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Redrock: a supported business case study

Making a difference to the economy, the environment and the community is part of everyday working life at Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
To support thiswe’re commited whenever possible to working with supported businesses. These are organisations where more than 50 per cent of the workers are disabled and are unable to take up work in the open labour market because of the nature or severity of their disability.
Here, we learn about the success of SDS’s first contract with a supported business.
Streamlining documents through a supported business
In 2013, SDS went through a relocation programme that affected all of its Glasgow offices. Due to space restrictions, the HR team needed to digitise around 1,800 records.
It was estimated that up to 250,000 images would need to be scanned in a secure format that could be integrated into SDS’s electronic document system in the future. Following a mini competition issued under Lot 4 of the Scottish Procurement’s Framework for Supported Businesses, the contract was awarded to Redrock.
Redrock was set up in October 2012 by the senior management team of Remploy Office Fulfilment with the aim of providing employment for disabled workers, particularly former Remploy workers.
The company, which already employs over 40 disabled people in three sites across the UK, used their expertise in document management to create a bespoke proposal that covered all aspects of SDS’s needs – from initial scoping and project management to interim storage, digitisation, indexing and secure disposal of hard copies.
As soon as the contract was awarded on 28 October 2013, Redrock employed four disabled people at its secure site in Hillington, Glasgow and arranged for collection of all the documents within scope so that SDS had one less item to deal with while re-locating.
Redrock also supplied SDS with a ‘Scan on Demand’ service during the project – where any records held at the company’s site that had not been digitised could be scanned and returned within 24 hours. Digitised images were provided to SDS on a series of secure, encrypted Hard Drives throughout the project to enable SDS to both audit the images and import into their own system.
Thanks to Redrock’s robust solution, SDS was able to complete the relocation of the HR team without the hard copy files. All digital images were provided on a final hard drive and Redrock was authorised to destroy all hard copies.
The value of the contract was originally £22,000 but thanks to some advance preparation by SDS and Redrock’s innovative solution, costs were reduced to £11,000. Other benefits RCI0411v1 include the ability to quickly access records securely through our internal systems, reduction in paper files and storage and better use of our office space.
Adrian Edgington, Commercial Director of Redrock, found working with SDS to be an “excellent experience” and says that “both parties benefitted from clear lines of communication and agreement to a shared plan.”
As a result of this project, Redrock has expanded its team in Scotland and has retained the services of everyone employed to carry out the SDS contract.
SDS is delighted with the results of the work conducted by Redrock and would encourage other public sector organisations to consider using Supported Businesses where possible.

Testimonial from Dan Howard, Deputy Head of IM&T at an NHS Trust we are currently working on behalf of:

‘’At South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust we had a requirement to scan a substantial quantity of patient records ahead of implementing a new clinical system. We selected Redrock after reviewing a number of other comparable large volume document scanning providers.

Redrock won the contract after giving us the confidence in their ability to both deliver the large work programme that was required, but also their ability to tailor the service to our individual requirements e.g. fast track access, document transfer method, throughput and quality standards. Redrock are exceeding our quality audits whilst providing a service which offers excellent value for money. We’re investing wisely, but most importantly now able to provide our clinical staff with appropriate access to scanned information which ultimately aids service delivery to patients and as a result of having information available at clinician’s fingertips, improves clinical decisions and patient care outcomes.’’

Buying Solutions platform bringing Central Government procurement and Supported Businesses closer together.

Background

The Buying Solutions Supported Factories and Business framework agreement (RM722) is the first significant procurement gateway to the supported business sector. In December 2009, Remploy Ltd was awarded a place on the Buying Solutions Framework RM722 for its Furniture, E-Cycle and Office Fulfilment businesses. This framework covers 4 Lots : The Secure Disposal of ICT Hardware, Non Secure Disposal of ICT Hardware, Document Management, and Furniture. All 4 Lots provide associated services.

The framework agreement allows UK Public Sector bodies to reserve procurement competitions for supported businesses, meaning Local Authorities, Government Departments, NHS Trusts, Police Forces and all other Public Sector bodies can safely procure described products and services without the need to run a costly and time consuming Tender process.

The Challenge

South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (the Trust) required the secure scanning, cataloguing and disposal of tens of thousands of personal medical files and documents by the end of March in order to empty a large medical records library located on one of their main sites, Tolworth Hospital. This required the accurate and secure scanning of an estimated five million individual images within a seven week period as well as the clearance of the medical files from the room and their secure disposal.

Fazila Suleman, IM&T Project Manager for the Trust, identified an opportunity via Buying Solutions to utilise the RM722 framework and clearly understood that by using the frame work that she would not only reduce what would have been a lengthy procurement process but also saw an opportunity to reduce significant procurements costs without compromising the quality or the security of the work required to be completed. Fazila, utilising the Buying Solutions website was able to establish that Remploy had the skills, expertise and business knowledge to be able to fulfil the Trusts project requirements.

Fazila’s past experience and confidence in the Buying Solutions platform combined with RM722 framework agreement lead to Fazila contacting Adrian Edgington, Business Development Manager for Remploy Office Fulfilment; this was the first step to ensuring the Trust’s critical project was delivered on time and within budget.

The Trust was now the first customer to utilise the RM722 Framework (Office Fulfilment). Ensuring a rapid response Adrian, along with Chris Webster, Local Remploy Manager for Bristol, met with Fazila and John Hughes, Information Governance Manager, within four days to determine the condition and volume of files required to be scanned and the scale of the work required. It was clear from the initial meeting that seven weeks would be a tight timeline to scan, catalogue and index all the documents. Through the thought leadership of the combined Remploy and the Trust teams a bespoke solution was designed and agreed that would not only enable the Trust to clear the room in time and on budget, but would still build in enough time to accurately complete the scanning process for all files so that they could be accessed securely in the future.

The Solution

Working closely with Fazila and John, Adrian and Chris put together two separate proposals for the Trust. Firstly, they could enable the Trust to part complete the project by scanning as many files as possible over the seven week period, clearing the room as the project progressed. This proposal however would not enable the hospital to clear the whole room in time nor successfully catalogue all of the individual files. The second, more sustainable option the team proposed was to clear the room in its entirety over the six weeks and securely store all of the files at Remploy’s Bristol factory therefore enabling the vacation of the room at Tolworth in line with the Trust’s requirements.

As the room was cleared, the scanning process would also start, and once the room was empty and files securely transported to Bristol, the pressure to

scan and catalogue all of the documents by the end of March would be lifted.

Therefore a more realistic and sustainable time frame of six months could be proposed to complete the scanning process. This approach, whilst unique, met all of the Trust’s needs and provided a cost-effective and sustain- able solution to a challenging project request.

In Practice

Kevin Thomas, Remploy Bureau Manager, took charge of the operational side of the project and, with the full co-operation and assistance of Trust staff, he and his team cleared the room at Tolworth of all files within the six week timeframe. This required cataloguing each individual file, removing them from the racks on-site and placing them into storage boxes to be delivered and reordered at the other end which enabled a fully referenced retrieval service to be provided to the Trust in case hard copy files were required before they were scanned.

At the same time, the scanning process began with individual files scanned, indexed and bookmarked as multi-page PDF’s by Remploy. These PDFs were placed on a secure and encrypted hard drive and delivered to the client at regular intervals for the content to be reviewed and quality verified against the original copies. This continued throughout the spring with an end date set at the end of August 2010.

Quality Assured

What has worked particularly well on this project is the open channels of communication formed between the teams at Remploy and the Trust. A transparent partnership approach was

created, where activities, costs, quality control, audit and escalation procedures are clearly delineated in a robust service level agreement.

Two levels of direct contact was set up between the teams; one at the operational level headed up by Kevin Thomas for Remploy and John Hughes for the Trust enabling conversations to be practical and solutions driven as they could concentrate on the relevant operational elements of the project. The second level was set up at project management / account management level between Fazila and Adrian which took a more holistic approach to the work being undertaken and could steer the project forward smoothly and within SLA parameters. All teams set up regular review meetings, in person or on the phone to track progress of the project.

As well as this close working relationship, Remploy applied its stringent quality process to the entire project, for example keeping query logs and a ‘lessons learned’ document across the project. As a result of this, Remploy has been able to deliver effectively against targets, within the agreed timeline and will provide the Trust with an invaluable resource of secure and confidential information for many years to come.