Information is an asset of every business. It is stored in many forms throughout the organization. While many companies are document scanning all their archives to digital images for electronic storage, that doesn’t always make sense.
A cost effective solution for paper documents is to use an off site storage service. They maintain the records in warehouse specially designed for the job. You don’t waste valuable real estate just to store boxes.
There are several records storage services in every city to choose from. Here is some criteria to help you choose the best service for your business.
Evaluating a Document Storage Facility
Before you choose to store your critical documents offsite, you need to choose the right document storage facility for your needs. The most important qualification to consider for any document storage service is the quality of their facility. Paper documents, backup tapes, and any other critical records need protection from major disasters and also the slow degradation from poor conditions.
Double-Check The Quality of The Facility’s Shelving
All records should be boxed and on metal shelves. Boxes should never be left on the floor to prevent water damage from flooding. Any offsite storage service will provide shelves. If you do choose to use a self-storage unit you will need to purchase the shelving.
Is the Document Storage Facility Climate Controlled?
Records should be kept in a climate controlled environment. This includes air conditioning, heating, and humidity control. Don’t forget control of pests like bugs and rodents. This will prolong the life of your documents.
Fire Suppression is a must
At the bare minimum you will want a fire control system. This is usually water sprinklers. For a higher level of protection you can choose a facility that stops fire with gases to eliminate water damage.
What are their contingencies for Natural Disasters?
Depending on your location you will need to protect against different natural disasters. In Florida this is a building that is protected from the winds and rain of a hurricane. In California you will need to make sure it is protected against earthquakes. And never use a records storage facility in a flood plain.
Confidential Records need to be stored in a Secure Facility
There should be an alarm system with cameras both inside and outside of the building. Doors need pass card entry or a guard on duty. All employees should be given background checks and drug tests.
Records Management Services
To determine what level of service you need consider what you are storing. Accounting files require a different level of service from client files. You will need to evaluate how well your documents are organized. Do you need access to them very often? When you need a document what is the requirement on turnaround?
If your records are not organized well you can have them inventoried and sorted (indexed). This helps guarantee that the document you need is what will be retrieved when you call.
File Retrieval Services
If you need a document that is in storage there are many levels of service for retrieval. They can be delivered by courier, sent by overnight service, or scanned in and emailed.
Document Management Consulting
Document retention is a patchwork of federal, state and local laws. Use your record storage service as knowledge experts in the field. They can help every business put a retention plan together.
If you need 24/7 access to your documents then make sure you use a facility that has those hours.
When choosing any business service, cost is a factor. The major components of a records storage service are the price per box for storage and the retrieval fees. Before signing any contract,make sure you won’t be hit with punitive “pull charges” if you decide to change services.
Other Options for Document Storage
Most services will have other options for their customers. Some more common ones include document scanning, document shredding and tape rotation. It often saves money if you can bundle several service together with one vendor.
From Document Scanning to Document Storage, our experts will help you select a customized Document Management Solution that fits exactly what you’re looking to do for your company.
We have locations all across the United States to serve you document storage needs. Fill out the form to the right, or give us a call at (866) 385-3706. Within minutes of receiving your request, you will have free quotes from experts in your area that can help you.