the conversion project is completed?
This is a difficult question to answer. Many variables will determine what you consider fully functional. Conversions are much more labour-intensive than you might realise. Labour availability and training, system complexity and the sheer volume and complexity of the information being converted will greatly affect the time it takes to complete the project.
How will documents be staged, prepped, scanned and stored, and by whom?
The majority of expenses associated with imaging conversions are in employee labour. Labour-intensive activities may include document and file staging, organising the files, removing staples and paperclips, scanning the documents, performing quality control on the images, performing data entry for indexing if required, rebuilding the file, packing the files into boxes for storage, and storing or destroying the files. The activity of scanning the document is just a small aspect of the project.
What is the best imaging hardware and software to use?
Your choice of on-site or off-site conversion will greatly affect your purchasing decisions. We strongly recommended you design your project on paper before purchasing any equipment. Outsourcing the backfile conversion is an option to consider, as it will allow your organisation to experience the benefit of extremely high-speed conversion without the associated investment. This may also allow you to start day-forward, on-site scanning with more economical scanners. There are many image-capture software companies and a number of image-compression formats. It’s important to select a vendor whose products will serve your imaging needs.
What should we do with the documents after they’re scanned?
Often, this is a neglected issue in conversion projects. Assuming that all files should be destroyed may have litigious ramifications, but retaining the documents or images for too long may be unnecessary and costly. Storing the documents in an off-site storage centre may be a good solution; however, you must have a method to effectively locate, retrieve and destroy the documents in a timely manner. A records storage facility has the ability to locate and send key documents as they are needed, in a variety of delivery modes. These include scanning and sending the documents via email, delivering the original documents through a courier service, or faxing the documents. Through tracking and retention software they can remind you when record destruction dates occur and then provide document destruction and verification.

Grace Information & Records Management can help with all your document management requirements. If you need a quote, or to discuss your specific needs with our document storage specialists, please contact us .