Does your organisation have a records storage management problem? Do you have all the space and equipment you need to keep documents safe and organised, or do you store your files in a hodgepodge of mismatched cabinets and boxes strewn between various file rooms, warehouses, hallways and anywhere else they might fit?
Maybe the problem isn’t as extreme as all that, but you still probably know deep down that your current system isn’t keeping pace with the speed of business. Offsite storage of document and records can save your organisation time and money by freeing up space, streamlining your information and keeping your documents safe and secure. To find out if your current system needs an update, ask yourself if any of the following statements apply to your organisation.
1. You’re Running Out of Room to Store Paper Files
Your organisation creates more paperwork every day. You keep adding file cabinets and boxes, but it never seems to be enough. This is a common problem. Some documents must be archived for regulatory or legal reasons, and those files add up quickly. On top of that, new documents are continually being created that need to be organised and stored properly.
Many of your paper documents can be digitised to free up space. The average office currently devotes 13.5 per cent of its space to paper storage, but research suggests that electronic-only filing could reduce that number to 6.7 per cent in five years.1 For documents that still need to be stored in paper form, you can send physical files to secure facilities, where they are protected from moisture, heat, cold, fire and other sources of damage.
2. It Takes Too Long to Find the Information You Need
From up-to-date internal documents, such as personnel files and business data, to archived files, including tax records and legal documents, most organisations have a lot of information to keep track of. By converting to a system that makes it faster and easier to find the right information, your organisation can save time and money.
Today, digital information, including digital copies of paper documents, can be stored on cloud servers, which means you can access the information you need in real time, even if the documents themselves are housed in an offsite facility miles away.
3. Your Mailroom Is Backing Up
Traditional mailrooms don’t keep pace with the speed of business in the modern world. Although 44 per cent of invoices arrive in an electronic form, 56 per cent still end up as a paper copy, either printed prior to manual processing, or printed and then scanned back into a digital system.2
What if you could improve mail response time and prevent the accumulation of incoming paperwork simultaneously? Digital mailrooms are helping modern organisations do just that by capturing information at the point of entry. Today, 27 per cent of organisations report that they ‘scan at the door’, and the majority showed an ROI from digital mailrooms within 18 months of implementation.3
4. You Hold on to Obsolete Documents
Regulations, policies and laws require organisations to archive certain documents, such as medical records, tax records and legal records, but eventually, most information becomes obsolete. No organisation should continue to waste time and money storing personnel records for former employees or information about discontinued products. After a certain amount of time has passed, even most archives need to be destroyed properly.
To keep records from backing up and archives from incessantly expanding, you need a system for identifying and destroying obsolete information. Whether paper or digital, records can be transported to a secure destruction facility, where they can be thoroughly destroyed by means of crosscut shredding, drilling and crushing.
5. (BONUS) You Don’t Have a Disaster Recovery Plan
Once your file room is under control, ask yourself: Is your organisation’s backup and recovery plan for digital data cutting it? Backing up important information is critical to the success of your organisation. Threats take many forms, from natural disasters to power outages to security breaches, and a crash can occur at any time. The impact: 90 per cent of companies that experience major data loss go out of business within two years.4
The only way to ensure the safety of your information is to make a copy of everything. Ideally, you need a system that automatically backs up critical information as it’s created and stores it offsite in a tape vault or on a cloud server so you can rapidly retrieve any data that’s lost, bouncing back immediately without disrupting the flow of business.
If your file room is a disorganised mess or simply in need of an update, a modern records storage system can help your company cut costs and streamline processes by taking advantage of everything digital technology has to offer.
1AIIM Industry Watch Report, ‘Paper Wars 2014: An Update from the Battlefield’, 4 November 2014.