In the spring of 2003, Recycling Today Editor Brian Taylor and I attended our first NAID (National Association for Information Destruction) Convention. It was an interesting and informative experience. The group was active and searching for answers about where the business was going and what would be driving it.
We were not new to the document destruction business. In fact, we’d covered document destruction in earlier times through our Fibre Market News newsletter for the paper recycling industry and in Recycling Today. Many of our Recycling Today readers offered destruction services.
What was new was the fervor surrounding the business. Identity theft, corporate records management in the post-Enron era and the protection of personal health care information were driving a range of new legislative and regulatory initiatives. Shredding was moving from a back-room activity to a mainstream activity. It created wonderful business opportunities.
We left that convention convinced that we could add to the industry and that we could contribute to the dialogue necessary for the business to grow and mature by launching a dedicated business magazine for the sector. In the spring of 2004, we published the first issue of Secure Destruction Business (SDB) magazine, dedicated to the document destruction business.
Brian worked with me to lead our editorial team on this new project. He then guided the magazine for its first two years of publication. In 2006 DeAnne Toto took over the helm. DeAnne has become well-known and well-connected in the industry in the years since.
Of course, the business changed as it developed. One of the first waves was the movement of destruction firms beyond documents into product destruction. It made great sense; many businesses needed to destroy out-of-spec and defective products.
Another fundamental change was when records storage firms began to add or expand in-house destruction operations; they also began acquiring “pure-play” destruction firms.
The two sectors grew closer and closer. In fact, the link became so strong that in 2009 we changed the magazine’s name to Storage & Destruction Business to better reflect the realities of the marketplace.
As digital record keeping began to take root, it gave rise to the consolidation of the records storage business. The fervor surrounding the business began to fade; it was not gone, but it was diminished.
Generation of paper documents began to decline, digitizing of long-held paper archives had passed its peak and volume was coming out of the sector. This, along with other factors, has continued to drive industry consolidation.
Today the business is a highly consolidated market that faces decreasing volume. Digital storage largely has replaced the storage of paper documents. As this trend line has played out, many of our customers—suppliers to the industry—have shifted their business development to other industries or sectors.
Facing this business reality has drawn us to the point where publishing SDB magazine is no longer a viable business for us. It is, therefore, with bittersweet feelings that I share this will be the last issue of SDB magazine.
The industry has been great to us. We’ve had a lot of fun covering it and have formed wonderful relationships, and we’d like to believe we contributed something to the industry. It is with sadness that I write this, but also with fond memories.
Of course, we’ll continue to cover the document and product destruction sectors as much of what gets shredded is recycled. We also cover electronics recycling and refurbishing in Recycling Today. In that sense, we’re not entirely leaving the sector. That’s good news for us, and hopefully for you.
For those business owners or operators eager to launch or expand a secure mobile destruction business, saving money upfront can be a game changer.
Starting or expanding a mobile secure destruction business is a capital-intensive endeavor, says Joe Roberto, vice president of sales and marketing at shredding equipment manufacturer Shred-Tech, Cambridge, Ontario. But the process can be made more affordable by purchasing used equipment.
One of the initial ways to cut capital expenditure costs in the secure destruction industry is to consider buying used shred trucks instead of new vehicles. Purchasing a used mobile shredding truck can be a feasible fit for a new destruction company, says Ray Barry, sales manager of the mobile document destruction and paper recycling division of Archdale, North Carolina-based Vecoplan. (Barry served as deputy executive director of the National Association for Information Destruction before joining Vecoplan.)
“In some startup businesses, it could be a good idea to purchase a used truck to reduce startup costs if they can find the right, dependable truck for their business,” Barry says.
However, he advises companies to leave room in their budgets when purchasing used shred trucks.
Barry explains, “Your startup costs will be less [by buying used trucks], but definitely have room in your budget for additional maintenance costs, and remember to have a contingency plan if your truck is down for an extended period of time.”
For many startup businesses, money is not available for new equipment, says Guy Wakutz, sales manager for Alpine Shredders, Kitchener, Ontario. “In the short term, buying used can free up some capital for other necessary startup expenses,” he says.
Wakutz describes how several new businesses Alpine has worked with have purchased used shred trucks in the beginning to manage their initial costs. “This has proven to be successful and enabled them to grow their businesses to the point of adding new trucks to their fleet,” he says.
Roberto adds, “What it boils down to is a lower price enables people to get into the business with less of an investment. It’s easier to start out in a business with a truck that cost maybe $50,000 or $70,000 than one that cost $200,000.”
While cost is the main factor in deciding to buy used, buyers’ motivations for purchasing a used truck vary, Roberto says. He explains how buying a used truck is a way for people to “get their feet wet” when starting off in the secure destruction industry. “If it doesn’t work out, then they can sell that used truck for close to what they paid for it,” Roberto says.
Barry says in some cases buyers can find a used truck that is 3-years-old or younger—a “like new” truck with savings.
Most used trucks available for resale today have been around from two to 12 years, sources say.
“Some savings for purchasing used trucks really depend on you and how well-suited your business is to handle your own maintenance,” Barry says. “For example, some companies in the industry who have the knowledge and capability to maintain their trucks properly can save a significant amount by purchasing trucks ‘as-is,’ and they refurbish everything themselves.”
Barry suggests asking these questions when buying used:
- Does the truck meet current emission standards (regulations)?
- How well was the truck maintained?
- How many hours are on the shredder?
- How many miles are on the truck?
- Will the seller you purchased it from stand behind the truck?
- Will the seller provide training for using the truck?
- Will the seller replace the cutters, knives, etc.?
Beyond getting answers to these questions, Wakutz suggests considering the truck’s brand and model and requesting its maintenance history. He says spending the money upfront to have both the chassis and shredding equipment professionally inspected is well-worth the expenditure.
“If a buyer is serious, he or she should arrange for a full inspection at a dealership. The buyer should control this process to ensure fair assessment of the chassis. Always ask for a detailed service history from the seller and the dealer,” Wakutz advises.
He also suggests contacting the equipment manufacturer for methods to test key features of the vehicle and the shredder.
Regarding other tests, Roberto suggests having someone perform a compression and leak down test, conducting a Department of Transportation inspection, driving the truck “more than just around the block” and looking for any red flags. Buying a used truck “sight unseen,” Roberto says, is not recommended.
In addition to performing tests and inspections, doing one’s homework prior to purchasing a used truck is important.
Wakutz urges buyers to watch used truck listings for a period of three months to nine months. “This will give that buyer a better feel for values, and they may find an old listing that suddenly got reduced in price,” he says.
Wakutz continues, “Once the buyer has a good feel for value, they may be able to close a deal with a lower reasonable offer.”
As Roberto says, the key to making sure a buyer is paying the right price is to do research to determine the truck’s worth. “You’ll have to make some phone calls,” he says.
Risks and repairs
Maintenance matters greatly as the cost of maintaining a used truck typically will be higher than a new truck. Buyers should expect to spend more on maintenance and repairs related to the previous wear and tear on the equipment, Wakutz states.
Replacing an engine can range from $10,000 to $30,000, Roberto says.
Wakutz adds that replacing the engine, transmission or shredder can cost in excess of $10,000.
Roberto suggests setting funds aside each month to address maintenance and repairs. “Once a truck gets to a certain age, you have to stay on top of the maintenance,” he says.
Another factor to keep in mind is that most used trucks come without a warranty, according to sources. Barry says this is just one of a number of risks buyers encounter when purchasing used trucks.
“The main risk when purchasing a used truck is dependability … It does come with more risk of course because it is used, and when it is down, your business can suffer. So just know what you are getting into.”
The risk can be particularly high for a one-truck operation.
However, it’s not just startups that are buying used. Roberto says some larger Shred-Tech customers buy used trucks to serve as backup equipment. “Once companies get to a certain size and good cash flow, they buy a used truck with the full intention that it will be parked as a backup. They do that as a precautionary measure.”
To determine if buying a used or new truck is best for an operation, Wakutz offers this advice: “Estimate [as] accurately as possible the monthly capital cost and the monthly maintenance cost of used equipment versus new equipment.”
The author is associate editor of Storage & Destruction Business and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recall expands US footprint
Recall, Norcross, Georgia, has acquired Advanced Services Inc. and Total Records & Information Management, establishing two new markets for Recall in San Antonio and in Spartanburg, South Carolina, respectively. The industry-diverse customer base, which includes medical, finance, oil and gas, manufacturing and human resources, will benefit from Recall’s broad service offering, including information governance, secure destruction, data protection, digital solutions and asset management powered by RFID (radio frequency identification), the company says.
In other acquisition news, Recall also has purchased Preferred Media, a global media storage provider with locations in Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey and London. The company serves the entertainment and advertising industries. The acquisition includes multiple holdings in film reels, DVDs, video tapes, hard drives, film props, digital recordings and musical scores. The acquisition extends Recall’s Data Protection Services capabilities into the growing media and entertainment vertical, according to the company.
“These recent expansions over the past two quarters align with our strategic focus for sustainable, profitable growth while bringing Recall’s industry-leading information management services to new local markets and new industry sectors within the U.S.,” says Mark Wesley, president, Recall Americas.
Integration was underway as of early September, Recall says, enabling the company’s current customers to soon benefit from the expanded presence in these new markets.
Confidential Records Management Inc. celebrates 20th anniversary
Recall directors to be appointed to Iron Mountain board
Recall Holdings Ltd., based in Sydney, has announced that Neil Chatfield and Wendy Murdock, currently serving as Recall nonexecutive directors, will be appointed as nonexecutive directors to the board of Iron Mountain Inc., Boston, pending the successful completion of Iron Mountain’s acquisition of Recall.
Their appointments will be effective upon implementation of the plan pursuant to the terms of the Scheme Implementation Deed entered into by Recall and Iron Mountain June 8, 2015.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in a number of jurisdictions and to the approval of both parties’ shareholders and is not expected to be completed until the first half of 2016, according to a news release from Recall.
Human resources departments embrace paperless technology
A recent survey conducted by Fairfield, New Jersey-based document management solutions provider Archive Systems Inc. during the 2015 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference reveals that 77 percent of human resources (HR) departments are going paperless.
According to the HR professionals surveyed, a combined 77 percent said their files were either half paper and half digital or mostly digital or all digital, while only 23 percent said they were solely paper.
North Carolina-based Confidential Records Management Inc. (CRMI), a leading provider of records and information management (RIM) services in that area, celebrated its 20th anniversary in September.
Gail Bisbee, RN, BSN, founded the company in 1995, using her nursing, health care and consulting background to build an organization that claims to be dedicated to the secure and effective management of business and health care records.
CRMI has expanded from three employees to a staff of 30 people and currently operates out of a 137,000-square-foot records center in Greenville and a small corporate office in New Bern, North Carolina.
“CRMI is thankful to our clients and staff for making this anniversary possible,” says Bisbee, president and CEO of CRMI. “Their feedback has shaped our company through the years, and their faith in our ability to support them has sustained us. We look forward to continuing to serve them for many years to come.”
CRMI provides RIM services to organizations throughout eastern North Carolina. The company says it offers a complete suite of RIM solutions, providing businesses of all types a single partner that can address all of their records storage, secure destruction, data protection and management and document imaging needs.
HHS OCR selects vendor to conduct second phase of HIPAA audit program
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has selected a vendor to conduct proactive audits of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) covered entities and business associates, according to news reports.
FierceHealthIT reports that Ashburn, Virginia-based FCi Federal has been selected as the vendor.
The article quotes OCR Director Jocelyn Samuels as saying, “Audits are really a critical compliance tool for us because they enable us to get out in front of potential industry problems before they result in a breach ... and they enable us to better tailor our guidance and our technical assistance to ensure that we’re addressing the most common problems.”
According to FierceHealthIT, Samuels indicated OCR has started verifying contact information for the “universe of potential auditees” for phase two of the program, which will include business associates as well as covered entities. The majority of the audits will be desk audits, FierceHealthIT reports, but Samuels said OCR also will conduct on-site audits.
Samuels told FierceHealthIT that an updated audit protocol will be available prior to the first audits, adding that providers should use this as a tool for self-analysis.
Redishred Capital Corp. announces second quarter results
Mississauga, Ontario-based Redishred Capital Corp., which provides secure destruction services under the Proshred brand, has announced financial results for the second quarter of 2015.
Total sales for Proshred were US$6.4 million (CA$8.4 million) in the second quarter of 2015, growing 21 percent over the same period in 2014.
Recurring sales for the second quarter of 2015 reached a company record of $3 million, growing 20 percent over the second quarter of 2014, Redishred reports. Unscheduled system sales for the second quarter reached a company record of $2.2 million, growing 21 percent over the second quarter in 2014. Recycling sales for the second quarter were $1.2 million, growing 27 percent over the second quarter of 2014.
Proshred destroyed and recycled a company record 9,700 tons of paper during the second quarter of 2015, an increase of 21 percent over the second quarter of 2014, Redishred reports.
Redishred’s six corporate locations in Syracuse, New York; Albany, New York; New York City; Charlotte, North Carolina; Milwaukee; and Miami produced US$1.09 million (CA$1.44 million) in revenue during the three months ended June 30, 2015, generating US$513,270 (CA$678,000) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), an increase of 20 percent over the comparative period in 2014, according to the company.
Proshred franchise and license revenue for the second quarter of 2015 was US$288,430 (CA$381,000), growing 33 percent over the second quarter of 2014, the company reports. This category of revenue is generated by franchisees and licensees of the Proshred system.
Redishred says its management team continues to focus its efforts through its franchisees and its corporate locations on numerous company improvements.
DeVries Information Management buys third building
DeVries Information Management, Spokane, Washington, has purchased a third building in the Spokane area.
The building will house the records management company’s growing hard copy and media vault operations.
The 50,000-square-foot building is constructed from tilt-up concrete and “will meet or exceed the demands of our many clients, providing them with the assurance their information is protected at the highest level in the market,” the company says.
DeVries has served the Spokane area market for many years, providing secure destruction operations, records storage, media vaulting, scanning and imaging and secure courier services.
Iron Mountain appoints chief people officer
Storage and information management company Iron Mountain, headquartered in Boston, has announced that Deirdre Evens has joined the company as chief people officer.
Evens will oversee global human resources, leading operations and strategy to support the company’s growth through recruitment, talent development and compensation and benefits. Evens will serve as a member of the company’s senior executive team and will report directly to Iron Mountain President and CEO William L. Meaney.
“Deirdre is both a talented human resources leader as well as a well-rounded business executive who has succeeded in a variety of commercial and operational roles,” Meaney says. “As someone who has led a business unit and had responsibility for sales and marketing organizations, Deirdre understands how critical culture and talent are to driving growth and innovation. We’re very excited she’s joined our team.”
Evens comes to Iron Mountain from environmental, energy and industrial services company Clean Harbors, where she served as the executive vice president of human resources since 2011. In this role, she oversaw recruitment, benefits and employee development for a global workforce of more than 13,000 employees. Evens joined Clean Harbors in 2007 as the company’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Prior to Clean Harbors, she was senior vice president of member insight for BJ’s Wholesale, responsible for strategy, analytics, market research and segment marketing.
A Shred Ahead purchases Raleigh, North Carolina, secure destruction company
Durham, North Carolina-based secure destruction company A Shred Ahead has acquired Phoenix Resources Recycling (PRR) of Raleigh, North Carolina.
PRR has offered recycling and document destruction services since 1989, serving customers throughout the Greater Raleigh area. The company was a member of the Phoenix-based National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), and, according to PRR, always has held itself to the highest standards for performance, reliability and customer satisfaction.
The acquisition enables A Shred Ahead to extend its customer base in the Raleigh area. Existing customers of PRR will not experience any gap in service, and the team at A Shred Ahead will continue to serve PRR customers with the same high levels of customer service they have been enjoying for more than 25 years, according to A Shred Ahead.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to expand our customer base right here in our own backyard,” says A Shred Ahead co-owner Tom Hanlon.
“We selected PRR for acquisition because we believe their company’s values and commitment to excellence matches ours. Our team will be the perfect fit for taking over their operations and continuing to serve their loyal customers for years to come,” he adds.
During its 12 years of operation, A Shred Ahead has expanded from serving the North Carolina Triangle area to being one of the largest independent paper shredding and document destruction service providers in the Southeast, serving more than a dozen states across the South.
A Shred Ahead provides secure document destruction and paper shredding services for businesses and government agencies. The company destroys all types of sensitive and confidential information, including financial records, electronic media, medical records and intellectual property.
Access enters Brazilian market with acquisition of P3Image
Rob Alston, chief executive officer of Livermore, California-based Access, has announced the company’s entrance into Brazil with its recent acquisition of P3Image, a leading information management company in that country, with operations in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The combined company will be known in Brazil as P3Image/Access.
“Consistent with our international expansion plans, we are pleased to be growing our presence in Latin America and the Caribbean beyond Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago by now adding Brazil,” Alston says.
Access President John Chendo says, “We are very pleased to be joining with P3 as our entry into the Brazil market. Like Access, P3’s team members—numbering over 450—provide outstanding service to its many clients. Our two companies’ goals for the future, our ways of doing business and our organizational cultures are closely aligned, making this partnership an excellent fit for both of us.”
Paulo Sergio A. Carneiro, the founder of P3Image, will remain with the company in a support role during the integration.
Inon Neves has been hired to lead Brazilian operations for Access. Neves is a Brazilian senior executive focused on business development, having 18 years of experience working in high-level positions for multinational information technology services companies.
Shred-it offers compliance toolkit to Canadian clients
Extensive legislation governing privacy in Canada makes it challenging for organizations to ensure their information security policies and procedures are fully compliant with the law, according to Shred-it, Oakvillle, Ontario, which is why the company says it is helping Canadian business leaders by providing a toolkit of simple, executable strategies to ensure compliance with federal and provincial privacy laws.
The Legislation Leader Compliance Toolkit helps business leaders navigate their legal requirements concerning the storage and destruction of confidential data by providing best practices surrounding the assessment and implementation of information security practices in relation to compliance, Shred-it says.
As new threats to data security emerge, governments consistently revise and develop new laws to protect personal information, the company says. These ongoing developments can make it difficult for organizations to meet information security requirements, especially in tightly regulated sectors such as health care and financial services, Shred-it says. Businesses can incur significant fines and face serious consequences if found to be in violation of federal and provincial privacy laws.
“On a daily basis, virtually every business ... comes into contact with sensitive information, whether it is credit card numbers, Social Insurance numbers or confidential business plans,” says Bruce Andrew, executive vice president, Shred-it.
Every day, you make decisions you think are rational and objective. You probably have logical explanations for the actions you take; but, in many cases your decisions actually are under the influence of a force that you cannot logically explain.
You are much more likely to buy the thing you sampled at Costco than a product you’ve never tried. You’d rather purchase from a person you know even if his or her competitor has a better option for you. If all your colleagues or friends are buying a certain thing, you’re likely to join them.
In his book Influence, Dr. Robert Cialdini explores the principles of influence in detail, explaining the psychology of why people say “yes” and how to apply these understandings.
You can employ influence ethically in your own marketing and sales by using scientific methods like this:
- Your prospects feel obligated to return favors performed for them. Consider what you can do to engage their inherent desire for reciprocity.
- Your potential clients want to know and follow what others are doing, so your goal is to show social proof that others have chosen you as their vendor. For example, let people in an office complex know that you serve 70 percent of the businesses in that building.
- People are more likely to do something if they have committed to it because they want to honor their commitments. If you can get a prospect to publicly commit to total information security, they are more likely to buy the services that support it.
- Prospects prefer to say “yes” to people they like. This can apply to those they already know and like or to those who appear to be similar to them. One way to make yourself likeable is to give your prospects compliments.
- Buyers respect authority; they want to follow the lead of experts and are conditioned to give deference to those with apparent authority. Show authority in your sales and marketing through the use of job titles or the testimonials of people with authority.
- Scarcity causes people to act. The more rare or limited something is, the more people want it. Deadlines, limited-time offers and exclusivity are all powerful influencers.
If you want to influence your prospects, try to employ some—or even all—of these methods in your marketplace. It will help you to convince your prospects to say “yes” more often.
Tom Adams is an executive coach and strategic advisor to RIM service companies. Check out his Thrive in 5 videos online at www.TomAdams.com.
With NAID AAA certification being one of the most successful vendor qualifications accreditations in the world, it might seem odd for me to say that such verifications will evolve.
The reason I say that is because the role of such certifications has evolved over the past decade, and while some service providers might like to relax these standards, such hopes ignore reality.
Once upon a time, certifications were meant to provide peace of mind. Let’s face it, when there are a lot of vendors making a lot of claims that are hard to verify, the customer is looking for reassurance, and certifications can fill that need.
Then something changed. Over the last decade, customers became increasingly responsible for the regulatory compliance of their data-related service providers. The challenge, however, is that most customers have neither the knowledge nor the inclination to properly verify vendor regulatory compliance on their own. Seeing this disconnect, NAID has been very responsive in modifying its certification to fulfill this new role, even accommodating customer requirements to obtain risk assessments.
Many customers don’t yet know why this is important, but that is slowly changing as members get better at explaining this new value proposition. Eventually, as data protection continues to grow as a priority, customers will need certification to go even further, which leads me back to my opening statement.
At some point in the future, customers are going to expect the next generation of certifications to be customizable to their particular specifications. Of course, a baseline operational expectation—a floor, if you will—will remain, but the customer also may want to verify a particular particle size or destruction time frame or a special level of employee screening that is more stringent than the baseline.
One reason for this is that regulators are going to require customers get more involved in evaluating the certifications they rely on. Relying on an inadequate certification will be viewed as a due diligence failure and will land them in the same hot water they sought to avoid. As customers get more involved, they will ask for special considerations.
Additionally, all customer needs are not the same, and with today’s technology an organization like NAID can be capable of fulfilling the inspection requirements of a particular client on a particular service provider.
No, this will not happen anytime soon, maybe not even on my watch. But it will happen, and it should.
Bob Johnson is CEO of the National Association for Information Destruction. He can be reached at email@example.com.