Inventory Integrity Operational Procedures

Download PDF

What are Iron Mountain’s Inventory Integrity Operational Procedures?

Iron Mountain requires customers to use boxes that are of sound condition and that are capable of supporting the weight of other boxes placed above them. One of Iron Mountain’s Inventory Integrity Operational Procedures is to identify and isolate any boxes that are found to be materially damaged, including during the inbound and outbound processes.

A box is considered to be materially damaged if it has torn seams, a damaged top that no longer secures the contents, a bottom that is falling out, or a side that has collapsed or is at risk of collapse, is crushed, is held together by tape, has water damage or is so full that the top can not be secured. Please see the illustration of a box that would require re-boxing.

Why does Iron Mountain have Inventory Integrity Operational Procedures?

Providing secure storage for your information is a top concern at Iron Mountain. Records kept within a deteriorated box are at risk, both in our facility and while in transit. In cases where records are in transit, these boxes raise the risk of compromising or losing your information. And even when records are located within our records center, an excessively deteriorated or damaged box represents an unacceptable risk. If a box falls apart or collapses from the weight of other boxes in the rack, this could result in damage to your records as well as to those of other customers

What causes boxes to fail?

Poor construction. Several different types of boxes are commercially available on the market, many of which are not designed for long-term archival storage. One way to gauge the quality of a box is through stacking weight, which refers to the amount of weight that can be stacked on top of a box. In addition to stacking weight, other factors affect construction quality, such as the grade of paper material utilized, the type of adhesive used, and certain design elements, like the flute direction. The depth of its top can also be a factor. The deeper the top, the more structural integrity it lends to the box and to its handles. A deeper top will also help a box to retain its shape and lessen the stress applied to the handles.

Age.No matter how well constructed a box, it will eventually begin to deteriorate. Depending on the construction of the box and the environmental conditions (moisture and humidity), box life can range from six months to 10 years.

Over-packing. Over-packing a box can lead to increased stress on the container itself and can ultimately shorten its lifespan.

Under-packing. Just like over-packing, under-packing, too, can shorten the life of a box. When a box is full, the contents help to support the overall structural integrity, preventing the sides from buckling under the weight of boxes stacked on top of it.

Handling. The more a box is handled, the faster it will deteriorate. The better a box is constructed, the longer it will last.

What can I do to Minimize Re-boxing in the Future?

  • Use boxes designed for handling and long-term storage.
  • Replace damaged boxes before sending them to Iron Mountain.
  • Don’t overstuff boxes.
    • Tops that cannot be properly secured are more easily damaged.
    • A top that is not properly secured will come off, exposing your records and creating risk.

What should I look for in a box?

  • Double-walled Construction
  • Deep Tops (3 inches)
  • High Stacking Strength
  • Tip: Don’t use inappropriate boxes such as copy paper boxes, shipping boxes, fruit boxes, crates and boxes with no lids.

What Are My Options Regarding Re-boxing?

Choose from the following four options for re-boxing damaged boxes. Customers can switch between options at any time by contacting customer service.

Always Re-box. Iron Mountain will automatically re-box damaged boxes as they are encountered.

Always Re-box with notification. Iron Mountain will automatically re-box damaged boxes as they are encountered. You will also receive an email* that lists the boxes which were re-boxed.

Customer decision. Prior to re-boxing, Iron Mountain will send you an email* that lists boxes in need of re-boxing. You then have 14 days to decide the appropriate disposition for each box:

  • Have Iron Mountain re-box the box.
  • Have Iron Mountain return the box to you for reboxing.
  • Have Iron Mountain destroy the box by tagging it as “Do not Re-box” and then initiating the normal destruction request process.

Always Retrieve. All damaged boxes will automatically be returned to you in an over-box so that you can rebox the item yourself.

What are the Procedures for Re-boxing boxes?

Always Re-box Process.

  • The box is removed from the shelf by an Iron Mountain Records Center specialist.
  • The contents of the original box are placed by the specialist into a new box in the exact same order.
  • A new box label, with the same box identifier as the original label, is then printed and affixed to the new box.
  • Any unique identifiers or written information present on the original box are transferred to the replacement. Written information is rewritten onto the new box, and other unique identifiers, including the face of the old box, are cut off the old box and placed within the new one.
  • The box is then stored or prepared for shipping.

Always Re-box Process with Notification.

  • The box is removed from the shelf by an Iron Mountain Records Center specialist.
  • The contents of the original box are placed by the specialist into a new box in the exact same order.
  • A new box label, with the same box identifier as the original label, is then printed and affixed to the new box.
  • Any unique identifiers or written information present on the original box are transferred to the replacement. Written information is rewritten onto the new box, and other unique identifiers, including the face of the old box, are cut off the old box and placed within the new one.
  • The box is then stored or prepared for shipping.
  • The notification communication will automatically occur once a week, prior to re-boxing, summarizing the work to be completed.
  • If a box requested for retrieval is identified as requiring re-boxing and no notification has already been sent to the customer, it will be placed in an over-box for shipment to ensure there is no delay in delivery.

Always Retrieve Process.

  • The box is removed from the shelf by an Iron Mountain Records Center specialist.
  • The original box is placed into an over-box by the specialist. The purpose of the over-box is to protect the contents of the damaged box during shipping.
  • The specialist places return instructions and a replacement label for the customer’s new box into the over-box.
  • The box is then placed on a truck for delivery to you for disposition.
  • Notification communication will automatically occur once a week prior to retrieving and shipping the rebox candidates to you, summarizing the work to be completed.
  • If a box requested for retrieval is identified as requiring reboxing, it will automatically be placed in an over-box for shipment to ensure there is no delay in delivery.

How Will I be Billed for Re-boxing Activities?

Iron Mountain Re-boxes. Charges for Iron Mountain re-boxing boxes will appear on your next monthly invoice. The re-boxing charges include the price of the replacement box and labor, at a rate per box, to carry out the re-boxing service. The re-box charge will appear on the invoice as a “Repack Charge,” along with the supply charge for the new box.

Iron Mountain Retrieves. Charges for Iron Mountain returning damaged boxes to you via an over-box will appear on your next monthly invoice. This will include a standard retrieval charge, and a standard transportation charge.