Questions and Answers About the Merger

March 20, 2018

With next week’s member vote to ratify the approved amendment of the association’s bylaws and merger with PRISM International, NAID has received several questions from members. The Board of Directors would like to share these questions and answers so that everyone feels more informed prior to casting their vote. Thank you to all who submitted a question.

About the Vote

The voting member representative for each Active Member Company will receive one electronic ballot on Monday, March 26, 2018.

  • Members can vote in favor of ratification, which will approve the amended bylaws and create a merger between NAID and PRISM International, allowing both associations to live on as divisions of a new parent association, i-SIGMA – which stands for the International Secure Information Governance & Management Association.
  • Members can oppose ratification, which will maintain the current NAID bylaws and there will be no changes to the existing NAID association structure at this time.

Voting is open March 26, 2018 – April 6, 2018.

Responses to Member Questions

1. QUESTION: What are the specific benefits of the merger to NAID Members? And how will this benefit a non-paper shredding company (i.e. hard drive and magnetic tape destruction on-site)?
ANSWER: Secure information management (including storage, management, imaging, sanitization, and/or destruction) applies equally to all media formats. And the benefits of the merger will apply equally to members destroying any of those formats.

NAID members will save money and make more money as a result of the merger.

Save Money: Because the merger will combine the administrative functions into one back office it will be more economically efficient. As a result, there will be less pressure on future dues increases. Also, a more efficient back office means that a greater percentage of revenue goes to promoting members and the industry.

Make More Money: The greater combined resources of the merged association means the organization can focus on their common mission, which is to promote secure and sound information management. When the association has a greater ability to promote proper information management throughout its life cycle, it better helps create an environment where all members can prosper. This includes providing more resources to members.

2. QUESTION: How will Membership work? Do we become members of both NAID and PRISM International?  Does that mean we will be entitled to use the PRISM logo in our marketing materials?  NAID members, who are not currently PRISM members will get the benefit of the two joint associations and PRISM members who are not currently NAID Members will get these same benefits, correct? For those companies who are currently members of both associations, why renew membership with one when we will soon have membership in both?  

ANSWER: NAID and PRISM International have been around for years and have a lot of industry equity. They are not going away but will continue to operate as divisions of the newly merged parent association, i-SIGMA (see question #6 for more information on the parent association). Members of the association will have the option to join under one or both divisions, depending on their business offerings. A member-company could then display the logo(s) of the appropriate division(s) of which they are affiliated. Whether it is NAID, PRISM International, or both is up to them.

As to retaining participation in both divisions, for those who already are members of both, each division will have exclusive benefits, for instance, the use of the logos. The respective certifications are only accessible to the participants of the respective division. Resources developed specifically for divisional applications, whether already in existence or developed in the future, will also often be available only to the participants of the respective divisions.

3. QUESTION: Going forward will members have to pay for each association or just one?  Will the combined association dues be LESS THAN the separate dues of NAID & PRISM International added together? Will this affect any of our fees and costs to be just a member of NAID?

ANSWER: In paying annual dues, members will indicate which division they wish to be affiliated with – NAID, PRISM International, or both. If a member-company chooses to support only one division, they will pay the dues associated with that division’s membership. The current dues with NAID are not changing. If a company chooses to be a member of both divisions, it will cost them more than it would as a member of a single division, but less than they pay currently to belong to both separate associations.

4. QUESTION: For those not familiar with PRISM International, please provide background information on exactly what PRISM does. 

ANSWER: PRISM International (Professional Records and Information Service Management) was formed in the mid-1990s through a merger of two associations: the Association of Commercial Records Centers (ACRC) which was founded in 1980; and the National Association of Secured Data Vaults (NASDV) which was founded in 1981. PRISM International provides a wide range of services and education related to these two original service areas, physical record storage and management and data protection services, it has evolved to also include imaging and conversion services.

Throughout the years, PRISM & NAID have always had overlapping members and as a result, have worked together on regulatory issues, as well as occasionally hosting combined conferences. Both associations have promoted sound and secure information management practices by businesses and governments.

5. QUESTION: How will the merger impact the separate certifications? Will this change the NAID AAA Certification audit process? Will the CSDS accreditation still be recognized by the merged group (or replaced)? 

ANSWER: All NAID certifications and accreditations will continue. There is no plan to change anything about the tools and services offered by NAID as a result of the merger.

6. QUESTION: What will be the name of the new parent association? 

ANSWER: The umbrella, non-profit organization that will support the continued work of the NAID and PRISM International banners will be called i-SIGMA, which stands for the International Secure Information Governance and Management Association.

7. QUESTION: How will the new organization promote two different brands so that NAID is still clearly represented?
ANSWER: NAID, NAID AAA Certification, and CSDS accreditation have been and will continue to be meaningful entities in secure data destruction and the business world. The bylaws of the new association were set-up to ensure this. They require that NAID and PRISM International continue to be distinctly represented for a minimum a seven (7) years after the merger. This will be accomplished through distinct operating divisions, wherein each will have their own Division Charter. Similar to NAID, PRISM International and Privacy+ will also continue on as distinct brands that focus on the storage, conversion, retention, and management of hard copy or digital information and data.

8. QUESTION: Will there be a new combined logo? Or do NAID Logos still identify the organization? Will these be modified?

ANSWER: The logos members use will not change as a result of the merger; NAID members will continue to display the same appropriate NAID member logo. NAID AAA Certification (though recently modified) will also be unaffected. The same can be said of the PRISM International logo and their Privacy+ certification logo.

9. QUESTION: Who initiated the merger discussions?

ANSWER: Due to the aligned missions and member overlap of both organizations, merger communications and discussions have been happening since 2011. In 2016, the Board of Directors for both PRISM and NAID designated a Merger Task Force to formalize the discussions.

10. QUESTION: What is the expected dollar amount for reduced operating costs?  Does the association have a formal plan of what to do with the surplus of cash as a result of reduced operating costs?  Some type of 3 mo/6 mo/1 yr/3yr benchmarks?  Can we assume that because it’s been highlighted as a benefit in communications that reduced operating costs are significant? 

ANSWER: The financial modeling used to evaluate the merger estimated a savings of $197,000 (7% of combined operating budget) in the first year, even after the planned addition of support staff. The savings in future years will depend on how the newly merged board allocates resources, but there is no reason to believe the surplus will not be sustained over the subsequent years.

11. QUESTION: How much will the proposed merger cost to facilitate and integrate? 
ANSWER: PRISM & NAID have shared the costs of an outside consultant to support the merger process. Both associations have engaged the use of legal counsel and other support professionals for specific functions related to the merger process. The actual integration, once ratified, will involve a very specific set of costs that include the fees for the legal and financial transaction, any final support from consultants or third-party experts, the transition of existing contractual obligations, the termination costs to exit the existing PRISM association management company contract, and the planned addition of staff to support the merger.

The projected P&L shows both associations in the black and able to complete division-specific support initiatives with greater financial focus.