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Instant access to historical archived data

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is the UK’s largest employee-owned business and parent company of retail brands John Lewis and Waitrose, which are owned in Trust by 80,000 Partners.  Pension related data for members of the JLP Pension Scheme were stored on microfiche and could only be viewed on legacy microfiche readers.

As the day-to-day administration of pension schemes became an ever more digital and workflow-based operation, the need to integrate this historic data, held on microfiche, become increasingly important. Capita Intelligent Communications converted the entire archive microfiche library into fully searchable digital content, accessed via a document management system.

Instant, secure, compliant access to information is as much an expectation as a possibility in today’s working environment. Due to this, John Lewis Partnership recognised the need to change the way their historical pension data was accessed.
They had a significant number of archived microfiches, stored in archive boxes which could only be read using legacy microfiche readers.

Working closely with JLP, Capita was able to provide an end-to-end service which digitised the entire microfiche archive before integrating the documents into a secure electronic document management system.

The microfiche library was securely transported to our document management centre for scanning. Following receipt of the boxes, a priority status was given to those that contained ‘fiche of scheme members who were recently deceased and a death benefit was payable. The remaining boxes were then sorted into high priority and those to be scanned as part of the overall move to digital working.

Supplementing the prioritised scanning process, was the additional option for authorised JLP staff to request the urgent scanning of required records.

Following a period of testing (image quality, transfer, integration) and sign off from JLP the project commenced to convert all records in accordance with the agreed priority list.
The microfiche archive was scanned daily, image processing software, supported by experienced staff, was used to produce digital images of the highest possible quality. The images were then indexed to reflect the particular scheme member.

Thereafter the images were output and securely transferred to the pensions administration online system, for each individual member record.

Key outcome

Digitising the microfiche documents - removing a single point of failure, should a microfiche jacket become lost or damaged

Digital transformation – All documents are stored digitally with indexation for quick and timely retrieval
Increased productivity – Staff have instant online access to all relevant scheme member details
Higher output, lower outgoings – Deployment of high-quality service delivery without heavy investment in technology
Fully auditable – All data is now available in a central location ensuring ease of access and control

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