True Records Management Only Begins with Storage

Storage is an important component of good corporate records management.  After all, your business may have records that have lengthy, if not indefinite retention periods which require you to store documents for many years.  And as piles upon piles of files accumulate, eventually you’re going to find yourself outgrowing your current space, which may lead to a knee jerk decision about where to store your business records.  As a result, your business records may end up at the self storage unit just down the road from your office.  It may seem like a convenient no brainer; however, in terms of good corporate records management it’s less than ideal.

Storage risks

Beyond the risks of theft, water damage, and lack of disaster preparation and mitigation plans, self storage and other storage options such as basements, attics and traditional warehouses, do not provide systems and procedures to ensure:

  • fiduciary and statutory responsibilities
  • auditing capabilities
  • regulatory compliance

True records management requires classification, retention, preservation, and destruction of business records.  So while the physical storage of business documents and files is undoubtedly important, it should not be determined in isolation from factors such as tracking, retrieval and final disposition by secure shredding, which together ensure corporate due diligence.

Key questions

A storage solution must assure that business records are safeguarded against unauthorized access and environmental damage.  Accessibility is equally important.  Most organizations want to be assured that they can always access their documents and files no matter where they are stored, which may place proximity as the top priority.  However, the following questions should be answered before considering the “closest” solution:

  • Who will oversee archival inventory?
  • Who needs to access business files?
  • How will they be accessed?
  • How will chain of custody procedures be verified?
  • How much time will file location and access take?
  • How will the retrieval and re-file process be documented?
  • How will retention periods be managed?
  • How will contingency plans be defined?

If you can’t be provided with thorough answers for all of these questions then you may be incurring a considerable risk for your records and also potentially the longevity of your business.

A professional records management solution

A commercial records center managed by a professional records and information management company goes beyond storage by not only affording the most secure repository for your business records but also by providing comprehensive retention scheduling, monitoring and barcode tracking for the entirety of your archival inventory to ensure rapid and accurate retrieval.  The following services may be incorporated into your offsite storage solution:

  • file level indexing
  • web browser-based technology
  • certified document destruction
  • document retrieval and delivery services

Archives Management Centers provides records storage solutions to businesses throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee County.  For more information about our complete suite of records management services, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on the page.