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Before the merger in 2012, each company had its own storage space in Jette and Erembodegem, each with its own reference system and classifications. When the lease on the storage space in Jette expired, this set-up would no longer be adequate. Jean-Michel Daneau, Procurement & Facilities Director at Partena Professional: "Each internal archiving service operated in its own way, so we were highly dependent on their knowledge of the system. This could cause problems if certain people were not present. We also had to work with files with identical numbers, which increased the risk of errors.”
It would have been an option to centralise the Partena archives in a common storage space, but there were too many associated restrictions. "We visited several sites, but they didn’t meet our expectations both in terms of costs and space. They were either too large or too high for our purposes. We therefore chose to outsource our archives to Merak. They turned out to be the best partner on the market for us," says Jean-Michel Daneau. Partena Professional was won over by Merak's comprehensive approach. "Indexing and classifying archives is an occupation in its own right," continues Daneau. "Thanks to Merak's professionals, we reduced both the storage and the staffing costs of managing the files. We were also able to increase security in terms of file access and confidentiality, and in terms of storage and protection against fire and water damage.” Jean-Michel Daneau confirms the success of the move from Jette to a Merak warehouse. ‘Their team took charge of the project from A to Z, and everything went very smoothly. This relocation took place without the loss of a single file, despite the fact that dozens of trips were made with archive records and thousands of files were involved.
Belgium has numerous inspection bodies: The NSSO for payroll management, FAMIFED for child allowance, NISSE for the social security of self-employed workers... Each body requires different storage periods, which means a significant administrative workload. ‘With Merak it’s also possible to set an automatic destruction date for the files, for example for records that don’t have to be kept for life. This saves space and cuts down on manual work, and therefore saves money too.’
The same authorities also regularly request documentation to prove the accuracy of customer data. This process is running more smoothly today. ‘With the system for the management of physical archives, we can recall files every week, or more regularly if necessary, and send them to our head office or the various agencies.’
The last big advantage is that the management system gives access by authorisation level. This guarantees not just the confidential treatment and the security of each file, but compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Following the relocation of the Jette warehouse, it is now Erembodegem’s turn. This will be complete by the end of this year, optimising the work of 1,500 Partena Professional employees in Belgium.