10 questions to ask before you sign with an information management partner

Finding an information management partner is easy – there are dozens of them. But finding a good one… now there’s a challenge. Here are ten crucial questions to ask when you’re shopping around for someone to help you manage your records.

1. Will your documents be available “scan on demand”?

If you move your documents off-site, they need to be just as easy – if not easier – to access as they were when stored in-house. A good scan-on-demand solution should be able to retrieve the documents you need and deliver them in your choice of format within 3 hours.


2. Does the solution offer a low-cost audit?

A little-known fact about switching information managers is that the best ones will combine the relocation of your archives with a full audit of the files within them. This is an ideal way to discover which files are no longer needed and reduce your overall storage costs.


3. Is the solution flexible and customisable?

Information management needs vary widely across businesses. Rather than asking you to choose a pre-packaged option, the best providers will consult with you to tailor a storage and retrieval solution that adapts to your needs, even if those needs will change over time.


4. Does the solution integrate with your existing system?

You don’t want to have to retrain your staff to use a new indexing system. The ideal information management solution uses your existing organisation system and allows you request retrieval using the same filing references you’ve always used.


5. Is the electronic retrieval process fast and easy?

Many information management companies are able to deliver your files fast, but the system you use to request that data can be cumbersome and slow. Make sure your partner allows you to retrieve files easily, from any device, at any time of the day or night.


6. Will your stored information be secure?

Security is a non-negotiable element of information management. Your partner’s storage sites need to be equipped with the best fire protection systems, back-to-base intruder detection, and 24-hour surveillance. Employees should also all be police-vetted.


7. Is chain of custody unbroken to all your locations?

Chain of custody is crucial to information security. To reduce the risk of a data breach or loss, ensure your information management partner uses their own fleet and staff for an unbroken, GPS-secured chain of custody to all your locations – urban, suburban and rural.


8. Is physical delivery available multiple times per day?

It’s not always possible to plan ahead. A good information management partner understands this, and will provide you with the option to have documents delivered more than once per day. They’ll also allow you to collect directly from their storage facility if necessary.


9. What is the scope of digitisation services on offer?

Handing over your physical documents should never result in a slower or less efficient retrieval process. Your information management partner should provide a full range of data capture solutions, with OCR, ICR and data entry indexing for the fastest possible access.


10. Will the solution streamline your information lifecycle?

The best information management partners will actively help you limit costs and stay compliant by setting up destruction schedules for your documents. They will also always check with you before they shred anything, even if destruction has been pre-arranged.


Find out more in Grace’s FREE in-depth information management report for the finance industry – available exclusively at www.grace.com.au/information/finance