Q&A for potential Franchisees
Q. Who is Diamp?
A. Diamp is an acronym for “Digital Imaging and Management Professionals”.
Q. What does Diamp do?
A. Simply, Diamp is a service provider for all content management requirements and other related services. In other words, we solve problems with valid solutions and allow our clients better manage and control of business documents with cost control instead of out of control.
Q. Why do we do it?
A. Content Management, at one time, was storing paper files in cabinets and boxes and until the explosion of information and the added requirements to protect and present content in a timely fashion this was acceptable. However we realized that with the volumes of information that business create there must be a better more productive process. We are committed to this revolution and will continue to expand to better serve our customers growing demand for control.
Q. What type of hours would I have?
A. Most of your customers will be by appointment rather than retail walk in business and this gives you the opportunity to schedule your time based on your customers needs. Manage your time to suit your customers, employees and family.
Q. Do I have to be an expert on computers?
A. You do not have to be a computer expert. General computer knowledge is desirable. After training, you will be able to perform any of the computer tasks that you encounter in a normal day. For any job related computer questions, contact us and we will work with you to solve the problem for you and your clients.
Q. Where do I find employees?
A. An entry level scanning employee pay could be based on production. This gives you the opportunity to offer your employees flexible days and hours. Your employees will enjoy a clean and professional environment with the possibility of flexible hours and great pay. The question becomes, “Where will you not find employees?”
Q. What type of inventory would I have to stock?
A. This is truly one of the biggest advantages of owning a Diamp. There is very little inventory that you have to have on hand. Since Diamp is a service based business and our product is digital files and happy customers, having some CD’s to store your clients files on and general office supplies is about the only inventory required.
Q. Where do I get my inventory?
A. Since you don’t need any specialized inventory, you can purchase most of the items you need on-line or at your local office supply store. If you have any questions on where to buy certain items, contact us. We will also provide you a list of the most popular inventory and where to purchase them using our preferred vendor list.
Q. Where do I get my hardware and software?
A. As your franchising partner, we will provide you options on how you would like to find and purchase these items. Most of the hardware and software can be purchased right through Diamp Network LLC, relieving you of the time and questions that may arise from ordering on your own. Our professional staff is ready to assist you in making a smooth transition into own your own business.
Q. How do I pick the site for my franchise?
A. Unlike most franchises, we do not have strict restrictions on where you locate your Diamp. The area needs to be safe for your clients and employees. The usually very expensive build out or build up is not needed. Since you won’t be dependent on walk-in business, you can locate your Diamp in an area where you can enjoy lower costs while still projecting a professional image. Remember site dependent franchises cannot depend on their location to stay desirable.
Q. Will I be able contact someone if I have questions?
A. We will always be available for questions and support. If you are having difficulties with a job, we are here to help. If you have suggestions or ideas, we would love to hear them. Your ideas, success stories and challenges are important and vital to the continued growth of our Diamp Network. You also have at your disposal help lines for manufacturer support.
Q. Will I have to provide my own web site?
A. As soon as you become a Diamp franchise owner, you will have an operational web site and be included in our office locator. Not only will you have your own web site, but you will also receive e-mail addresses for you and your administrative staff.
Q. How long does it take to start doing business as a Diamp?
Q. Where do I find my clients?
A. In most cases you can be operational in three months after approval.
A. Any company, person or corporation that generates paper is a client. We have had success in the past by marketing to specific vertical markets, researching that market and finding where we can help improve their flow of documents and information.
Q. Are there other scanning companies?
A. There are scanning companies out there doing what we do, but there are differences. Your company will be set up to accept the smallest personal job to the largest corporate or government job. Other scanning companies may use proprietary viewing or scanning software that ultimately increases the cost to the client. At Diamp we do not use any proprietary software for scanning or viewing documents. With the support of many Diamp’s around the nation, we can handle the very small to the very large.
Q. How do I market?
A. Marketing takes many forms and in our business it is a matter of educating our markets. When looking at content management business as a life cycle, we are in our infancy, so education and having the answers to our client’s questions is paramount. We have found that direct mail to vertical markets has produced our largest response. We will also be rolling out a national or regional marketing campaign.
Q. When can I get started?
A. Immediately. Go to our “Request more information” tab, fill out the questionnaire and we will be happy to respond promptly.
Q. Will I receive training?
A. Yes! You will receive training in Delightful Dunedin, FL. After this training, you will have the necessary skills to run the day to day operations in your franchise. We will also visit you at your location, continuing the training on your equipment and in your space. Following up with scheduled meetings at your location is also part of our continued support for your franchise.
Q. Can I lease the equipment?
A. Leasing equipment is definitely an option. Leasing could allow you to reduce the cost of your initial investment significantly. Diamp Network does not currently offer leasing however leasing is available through a 3rd party.
Q. What is the square footage of a typical franchise?
A. The required square footage is between 1000 to 2000 square feet. This space can be a rectangle, L-shaped or square, it really doesn't’t matter. With our modular counters, we can configure an efficient work space with any dimensions.
FAQ: As a Franchisee you might encounter
Q. How long and what experience do you have?
A. We incorporated in 2001 on Main Street in Dunedin Florida. Since then we have over 100 customers, tens of thousands of files, and millions & millions of scanned images. Most are indexed for fast retrieval. Through customer satisfaction we have repeat, ongoing, and referrals from our existing customer base.
Q. What is EFS?
A. EFS or (Electronic File Storage) is the process of converting images to a standard file format for fast and reliable retrieval.
Q. What steps do you take to protect our documents?
A. This is a very important question and we take the protection of your documents seriously. The first step is protecting your documents in transport and to accomplished this we will never leave the vehicle unattended and or unlocked during transport. Upon arrival at our secure facilities we will unload the files as well as ensure that the count of boxes has arrived satisfactorily. It should be noted that all employees are required to sign and abide by our written policy on confidentiality and security. We take additional steps by tracking all keys to our premise and minimizing access to our building. All Diamp buildings are protected with monitored alarm systems and motion detectors.
Q. How do you secure our data once in EFS?
A. Another good question. At Diamp during the actual scanning process we scan directly to an encrypted hard drive. We also backup the data to another encrypted hard drive. At regular intervals your data is stored on hard drives that are kept off-site from Diamp. Thus we do not have a single point of failure and even if the hard drives containing your data are stolen the data is not visible or obtainable. Not even by us if the Pass Phrase is lost or unknown.
Q. What will you deliver to us after scanning?
A. We work to deliver what you want when you want with a solid solution. Typically we provide 2 sets of CDs containing your files with labels and a printed copy of an inventory of files scanned. If this is an ongoing process we will maintain 1 of the 2 sets of CDs at an off-site location. In most situations we will install the data on your hard drive or server for fast access. If requested to destroy the paper files after delivery of your data we will provide a Records Disposition Document that will require your signature for authorization to destroy. We also provide a Search Screen for easy access to your files and of course they are indexed with keywords for accurate availability.
Q. What will become of our paper files once converted to EFS?
A. The paper files will be returned to your location or shredded depending on your requirements. Yes, the shredded files are recycled.
Q. Do you provide training and support for our staff?
A. Yes, we will provide training and On-going support for all that you require.
Q. What happens if I need a file that you have during the scanning process?
A. We understand that if you request a file or information that we have it becomes a priority for us to find and deliver that file or information. We will in a timely fashion return the file or transmit the information electronically to you. This request becomes our priority.
Q. How will I get the paper files to one of your locations for scanning?
A. Easy we can provide transport and even box the files if required. We usually have free boxes for your files if you don’t.
Q. Will the process require a lot of our time?
A. Not at all. Some customer prefer to groom their files before the scanning process to remove unwanted material not for scanning. We caution against doing much of this because what you should want is an accurate representation of your file the way it is. Grooming might save a few scans but you will always risks removing something of importance. We may at times contact your document custodian to verify a naming convention on a file but that is it. It is better to ask than it is to guess.
Q. How do you protect us against technology advances?
A. It is unlikely in the lifecycle of your files that technology will obsolete our technology. However as we have seen in the past sometimes things happen. That is why we have Migration as part of our Content Management Services which is the ability to replicate information from one technology to another. This should be done not just for technology changes but also as a way to protect data from aging media. We also closely monitor technology for any negative or positive changes that might impact your Content Management and will advise accordingly.
Q. Can my electronic files be easily shared?
A. Not only can the files be easily shared you can determine who and to what extent the files can be shared.
Q. What file format do you recommend and why?
Q. I have some documents that I need to protect and have available can you provide this service?
A. The De Facto standard is PDF Portable Document Format by Adobe®. This format is widely accepted, as a true copy when the paper has been destroyed, and is available to everyone in the Free Adobe® Acrobat Reader®. PDF file format has many useful features and is being improved and supported. There are many other advantages to PDF format and we would be happy to discuss them with you.
Q.Will we be able to perform full text search of our documents in PDF?
A. Yes, we can save your file as an image only, not searchable, or as an image with hidden text behind. Saving the image along with hidden text you will retain a true image of your document but will also have the ability of doing a full text search with-in the document. Our indexing allows for searching multiple documents by keyword or by text search.
Q. Will we need to buy software to search and retrieve our files in EFS?
A. Not at this time. All you will require is Adobe Acrobat Reader® which is free and available. Should technology change this might change but we don’t see that happening for some time.
A. Yes, in fact this is one of the most overlooked services we provide. It is very important for consumers protect their important documents on several CDs for safekeeping and easy transportability. Some documents to consider are:
The information contained on the CDs should be update regularly and could be kept in your safety deposit box or with someone in another geographic location.
- Wills and Trusts
- Insurance Papers
- Bank Account Information
- Important Contacts
- Charge Card Information
- Birth Certificates
- Health Records
- Pictures in some cases
- Other as you deem important to re-establish identity in case of fire, wind, or flood damage.
Q. I need to send 3 boxes of files to someone in another state do you have a solution and I still need a copy?
A. Sure using traditional methods you would need to have someone copy all the paper and then send the heavy boxes to their destination. With Diamp services we will scan your files and either send them electronically or mail the super small CD to them. Guess what you will also have a CD with the files send that can be printed without the cost associated with copies.
Q. What is included in Content Management and why should I care?
A. Content Management is the ability to, with cost containment, create; file; retrieve; disseminate; edit; convert; protect; and recover all information in your organization in a timely manner. It is the intelligent management of all relevant information. Processes included in Content Management:
Without Content Management you have or will lose control of your information. Losing control is not just the inability to find information but it is also losing control of your expenses associated with file management. A very good example of this is forever paying for storage of bulky paper files and the associated cost of file clerks, cabinets, boxes or by paying an outside firm to store and retrieve your files upon request. You should be able to store and retrieve your files at will in the comfort of your office. Customers may be waiting and you now have a competitive advantage over others who make customers wait for their information.
- Document Imaging
- Document Management
- Forms Processing
- Search and Retrieval
- Records Management
- Content Integration
- Backup and Recovery
- And Other Services
Q. I know I need a better way to manage our files but who has time?
A. Utilizing the affordable services of Diamp we can and will minimize your time. Basically we will meet with you and your associates to identify your needs such as time frames, requirements, special needs, and concerns. We listen first and then suggest a plan that will meet your requirements.
Q. What if I require information from a document that you have at your facilities?
A. Good question. We at Diamp take very seriously your need to retrieve information in a timely fashion. After all that is why we are working on converting your files. To solve this situation we make finding the information or file our first priority and we will either return the file to your location or we will scan and transmit the information to you. This is our first priority and we will in a very timely manner provide what is required because we understand the importance of information that someone is waiting for. That is why we do what we do.
Q. What if my paper files are in poor shape?
A. All the more reason you should convert to Electronic File Storage or (EFS) as soon as possible. They won’t get any better over time. We have scanned several millions of pages and our professional staff is experts at correcting poor quality paper. We do all the preparation for scanning such as removing staples, paper clips, checking for double sided pages, relocating post-it notes etc. Don’t worry we are very familiar with imperfect pages and we utilize the best available software and hardware to accomplish difficult paper. Remember if you don’t convert to EFS the paper will only get worst not better.
Q. Is it legal to destroy paper documents before the standard retention period expires?
A. The short answer is YES. The law does not require you to maintain paper records just the content or a True Copy. The exception is when the original is required, such as Birth Certificates and in these cases we can scan the document and return the original back to you in a clearly identified envelope. You could create a document with a 5 year retention period and destroy the paper, after scanning, immediately. Upon destruction the scanned image is your True Copy. Our advise is to consult with your attorney or check with your company policy.
Q. What should I do to make sure I can destroy my paper files?
A. The first step is to create an approved File Retention and Destruction policy for your company. We have taken the liberty to create a boiler plate that we are happy to share with you. This is a simple document but clearly outlines your policy about the standard handling of paper files in your organization. By following this policy for the designated paper files and by including destruction after scanning you have provided a standard process and not something unusual for certain documents.
Q. What if I want some documents returned after scanning?
A. No problem we do this all the time. We will complete our Customer Special Request form with your input and on that document we will list all items that should be returned. We will have our operators remove the listed items and will clearly identify them after placing them in an envelope for return.
Q. What will you do with 3-dimentional items?
A. We will do what is request by you. Usually things like VCR tapes other items we will return in an envelope clearly marked as to what file they were found in and return them.
Q. I have files that I can’t afford to lose isn't’t the risk higher with all files converted to EFS?
A. Not at all if anything, they are more secure. For example your paper files are at risk of being read by anyone in sight and they are subjected to being destroyed by a natural or unnatural occurrence such as hurricanes, fire, flood or vandalism. They also will become unreadable overtime by simply aging. EFS can easily be protected by passwords and or encryption and with backup copies kept in diverse locations can easily be restored. Converting to EFS is taking responsibility for the safe and secure protection of your files and those of your clients or customers.
Q. Once my files are converted to EFS can you add pages to files?
A. Yes, this happens all the time and we have a process and procedure for doing this.
Q. I need to send a client just some pages from a scanned file. Can you do this?
A. Yes, we can extract any set of pages requested without disturbing the original file.
Q. My current filing system is a mess is this garbage in garbage out?
A. Maybe, but in most cases we take garbage in and produce better out. The exception might be if the paper files are improperly named and we wouldn't’t know how or even if we should correct. Miss-named files might be hard to find. This is true in EFS or paper format. We desire to always have a least two keywords for each file so the EFS file can be found with either or any of the keywords.
Q. Once my files are on EFS and I find an error in the name can it be corrected?
A. Yes, we will correct the name and all Metadata associated with it, re-index and provide the corrected information to you. This is very rare but can occur.
Q. How do I know you won’t miss a file while scanning?
A. We have processes and procedures well tested and proven to minimize this from ever happening. We never say never after all most companies have lost paper files before. The most effective way to prevent this is to manually count all files before we start the process and we will resolve discrepancies before destruction.
Q. How do I know you won’t miss a single page among many?
A. As with the loss of a whole file we have processes and procedures to minimize this. More importantly we have equipment and software that detects double feeds, the most likely source of missed pages. Our staff has been instructed and trained to minimize this from happening. When double feeds are detected we re-scan and delete the miss-fed image or images. The most effective way to prevent this, but not productive, is to manually count all page front and back before we start the process and we will resolve discrepancies before destruction and at the time of scanning. This is not perfect because, believe it or not people counting thousands of pages can miscount.
Q. I have some documents that I would like to navigate easily on my computer can you help?
A. We have professionals that will review with you what it is you would like to accomplish and then we will provide a suitable solution. If it requires scanning and then full text search with Table of Contents and Bookmarks we might suggest a PDF file and utilizing the many features you will be able to navigate easily throughout the document.
Q. I have a photograph album that I would like to share with others on CD can this be done?
A. Sure we can scan and produce your pictures on CD or DVD. We have duplication services and will provide as many CDs or DVD's you require.
Q. I have some paper files that I would like to have in a word document or a spread sheet so I can edit them. Is this possible?
A. We specialize in scanning and converting paper files to word documents or spread sheets. This is referred to Optical Character Recognition and we utilize the best software available to accomplish this. Typical we offer 3 levels of OCR the first being a single pass and you get the best our software can produce, which is usually very good. Level 2 is where we cleanup and fix most obvious errors and Level 3 is where we make the created document as perfect as possible.
Q. I have an audit coming up soon and they want all paper files in PDF can you do this on short notice?
A. With the power of our Network Franchisees we are capable of handling very large jobs on a short timeframe without suffering on quality or functionality. Many Auditors now require files to be examined to be in electronic format.