Fortune 100 manufacturer reaps monetary value from archive

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Business need: Optimize archive for critical legal and engineering purposes

When a Fortune 100 manufacturing firm faced a notable legal challenge, the company’s lawyers pulled negatives and other records from the corporate archive to help construct their defense, winning a multi-million dollar settlement.

A properly-maintained corporate archive is critical for navigating just these kind of situations, says the company’s archive manager. The archive is critical not only for defending against legal challenges and telling the company’s corporate history, but to support engineering teams that rely on historical information. For example, they access negatives and prints to see the cross-section of a product and analyze how a problem or challenge was met in the past. The data on each negative’s sleeve also paints a richer story for designers and technicians, allowing them to see things in a greater context.

Tasked with the goal of digitizing millions of these negatives, photographic stills and nitrate film within one of its US-based facilities, the manager used the initiative as a catalyst to categorize and organize the collection for business-critical use.

Business solution: Scanning and meta-tagging millions of media assets

Starting with digitization, the manufacturer initially relied on its communications and archival staff, but the project was more than they could handle. It required high-resolution scanning and tagging of millions of images and documents and then ingesting them into the company’s digital asset management (DAM) system. And because the archive also contains nitrate film, the manufacturer required nitrate film-handling capabilities, including shipping certification.

Album of old images

Archiving decision-makers determined that PRO-TEK Vaults was one of the few vendors with the nitrate-handling capability to ensure the safety of an important part of the collection, along with high-speed, high-resolution scanning capacity and metadata experience.

In the second half of 2017, the PRO-TEK Vaults team began digitizing the physical collection and assigning meta tags.

Business outcome: Bottom-line value for legal protection, engineering and goodwill

According to the manufacturer, PRO-TEK’s work with the archive plays a critical role in R&D, legal protection and marketing value. The digitized and organized archive enables the company to protect its intellectual property and defend its products in litigation, while helping to solve engineering challenges and enhance the company brand for marketing purposes and maximum goodwill.

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