Preservation, retention and storage. Three valid reasons for outsourcing the management of your records.
Not many organisations have the infrastructure and resources to effectively preserve their paper records as this takes space, personnel and often, a purpose-built, environmentally controlled facility. Without due care, paper is subject to rot and other damage.
There are complex regulations in place which determine the length of time records must be kept. This will depend on the type of record: financial; personnel; legal records; etc., the jurisdiction either federal or state government, and even the industry you operate in. It is a detailed area and requires specific expertise. While retaining these records for legal purposes, they need to be preserved.
With compliance legislation being so complex and something which cannot be ignored, having this managed by a provider with the knowledge and resources ensures timely and appropriate action. Your provider can, under your instruction, also facilitate the destruction of documents when they have reached their “use-by date.”
The temperature and humidity must be controlled and correct handling is required to ensure the preservation of material. Pest control is also critical. It all comes down to the storage environment. Without proper storage, preservation is at risk and your compliance with regulations could be jeopardised.
Gone are the days when you can afford to have all the necessary expertise and infrastructure in-house. Particularly if you are a small or medium enterprise. Outsourcing is a way of getting the exact expertise you need, when you need it.
Privacy is a major issue faced by many organisations. Not only company confidential records but personnel records and customer information must be protected. This is another area which is costly to implement and maintain so outsourcing the storage to an appropriate provider makes good financial sense and sound business strategy. A top provider will have layers of security to protect your records from natural disasters, physical intrusion and cyber-crime.
There could be some records which should be kept on-site such as frequently used records but these are prime examples for digitisation, which can also be outsourced and managed externally.
A basic bonus of outsourcing the storage of paper records is saving space, which for any business leasing premises, means additional cost for that extra space. Outsourcing could mean the ability to downsize or using the reclaimed space for a more profitable function.
Outsourcing your paper records to a provider whose sole purpose it is to manage and maintain those records will also make retrieval more efficient. It is their business to know where your records are at any given time, so when you require a carton or a file it can be retrieved and delivered in a timely manner. This could be the delivery of the physical item or scanning the records for online delivery. Retrieval for audit purposes is more efficient and quicker, decreasing the risk of penalties.
Suitable, secure, well-managed storage outsourced to a reputable provider is a worthwhile strategy for any type and size of business.