Data security in the hotel – with document shredders from HSM - Case Study

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Courtesy of HSM GmbH + Co. KG

Data security must be an active part of business practice. The original purchasing decision has an important part to play in this. When purchasing document shredders, The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin and Berlin Marriott Hotel on Potsdamer Platz, both high class hotels, have therefore chosen to rely on the experience and know-how of their suppliers Horn&Görwitz as well as HSM.

How can we function more efficiently and sustainably in our offices? The secure handling of information also constitutes an important part of daily working life in the hotel business and efficiency is an essential factor behind commercial success. Reservations, offers, cancellations, invoices and correspondence with suppliers; hundreds of pieces of paper are prepared, read and printed on a daily basis by staff, and then disposed of in the wastepaper basket once they have been used. However, all these pieces of paper also contain sensitive information such as customer names, credit card information and prices. And all this information has to be protected from unauthorised access. At the very least this is a requirement under the statutory provisions of the Federal Data Protection Law. Depending on the content, data carriers have to be shredded in such a way that it is impossible, or extremely difficult, to reproduce the information. “For many years we had worked together with a specialist service provider who carried out the shredding and disposal of our paper”, explained Claudio Trübenbach, the Head Technician at the Berlin Marriott Hotel. The employees collected all paper documents in drums supplied by the service provider. These were also collected by the service provider and shredded at their own facility in such a way that it was not possible to reproduce the information. “However this arrangement caused us some problems in practice” said the Technical Manager. It involved the wastepaper being stored temporarily in the administration area, the drivers were not always the same, so new employees always had to ask where to find the paper drums which then, in turn, led to security issues. There were therefore a few reasons behind why a reorganisation of the process had to be considered.

The document shredder manufacturer HSM and the long-standing supplier Horn&Görwitz recommended a different method to the hotel. This involved buying a document shredder themselves and setting it up directly where the wastepaper tended to accumulate; the office floors. This would even create further cost savings. Instead of hiring a specialist, the paper is now shredded by the hotel itself. Holger Müller, Area Sales Manager at HSM, drew up specifications with the hotel's Technical Manager and noted what the document shredder was required to do. This information covered paper volume, paper thickness, security level according to both protection class and level in accordance with the new DIN66399, and required collection volume. 'The highest performing single phase machine from our portfolio was then chosen; the 'Securio P44', which can also shred optical, magnetic and electronic data carriers', explains Maximilian Görwitz from the supplier Horn&Görwitz.

Six document shredders in this series now carry out their duties in the print rooms of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin and Berlin Marriott Hotel. A device is easily accessible for employees on every corridor in the administration sections and at each reception. Once the document shredder's waste container is full, the employee has to empty it into the press containers from the waste disposal companies in Berlin. The provision and collection of these containers is carried out at no cost to the hotel. Following this, the city of Berlin's waste disposal company, Berlin Recycling, then take the paper away for recycling and have school books produced with the result. Their slogan for this activity is “Paper collection builds schools”. The changeover to in-house shredding also had to comply with stringent sustainability requirements since the Berlin Marriott Hotel is aiming to achieve ISO14001 certification (environmental management). Under the slogan “Marriott going Green” the hotel is relying on modern technology, energy saving, waste avoidance and recycling in all areas. In the meantime, the lighting has been converted to LED and energy saving lamps. The largest consumer of paper within the hotel administration, the “reactive sales department”, has become a paperless office. All hotels globally within the Marriott group use paper, flip charts and pads exclusively from environmentally certified forests; even the pens are made from recyclable and biologically degradable materials. And the new document shredders? They operate in a way which saves energy. When not in use they switch automatically to a 'sleep mode' and after an hour they shut down completely, so that barely any more electricity is used.

The facts

The company
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin and Berlin Marriott Hotel are two brands belonging to Marriott International, which has its headquarters in the USA. With their location on the Potsdamer Platz, one of the most important commercial centres in the city, and in close proximity to the city's popular tourist attractions such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building, both hotels together provide almost 700 five star standard rooms.

The task
The secure handling of information also constitutes an important part of daily working life in the hotel business and efficiency is an essential factor behind commercial success. Reservations, offers, cancellations, invoices and correspondence with suppliers; hundreds of pieces of paper are prepared, read and printed on a daily basis by staff, and then disposed of in the wastepaper basket once they have been used. However, all these pieces of paper also contain sensitive information such as customer names, credit card information and prices. And all this information has to be protected from unauthorised access.

The solution
The document shredder manufacturer HSM and the long-standing supplier Horn&Görwitz recommended a different method to the hotel. This involved buying a document shredder themselves and setting it up directly where the wastepaper tended to accumulate; the office floors. This would even create further cost savings. Instead of hiring a specialist, the paper is now shredded by the hotel itself.

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