How Specsavers takes a very clear view of offsite storage
Specsavers is one of the best-known global names in the field of optometry and audiology, with a presence in Ireland, the UK Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
Specsavers employs over 32,500 people who work across almost 2,000 stores, as well as in support offices and throughout the supply chain. The Specsavers Tallaght branch is based in The Square Shopping Centre, and is a highly busy branch in keeping with the huge footfall in the Centre.
James Ryan is Retail Director of Specsavers Tallaght and explains that storage space is very much at a premium within the shopping centre. It’s costly, and additional storage space outside of the primary store is almost impossible to source.
Despite this, the company has a huge need for storage of paper-based files, which have to be kept on file for up to seven years. This can be anything from HSE application forms to financial records that need to be available for potential audits.
Specsavers Tallaght shreds all paperwork to comply with GDPR regulations. The shredded paperwork in turn is recycled and turned into new paper, which is better for the environment. All documents are stored securely at Elephant until the time comes for it to be shredded.
The move to Elephant
To cope with the various storage needs mentioned above, James Ryan explains that the most cost-effective and convenient solution was to move to the Elephant premises, which is just a few minutes’ drive away. “It means we have easy access to any files, should we need them, and can come and go without having to interact with any of the Elephant staff – unless we need help. Typically, we’d drop down to Elephant a couple of times a week, but because they’re so near to us, it takes up very little of our time”
“When we do have to call on Elephant staff occasionally, they’re unfailingly polite and accommodating, with the sort of service ethos that we ourselves like to offer our customers. When we were moving in at first and setting up our operation there, they couldn’t have been more helpful, loaning us trolleys and making sure that we were sorted to our complete satisfaction.”
“The two biggest plus points are the fact that we can have a secure storage unit that is within easy reach – and at a cost that is highly competitive. It makes no commercial sense to use some of our store space as a storage unit. It would mean we’d be paying very high commercial rent for what is just an ancillary service.”
“Over the coming years, we hope to depend less on paper records as our industry continues to move to a primarily digital model, and it’s great to know that we’re not locked into any long-term contracts when the time comes to lessen our storage footprint. We can scale down at any time that we want.”
“We also love the fact that storing our files for shredding means that they are reconstituted as a new paper, which is very environmentally friendly and very much in keeping with our company values. It’s the sort of corporate responsibility that we like to demonstrate whenever we can.”