IT doesn't take long for new technology to have a seismic impact on entire industries, as Gordon McPherson knows all too well.

The 64-year-old has been in the document management business for 46 years, and its fair to say he’s seen some significant changes in that time.

“When I started out paper was the way, then it was microfilm, now it’s electronic,” explains Mr McPherson, owner of TRM Document Management.

“You’ve got to be able to stand outside your business and look in, to ask yourself important questions. Where should we be going now? What’s going to be the next big thing in this industry? You should never stand still.”

The Paisley-based firm re-launched and rebranded last year, consolidating three generations of the business. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength in what can be a fast-moving sphere.

“Most businesses and organisations are trying to become paper-free or at least use less paper, but many are still over-reliant on physical documents, run out of room and end up having to rent storage space. It can become difficult and expensive for them to access their own documents.

“We’re like the worker ants who take the documents away, de-staple them and scan them onto pdf format. We can scan 1000 documents every 30 minutes, and use highly trained staff and specialist equipment.

“Once we're finished, companies just upload the documents on to their system. Instead of having to employ someone 365 days of the year to file and scan, they only pay us for the length of time we spend on their work. This outsourcing saves them money and significantly improves their filing systems.”

Among TRM’s clients are big legal and accountancy firms, councils and health boards, police boards and government departments, and the company is adept at handing sensitive and confidential information, as well as antique documents.

Paisley-born Mr McPherson took over the business 30 years ago from his father, and now his son, Steven, is the production manager and marketing chief, having been with the company for 20 years.

“This really is a family business in the true sense,” he says. “One day I’ll pass things on to Steven. Knowing that inspires me and gives me a real sense of purpose. But family also comes to mean staff, too, because many of ours have been with us for so long. One of my colleagues has been with me for 38 years. We employ 11 people and have a loyalty that goes both ways, which is something you don’t always see in business these days.”

As for what he enjoys most about being his own boss, the businessman says he values variety.

“Every day is different and new, you never know what you’re walking into. I enjoy meeting new clients, dealing with their new questions and problems, working with them to solve their problems.

“Even though I’ve been doing this a long time, there’s always a new challenge. You never know what your latest potential client will be looking for, or what legal issue might be thrown into the mix.

“That’s why it’s so important to listen and learn from the younger generation. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean you should keep doing it.

“I’ve learned a lot from Steven and our staff.”

As part of the re-launch, earlier this year TRM moved into Storage Vault Work Space’s premises in Paisley. It proved a sound business decision.

“We were looking for space that suited us, not for us to fit a space,” says Mr McPherson. “We discussed our needs and got the premises we wanted, not just what happened to be available. The staff at Storage Vault Work Space have been flexible, amenable and helpful, and there’s a great sense of community among the businesses here.”