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We digitised 13m archived documents for the London Borough of Redbridge. As a result, they’ve been able to reduce office space, enable flexible ways of working and deliver instant access to historical records.

New ways of working

Facing growing demand and reduced budgets, the London Borough of Redbridge kicked off a major transformation. Agile working was a key goal, with laptops replacing PCs and remote working becoming the norm. They also needed a new office strategy.

With basements and warehouses full of historical paper records, it was clear they had to go digital.

Phased approach

Phase 1 involved scanning and indexing 13m documents from Planning and Children’s Services. We worked closely with Redbridge to plan it, taking into account location, sensitivity and the volume of the departments’ records. Firstly, we scanned each page as a searchable PDF. Then we indexed them to NEC Document Management as cases rather than document types, which made them easier to find.

We also included a scan-on-demand service for urgent requests. This meant scanning any document sent to our business centre and returning it digitally in just a few hours.

“The total height of the archive boxes collected during this project would exceed that of six Empire State Buildings. Working with NEC has ensured information held within these documents can be accessed within seconds.”

Kevin Browne, Systems and Transactional Development Manager, London Borough of Redbridge

Great results

Phase 1 finished on time and on budget. Any mistakes in the paper files were also  corrected at the point of scanning, meaning Redbridge were ready for the introduction of GDPR. 

We’re now helping Redbridge plan the completion of Phase 2, scanning live files and creating a digital archive for their legal team. They’re also considering a move to the hosted version of NEC Document Management to deliver further efficiencies.