Sending data assets from an insolvency into secure storage? It could be the perfect start to your digital journey

IPA Insolvency Practitioner newsletter, June 2024

By Stefan Chetty, Director, Restore Records Management.

What would you say if we told you one of the best times to think about starting out on the digital journey is when you’re stressing about getting data assets from an insolvency into secure storage in a hurry?

It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

We know how stressful it can be when you have a lot of files that need to be put in storage on a strict timetable.

But having a records management partner that looks after it all for you can have a lot of hidden benefits.

And one is being handed an opportunity to start getting digital ready.

Let us explain!

One of the first thing Restore Records Management does when looking after insolvency assets is utilise our barcode tracking system.

The first benefit of this service is that you don’t need to worry about sorting through everything before we collect it. Let the dust settle, then recall any records you need.

But there’s a long-term opportunity, too.

Once you have barcoded every asset, you are already starting the digital journey. Suddenly, you know where all your files are and how to retrieve them.

Here’s our guide to how you can make the most of that opportunity – and take a few more steps along the road to digital in the ensuing months and years.

The key thing to remember is that if you’re ever told the best way to go digital is to scan everything you’ve got, then take it with a pinch of salt.

That is by far the most expensive way to do it – and we think the least strategic, too.

So, hold on tight, this journey is about to start:

Step 1: Understand what you already have got

There are some big questions to ask early on; not least understanding what records you store. What condition are they in? What are they used for? Which documents could be used regularly, and which will be rarely retrieved?

This is where we step in. We’ll do a ‘lift the lid’ operation to check what’s in your boxes and index every file.

What’s the benefit of that?

Well, two things! Firstly, you’ll find out what files are worth scanning in future (the ones needed most often) and that’s a lot cheaper than scanning everything! Secondly, there may be files you don’t need to keep at all. And once they are securely destroyed, you won’t have to pay to keep them any longer. Bingo.

Step 2: Know how long you are going to keep documents for

Retention policies are crucial to optimising inventories and can help inform whether you scan or not.

Every file should be allocated a retention date, which may be based on a legal requirement, specific legislation or your own retention policy/guidelines.

That information is vital when starting the digital journey. After all, if a file is due to be destroyed in the next two years, it may not be of value to scan it.

We can advise businesses on retention schedules, which is a complex area. There are legal reasons why some documents need to be kept longer, especially health records in the NHS, for instance, or legal papers.

Step 3: Think about how to reduce your inventory

Reducing your inventory now can create instant savings – and make it cheaper to go digital in future.

This could include:

  • Destroying files that are beyond their retention date.
  • Destroying physical versions of documents that have been scanned or digitised.
  • Reviewing content and slimming down files over time, only retaining relevant information.

Restore Records Management can advise on and deliver all of these services directly, without outsourcing any element.

It just goes to show, the first steps on the road to digital don’t have to be big ones; and they can materialise at the most unexpected times!

For more information on how we can help, visit

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