A top uniform services company boosts efficiency and slashes costs

Customer Success Stories

With the Iron Mountain Records Center's Image on Demand capabilities, the requested signed document is scanned and loaded into the Digital Archive for quick and easy retrieval.

November 11, 20168 mins
A woman writing on a whiteboard

Customer: The customer is a leading provider of uniforms, apparel, and related materials and services.

Challenge: Out-of-control costs due to a complex process of scanning all paperwork for storage led the company to look for a new document management solution.

Solution: Iron Mountain designed and implemented a solution that leveraged electronic documentation and online access, paired with hardcopy retrieval only when necessary.

Benefit: With faster access to documents, the company has saved over $4 million dollars, improved customer service, and accelerated revenue recognition by reducing the time required to deliver invoices.

The customer

Headquartered in the Northeastern U.S., the customer provides uniforms and career apparel as well as food service and facilities management. The company has consistently placed on Fortune magazine’s list of America’s most admired companies and serves clients in 19 countries.

Through its uniform division, the company offers businesses and other organizations a total uniform solution that helps them to solidify their image, promote teamwork, and motivate employees.

Clients range from huge organizations, like airlines and large retail chains, to the local auto garage. With over 200 locations and 60-plus Market Centers that house its route accounting system, the company needed to have a document management system in place that maximized customer service, yet minimized cost and unnecessary paperwork.

The challenge

When the company first met with Iron Mountain Consulting Services, the business process it had in place for handling and delivering customer invoices and statements worked, but it was inefficient and very costly.

The Director of Field Systems Implementation for the IT department was responsible for reviewing the current process, researching alternatives, and ultimately making the switch to Iron Mountain. As he explained, "The ability to process documents, our printing needs, and Iron Mountain's methodology for storing electronic data were all factors in our decision, clearly along with the cost of services. We found that the Iron Mountain solution met all of our requirements, and we could expect to save over a million dollars a year – that was certainly compelling."

Previously, all of the company's settled invoices and signed Proof of Delivery statements were scanned, indexed, and stored as PDF files. It typically took three to four days from when the paperwork was shipped to the processing center before the information could be accessed.

"The cost was beginning to get a little out of hand," noted the Director of Field Systems. "By working with Iron Mountain, we recognized that we could streamline the process by dealing with just the data, rather than scanned images." The uniform division had been scanning two million documents a month, but found that only about 11% of those ever needed to be retrieved.

"Iron Mountain was very thorough in the way it approached project management when we began this project. This was a tremendous group of people who worked well together and really produced results for us." Director of Field Systems Implementation Uniform Services Company

The solution

"Our first step was to prove that electronic documentation was acceptable to our customer base," he said. "Once we ascertained that it was, we put a plan in place that stored the paper version of the signed Proof of Delivery documents at an Iron Mountain Records Center. These are scanned only on request, and we used electronic data for everything else."

The data from the Proof of Delivery statements and settled invoices is imported into Iron Mountain's Digital Archive system to be used for billing, customer service, and collections. "Now, receipt of this data is overnight, and the information can be accessed within 24 hours," said the Director. "Today, our customer service department is much more responsive, and about 90% of customer inquiries can be resolved with electronically stored information."

If the signed Proof of Delivery document is required, a customer service representative makes a request via the Web. With the Iron Mountain Records Center's Image on Demand capabilities, the requested signed document is scanned and loaded into the Digital Archive for quick and easy retrieval.

On the fulfillment end, Iron Mountain’s COMAC division takes care of printing statements and invoices and sends them directly to the uniform services company’s customers. Now in the fourth year of its contract with Iron Mountain, the customer has realized the anticipated savings of over $4 million dollars, has improved customer service, and has also helped speed customer payments by reducing the time for invoice delivery.

Not content with resting on its laurels, the company is looking to the future and is starting to work with Iron Mountain on the next iteration of this business process. "We're evolving to a higher level of electronic documentation. Paper storage will be gone, and everything will be archived digitally. We want to start using electronic signature capture with handheld tablets. Eventually, this will all be customer facing, and customers will be able to log in and view their invoices online."

Improving customer satisfaction is a critical part of any business and the uniform services company is no exception. By striving to deliver the electronic documentation preferred by the corporate giants that make up 80% of its revenue, the company is proving on a daily basis why it is one of America’s most respected companies.

Iron Mountain operates in major markets worldwide, serving thousands of customers throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. For more information, visit our Web site at ironmountain.com.

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