Box-It Central - located at Bishops Tachbrook near the historic towns of Warwick and Leamington Spa offers a document collection, storage and next day delivery service to businesses throughout Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Leicestershire. In 1996 the company founder, Les Evans hit upon the ingenious idea of converting redundant farm buildings owned by their family agricultural business into modern storage units.
A new type of outsourcing
The founders had realised that the storage and management of paper documents in compliance with the many stringent legal requirements was becoming a problem for an increasing number of companies. The same question was asked again and again: Wherever are we going to store all these files? Many records have to be kept for a considerable length of time for legal reasons, but are no longer relevant for day-to-day business activities. Even smaller firms are well able to fill entire rooms with their files, and the resulting warehousing and logistics costs have a negative impact on operating profits.
"This is exactly where our service comes into play," explained Les Evans from Box-It Central. "We operate our own fleet of vehicles to service our clients' requirements by collecting their files and documents and depositing them in our storage units." An intelligent management system that combines document management software, barcodes and scanners ensures that the documents requested for return by the customer can be found quickly and easily at any time.
In addition, documents can or must be destroyed after the expiry of the statutory periods and recycled accordingly to free up valuable storage space once again and to ensure that business-critical information does not fall into the wrong hands. These are some of the additional services the company offers its clients. If requested, Box-It Central will take care of the proper disposal of the documents and the environmentally friendly return of the used paper to the recycling system. An important aspect of the Box-It Central business model is being able to guarantee the security and physical safety of the records and documents it stores. The storage units had already been equipped with security systems and are humidity controlled. MOBOTIX network cameras were recently added to these systems to make it easy to keep a watchful eye on everything going on at the entire premises.
Security for customers and files
With the growing success of the business, the amount of traffic on the premises also began to increase. As a result, Box-It Central began to look for a solution to monitor the outside facilities and control access to the grounds in order to increase security for the customers and documents alike. "Our archives were already protected against intruders and fire hazards by alarm systems and smoke detectors. By installing a video surveillance system we are now able to track which vehicles have entered our site and their movements around our premises," continued Les Evans.
Box-It Central was looking for a system that was as maintenance-free as possible and would require no or minimum staff resources, which ruled out a solution using analogue cameras that record onto tapes and require regular tape changing. In cooperation with system supplier Active Communications, the company evaluated a number of different systems before they decided to opt for MOBOTIX network cameras in April 2005.
A diverse range of software functions
Les Evans commented, "The MOBOTIX network cameras were the perfect choice to provide what we needed on our premises. The cameras are maintenance-free; no additional, expensive software is required and further cameras can be easily integrated into the system at a later date." The people in charge at the company were also impressed by the extensive range of recording functions available, the highly precise event-controlled recording and the convenient display of the camera images in the web browser of the computer. Event-controlled recording is a big advantage, since the camera only records when the motion sensor indicates that something is actually happening. That saves storage capacity and reduces search time. In the end, it was these exceptional features that convinced Box-It to order and install ten MOBOTIX cameras at once. The project, which also included the installation of a backbone network for the cameras, was completed in June 2005.
Visitors to the Box-It Central company are already greeted by two cameras at the entrance. "Please press the button to open the gate and smile for the camera," can be read on a sign directly at the entrance to the yard. These images do not only keep track of who and what vehicles enter the grounds but also register the vehicle license plates. The FixDome cameras with two individually adjustable lenses are ideal for monitoring the spacious business premises. Since the camera systems work with a megapixel resolution, it was possible to install them at a height of approximately 4 metres, enabling them to cover a large area, while still delivering detailed images of the events on the grounds. The images from all the cameras can be conveniently viewed in the Box-it Central office on a separate PC equipped with a dual graphics card and two 19-inch TFT monitors.
Security as a good marketing argument
The highly visible cameras do not only serve as a deterrent to thieves and vandals, they also have positive side effects that can be used in marketing Box-It Central services. "Our customers can store any of their documents, including their sensitive material with us in complete confidence. We are now planning to expand our services to include the storage of electronic media. This added security will make it easier for us to take this step," concluded Les Evans.
Cameras that talk back
Box-It Central plans to make even more storage room available to its customers and to install additional cameras there as well. In addition to remote monitoring via the Internet, the company also intends to take advantage of the MOBOTIX cameras' integrated functions for voice transmission in the future. And then, customers might hear a friendly ‘Welcome' from the camera at the gate when they press the button.
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