Customer Success Stories
Manufacturing and engineering
Consolidation of paper archives on a global scale
Records management and storage plus off-site data protection
Mott MacDonald is one of the world’s top engineering, management and development consultancies. It operates from over 170 principal offices in 50 countries and is focused on 12 industry sectors, including the built environment, energy, international development, transport and water.
Given the nature of its work, there’s a need for long-term retention of paper-based archives. That’s both in connection with individual projects and for company-wide management including statutory and regulatory compliance.
Historically, operating divisions and individual offices had made local decisions about off-site file storage. This gave rise to diverse arrangements for managing group information.
Andrew Geffryes, Group Procurement Manager at Mott MacDonald, says: “We had storage contracts with 15 companies and 56 separate agreements in place with them, all with different prices and commercial terms.”
Mott MacDonald recognised that by consolidating its archives with a single vendor it could achieve better value procurement, as well as boost business efficiency with standardised processes. Its wish was for a provider that could meet its needs on a global scale.
Iron Mountain® was one of the existing contractors and was also the company’s provider of off-site data protection services like dailycollection and delivery of back-up media to Mott MacDonald data centres.
After a full-scale tender, Mott MacDonald chose Iron Mountain as its global off-site records management service provider.
“Iron Mountain was able to offer archive services in nearly every country we needed, at competitive terms,” Andrew explains. “We have a good history of working together and this new agreement would also provide additional services. For example, scanning files rather than transporting them. Going forward that has attractive sustainability benefits.”
The Iron Mountain service for Mott MacDonald spans the UK, North America, mainland Europe, Asia and Australasia. With up to twothirds of its archives in the UK, this region became the initial records consolidation focus.
Iron Mountain appointed a transition manager to lead on-boarding activity and liaise with the company’s historic vendors to organise the transfer of files to its custody. Normally collected by the pallet, upon receipt, each box of files was inspected and a barcode applied. This was recorded on the Iron Mountain ConnectTM records management portal, and cross-referenced against original inventory data. Files were re-boxed if the original carton was damaged. Files of unknown origin or those more severely damaged were quarantined for further investigation.
“We formed a very good relationship with the Iron Mountain transition manager,” recalls Hannah Smith, Assistant Procurement Manager at Mott MacDonald. “He resolved issues, liaised with the out-going providers and helped overcome other challenges as they arose to make the transition the success it has been.”
The project was largely completed on schedule over an 18-month period. The initial tranche was to transition around 70,000 boxes of files in 85,000 cubic feet of storage space with the 12 main UK based storage contractors. The second tranche added a further 15,000 boxes of files from smaller contractors or stored in-house at Mott MacDonald.
“Reducing costs was the primary driver for this project and we haven’t been disappointed,” confirms Andrew Geffryes. “We’ve achieved payback within the first year and we now benefit from significant ongoing savings compared with our historic arrangements.”
There are substantial operational benefits too. Having a single vendor has enabled Mott MacDonald to standardise its archive processes for greater clarity and business efficiency. Transitioning files to Iron Mountain has also enabled Mott MacDonald to review file retention arrangements.
“Many of our records were being kept indefinitely,” says Andrew. “With the files consolidated and properly catalogued it’s now easier for us to work with teams to make sure we set realistic retention dates, so we only keep what we actually need.”
File retrieval is also more straightforward through the Iron Mountain Connect portal. Mott MacDonald has appointed a number of records management co-ordinators at various offices and each has received training on how to get the most from the portal.
Hannah Smith says: “Having access to an online portal that allows us to search our inventory, place retrieval orders and send new files to archive electronically has been a major step forward. It’s so much more efficient.”
Iron Mountain provides next day delivery or collection of files from any of Mott MacDonald’s over 35 UK offices. A premium emergency delivery service is available for more urgent needs.
Outside the UK, work to consolidate Mott MacDonald files in North America is now largely complete and the company is about to embark on transition activity in China - Hong Kong S.A.R. and Singapore. Transition of files to Iron Mountain’s off-site custody in Australia and New Zealand is set to follow.
Andrew Geffryes sums up: “Working with Iron Mountain has been a truly positive experience. It’s enabled us to have far greater visibility and improve proactive management of our archives, while reducing costs and establishing a platform for more sustainable business practice.”