Simplify Your Digital Transition

Learn how Iron Mountain’s Imaging Services can help ease your transition to a more digital environment. Our fully trained imaging experts properly prepare, image, index and perform QA testing of your documents according to stringent guidelines. Our secure workflow and efficient project implementation process helps ensure your information is delivered and available where and when you need it.


Welcome to one of Iron Mountain's many document imaging centers. Iron Mountain has been performing document conversion services for over 15 years, and all of our imaging center staff receive consistent training in our standard operating procedures and workflows as well as being experienced in records management practices.

This facility provides scanning services for multiple customers and in a typical month, we'll convert over 350,000 pages. Across Iron Mountain globally, we convert approximately 50,000,000 pages per month.

Peter Berndt: Our customers, when it comes to imaging, are very focused on quality. In fact, most of them probably look for 100% accuracy and you couldn't have that without the processes and workflows that we've put in place.

Narrator: We're going to take a look inside this imaging center and follow the scanning process from beginning to end. We'll be following a typical day forward workflow. The specific details may vary from customer to customer depending on the statement of work. This is how the day forward scanning process works.

Boxes are delivered in a secure Iron Mountain vehicle to the scanning center, following the same security procedures for hard copy storage. The boxes are tracked utilising our in-control solution which combines patent-pending security, real-time tracking, and auditable chain of custody to deliver a higher standard of information protection.

The next step is to inbound the boxes destined for the imaging center that are identified by an orange label. The record center personnel inbound the boxes by creating an entry into safe-keeper plus, Iron Mountain's inventory management system, and then assigning the box to the correct customer account.

The boxes are then delivered directly to the imaging center for processing. The production coordinator receives the batch listing generated from inbounding and cross references the batch listing to the received boxes. Upon confirmation of each box, he signs the box tracking form, obtains the customised job specifications, and prepares the project packet.

The customised job specification is then reviewed by the imaging production specialist assigned to this job. Once the imaging production specialist understands the assignment and signs the review form, the preparation phase can begin.

The specialist performing the document preparation processes the paperwork in a manner suitable for scanning. She follows the customised job specification and adheres to the Iron Mountain document preparation guidelines.

They will first complete the chain of custody paperwork which will create an audit trail of everyone who will touch the documents. They will then determine the start of the document and insert a separator sheet and sort through each file to remove staples, paper clips or other fasteners, and repair any rips or tears. They also ensure that all the documents are oriented properly and tape any attached notes to a separate sheet so they can also be scanned. The prepared documents are then stacked and are ready to go to the scanning station.

Before the documents are scanned the preparation is quality checked by an auditor to confirm the accuracy of the preparation, so that nothing will affect the quality or speed of the scanning process. The auditor must sign the chain of custody paperwork to identify their completion of this key quality control checkpoint. Any errors that are detected are documented, corrected, and the corrective action process is initiated.

Kay Sovine: During the prepping phase of imaging, our teams are trained. They sign off. They understand before they begin converting and handling our customer's records.

Narrator: The scan operator is responsible for performing the actual imaging of the documents. They first log in to the scanning application, complete the required paperwork, review the customised job specifications, and confirm the scanner settings.

Iron Mountain utilises devices that range from standard document scanners to specialised scanners such as book, large format, and microfilm. This particular high-speed duplex scanner captures the front and back of the document simultaneously. The scanners have double page detection and utilise image-enhancement software that automatically orients the images and removes blank pages.

During the scanning process, the scan operator loads and unload the paper, reviews the images, and corrects any mis-feeds.

Kay Sovine: During the scanning phase, we ensure chain of custody, image quality and consistency. By doing that, the customer can expect a quality image which is an exact duplicate of their original every time.

Narrator: Once all of the documents are scanned and the chain of custody paperwork is complete, the scanned documents are ready for the next step in the process, quality control. As a follow up to the image inspection and double page detection during scanning, Iron Mountain performs a paper versus image review of the scanned material. Depending on the customer requirements, we implement either an American National Standards Institute, or ANSI, approved statistical sampling plan, based on sampling of a portion of the documents, or for complete verification, 100% paper to image verification. Upon completion of the inspection, the boxes are moved to the outbound staging area. Kay Sovine: During our quality control phase at Iron Mountain, it's not just about looking at your image. It's about analysing the entire conversion and performing corrective action or preventative action so that you get a good product every single time.

Narrator: After the electronic document is created and has passed final inspection, it is time to properly index the document for future retrieval by the customer. The process used by Iron Mountain to capture the indexes incorporates methodologies and software tools to produce the most accurate and effective results.

Based on the type of project, a combination of automated, manual and customer-generated indexes can be utilised along with double key verification to ensure indexing integrity. Iron Mountain ensures that the team performing this function understands the job specifications for each assigned customer, and is highly experienced in data entry.

Now that the images and indexes are complete, the information is ready to be released to the customer by their preferred method. This can include release to the Iron Mountain image repository, the digital record center for images, the customers own content management system, secure FTP, email, CD/DVD, or output to microfilm.

We have now come full circle with the documents. The hard copy documents have been prepped, scanned, indexed, quality reviewed, and are ready for final processing according to the customer's instructions. Some of the boxes will be returned to our record's center, or will be stored for the first time as new material. Some boxes will be staged for destruction, and others may be returned to the customer. The entire imaging process from inbounding to release can take as little as a few hours and can be done on an on-demand basis so that you only scan the documents that you need to access when you need to access them.

Whether you need back file, day forward, or image on demand, each scanning job follows the same consistent process and operating procedures. Iron Mountain's imaging center staff understand each customer's unique imaging and records management needs to ensure that they always receive the best quality product.

Kay Sovine: In our experience in records management, our customers want a defined process, trained and motivated personnel handling their paperwork, and we provide that on a daily consistent basis.