Managing records is an important part of every business, but having a good records management system can be difficult, time-consuming, and sometimes even dangerous. Many offices simply do not have the space to properly store files, and stacks of boxes that may block walkways or be stacked too high can potentially be a danger to employees.
There is also a risk of breaching security or breaking the Data Protection Act, PCI, if records are not properly stored when relevant, or properly destroyed when they become irrelevant. Using an outside company to manage your files will not only keep them from taking up your precious office space, but will also ensure their security and destruction.
Time is money, so why spend so much time looking through boxes of paperwork to find the one file you need? Many outside records management companies have personal service options that will help you organize the files you have on hand so they are the most accessible to you, and will also keep your off-site files organized for you, and you don’t have to worry about lugging boxes around, as they will deliver to you the one file you need.
Another way using a records center will help save you money is by reducing the number of staff you have to keep just to manage records. By letting them do the work for you, you can streamline the process and cut out the middle man. Plus, you’ll have a lot more office space to utilize that will no longer be wasted space filled with records.
Because these companies specialize in records management, they can store up to 5 times as many records per square foot as most people do in their office space. They will also typically provide you with protection for your files against natural and other disasters.
Destroying records at the end of their retention period can be a tedious task, and is something that is easy to fall behind on if your filing system is not overly organized. File management companies keep track of the retention dates on files and will notify you when files are up for destruction. Once you have approved it, they will destroy them in a proven method that keeps the files as confidential as they were when they were being held.
How to choose a records management company?
When choosing a records management company, it’s important to not just look at cost, especially if you have confidential files or files that contain sensitive information. Make sure the company you choose has restricted access procedures in place, as well as vetted staff, vehicles that are tracked by GPS satellites, electronic signature validations, as well as completely confidential destruction for files that are at the end of their retention period.
If you will need regular access to the files you are storing, it is also important to find a company that is fast and efficient in their file retrieving procedures. Some companies allow you 24 hour access to the files, making it easy to get what you need, when you need it. Additionally, if you are a newer business and aren’t sure what records need to be kept in your office and which can be put in storage, finding a company that offers personal assistance will be particularly helpful to you because they can help guide you through that process.