Tribal group plc

Customer Success Stories

Protecting vital records and data

30 August 20188 mins
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Standardise information management and lower archiving costs


Records consolidation and document storage solution serving all UK offices

  • Suppliers reduced from twenty-one to one
  • Information is simpler and faster to access
  • Annual savings of £35,000 in storage costs

World-leading education services

Tribal Group provides a wide range of products and services that support the delivery of education services around the world. Its work includes building world-leading software, supporting adult learning and career development, and providing school inspections and improvement services.

With extensive experience in educational consultancy and transformation programmes, Tribal grew significantly through acquisition. As a consequence, its operations spread to over 40 sites across the UK.

Piecemeal approach

Each office managed their own paper records. Zoe Clarke, Property and Contracts Manager at Tribal, recalls: “We had no central policy for document archiving, resulting in 21 different suppliers of storage services. That meant our archives were fragmented and difficult to manage.”

With such a wide range of suppliers there was an opportunity to standardise the process and get better value for money. Tribal began the search for a single provider that could offer a nationwide service.

Information management overhaul

After a formal selection process, Tribal appointed Iron Mountain® to review and consolidate records management at its state-of-the-art storage centres. As well as client and project papers, Tribal stores documents such as company records, contractual and legal papers, and HR files.

It soon became clear that the task would be far from straightforward. Many of the documents sent to previous storage contractors had not been indexed properly. Records were inconsistent, often inadequate, and sometimes non-existent. Moreover, very few had defined retention periods.

Zoe Clarke adds: “We didn’t want to carry on storing material that was no longer of value to the business. Working with Iron Mountain we devised a process to review and catalogue documents for retention, and securely dispose of those no longer needed.”

"We set a target to save the company £25,000 per annum but, with Iron Mountain’s help, we achieved a saving of £36,000."

Zoe Clarke, Property and Contracts Manager, Tribal Group

Better use of data, people and space

The project focused on one storage contractor at a time, with Iron Mountain arranging the transfer of stored material for review. Around 40,000 boxes were examined, of which more than 9,000 had no written record of content.

Unwanted records were earmarked for disposal and then securely shredded, while useful material was properly indexed, assigned a retention period and sent to store. Zoe Clarke adds: “Iron Mountain was very supportive throughout; their management of the project was excellent.

Tribal has since rationalised its office space and now operates from 12 principal locations. Arletta Zardecka, Senior Property and Contracts Co-ordinator at Tribal, says: “Each of our sites has an Iron Mountain co-ordinator. We can log in to the Iron Mountain customer portal to request documents for retrieval or arrange for new documents to be sent to the archives. It’s a very straightforward system and very easy to use.”

Exceeded expectations

The records consolidation project allowed Tribal to reduce the volume of its paper archives by more than 80 per cent. Now, the entire archive has been reduced to 7,000 boxes of documents stored with Iron Mountain.

Each has its contents clearly documented, and each continues to be of value to the business. As a result, storage costs have plummeted, while the ease with which documents can be retrieved has substantially improved. Zoe Clark confirms: “We set a target to save the company £25,000 per annum but, with Iron Mountain’s help, we achieved a saving of £36,000.”

Improved digital security

In addition to the document storage solution, Iron Mountain provides an off-site data protection service. Each day, high-security vans call at selected Tribal sites to collect back up tapes for delivery to the Iron Mountain climate controlled vault. Transportation is fully secure and there is a rigorous audit trail and chain of custody for clear accountability.

Iron Mountain operates a 24/7 emergency response to ensure that if ever a back-up tape were needed, it could be delivered promptly to the desired recovery location.

Summarising the services Iron Mountain provides, Arletta Zardecka concludes: “I always find Iron Mountain to be very responsive to our needs and our account manager is very good. One of the biggest compliments I can give to Iron Mountain is that we never get any complaints about the service we receive. It just works.”

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