The Crown Worldwide Group, a multi‐million dollar business operates in almost 60 countries and employs more than 5,000 staff globally. Originally an international moving specialist, the Crown business organically evolved to meet the expanding needs of its customers with their service offering now covering relocation, fine art transportation and records management.
Established in 1983, Crown's records management arm has, over the past three decades maintained its unwavering commitment to delivering a consistently high level of customer service, no matter where the customer is based in the world.
When Crown’s Operations Project Manager, Damian Cross was looking to implement a new records management solution in Kuala Lumpur, one of the key deliverables was best-practice thinking that could be applied to each of Crown’s Asian markets.
Though Crown had existing facilities in Kuala Lumpur that could store up to 800,000 cartons of records, Cross and his team had the vision of building a new facility on a greenfield site with the capacity to secure four million cartons.
Crown works on more than 3,000 accounts in this region, for which data management is critical. However, many of these businesses do not have systems in place that effectively and efficiently store and retrieve data. Further, many of the existing models lack the appropriate security protocols, which is a major concern for businesses. Crown Records Management therefore, has an increasingly important role to play in the region.
Crown engaged Dexion in 2001 to bring the project to life by installing a common regional standard of practice. Crown was supported by Dexion's specialised Asia-Pacific records management team comprising of Simon Ingram (General Sales Manager - Asia and Middle East), Andrew Plummer (Project Realisation Manager), and Tony Balit Anak Boniface (Design Manager).
One of Dexion's key tasks was to explore the range of options available for the different levels of automation and racking structures. Armed with extensive experience spanning racking structures, fully automated, and end to-end integrated solutions, Dexion was perfect for the job. Dexion also had an existing relationship with Crown, which was developed well before the formal tender process began in 2011.
Unusually, the storage solution was designed first and the building then (metaphorically) wrapped around it. It was critical for Crown's partner to be able to work harmoniously and collaboratively with both the architect and builders. For Cross, the final solution was borne out of a comprehensive audit and consultation process.
The new Crown Records Management facility opened in November 2012 with more than 750,000 carton locations. The facility's flagship feature is a 7-tier, 27-metre high racking structure that maximises the internal building space, while still providing excellent document security and access. Each level is spaced and fireproofed with mesh flooring.
Dexion's Andrew Plummer believes Crown's racking structure Speedlock (Mk8) provides the regional benchmark for racking integrity. Though manufactured in different locations across Asia, it’s constructed to meet the demands of Australian Standard 4084:2012, regardless of origin. Speedlock (Mk8) is standard and 100% compatible across all Asian markets, so parts and servicing can be centralised and streamlined.
There were several challenges during the construction of the Speedlock (Mk8) including an incomplete building, and unexpected downpours in a dry season that not only halted construction but also hindered access to the site, making it difficult to manoeuvre the enormous cranes required to lift the 27-metre high racking structures.
Stage one was completed in May 2012 and documents transitioned from Crown's primary facility and several satellite locations soon after. Stage two saw the completion of Crown's fine art and wine storage and specialised media vaults in November 2012, all of which utilised Dexion's Compactus systems.
A fully operational site today, Crown's new facility marks the first step towards a next generation of facilities across the region.
According to Damian Cross, the Kuala Lumpur facility offers a level of data security that far exceeds its client's expectations. Documents can be immediately and accurately searched to a granular level, first to the correct carton and then to the correct file within that carton. Revolutionary environmental controls have been created to keep documents safe in a hot, humid climate like Malaysia. The design of the building interior and racking structures keep cool air circulating throughout the building without mechanical systems.
As Crown and Cross look to replicate the Kuala Lumpur model across the Asia region, there will be even more benefits from standardisation when it comes to OH&S, unrivalled security, continuous improvement objectives and cost-per-carton savings.