May 28, 2011

Event success with Shred-it

Article published on FMA

On the evening of the 27 May, over 110 Facilities Management Association (FMA) members and other industry experts arrived at London’s Imperial War Museum for Shred-it’s first networking event of 2010, in partnership with the FMA.

Information destruction company Shred-it specialises in providing tailored document destruction services that allow businesses to comply with legislation and ensure that client, employee and confidential business information is kept secure at all times. Having recently become a member of the FMA, Shred-it was proud to host the event in such an historic and security-focused venue.

The Imperial War Museum is Grade II listed with a contemporary glass-roofed main atrium providing a dramatic backdrop for the evening’s proceedings. Adding an extra element of security, attendees were greeted at the museum by a fully functional Shred-it secure shredding truck parked outside, which was to prove a favourite exhibit later on, by giving live shredding demonstrations throughout the evening.

On arrival, guests were welcomed with a specially-designed ‘Shred-it Surprise’ cocktail to kick off proceedings, where contacts were renewed and introductions were made. Chris Hoar, Director General of the FMA, delivered the opening address, introducing Shred-it’s Vice President of Sales, Richard Simpson to the podium to give a presentation to guests on best practice techniques in secure document destruction. For those who were not able to attend, here’s a recap of what he discussed on the night:

Whatever your line of business, it’s highly likely that every working day will see your company produce confidential documents. From customer information and invoices to strategy reports and budgets, companies of all kinds handle large volumes of private information that could represent a costly security risk if not managed properly.

In the UK, the theft of confidential information is still a common occurrence, with paper-based materials being just as susceptible to theft as electronic data. However too many UK businesses confuse their confidential information with general office waste.

If a document is confidential, it is private and must be treated as such – not like general office waste such as coffee cups or photocopier cartridges which can be simply disposed of without any risk to the owner. Confidential information needs to be classed separately, and therefore either stored securely or securely destroyed; never simply thrown out with the general rubbish or sent off to with the recycling.

Taking a closer look at recyclers, unlike the information destruction industry, security isn’t their primary commercial focus. They are paid to recycle material and the loss of one piece of paper will make no difference to them and indeed is not why they are in business. Most recyclers also regularly hand sort material as a means of ensuring high paper quality to secure the highest possible revenues from the resale of their recycled paper. This means that there is always the risk that the individuals doing this work will have the opportunity to read your confidential papers if they choose to do so, leaving your organisation vulnerable to data breaches.

To protect against this and other types of security risks, the UK Data Protection Act requires every business to keep its confidential information, and that of its customers and employees, secure. With the aim of putting information security at the top of the business agenda, in April the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office was given the power to fine firms up to £500,000 in the event of a serious data breach which contravenes the Act’s terms.

These state that when disposing of confidential materials, all private information must be destroyed in a way that ensures it cannot be recreated. For this, secure shredding is by far the most effective method.

At Shred-it, protecting the security and privacy of your confidential information is our number one priority. And thanks to the power of our patented shredding technology, we can shred almost anything, from paper, cardboard and hard drives to casino chips and handbags – whatever you deem as confidential.

All of our customers are provided with locked security consoles to safely store confidential materials before they are taken for shredding. At your convenience, a privately insured, security-checked Shred-it Customer Service Representative will unlock your console and transport your materials in a sealed security bag to a Shred-it truck outside your office, ensuring minimal disruption to your business.

As a member, Shred-it is supported by FMA in our pursuit of ever increasing standards of service and value on behalf of our customers. We are also assisted by the FMA in improving our trading positions through innovation and thought leadership.

So whether you choose our on site shredding service, by which you can watch your confidential materials being destroyed for added peace of mind, or choose to have them taken away to be securely destroyed off site, we can guarantee that your confidential documents will be safely destroyed. Once shredded, you will be provided with a Certificate of Destruction to confirm the exact date and time of destruction, thereby guaranteeing safe disposal.

We can even help you fulfil your sustainability commitments, as while our primary objective is secure document shredding, we recycle all the paper we shred into a variety of useful products.

With 16 branches throughout the UK, over 200 employees and 118 state-of-the-art shredding trucks currently in circulation, Shred-it provides the most secure and trustworthy information destruction services possible, on both a local and national basis. So, no matter how many business locations you have, Shred-it can provide the same high quality, high security service, direct to your door.

The event was a great success, with an abundant supply of drinks and canapés helping to fuel the attendees for an evening of new introductions and industry conversations. With no sign of rain, many even ventured outside to experience the impressive power of the state-of-the-art shredders in the Shred-it truck parked close by.

Throughout the evening, in the true spirit of networking, attendees were invited to drop off their business card for the chance to win £100 worth of vouchers in a special a prize draw. As the event drew to a close, Shred-it’s Executive Vice President Robert Guice drew the winning business card from the hat, with the lucky winner turning out to be Nick Till from Banyards. 

For those who were able to attend, it was great meeting you all and we hope you had an enjoyable evening. And for those of you who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you next time!