Checklist for choosing a document storage company
Organising your business files and having an off-site document storage system in place offers many benefits for your business.
In many industries, historical files can quickly accumulate which makes it difficult to store them on business sites. As your company grows, this problem can escalate, with bulky filing cabinets taking up precious office space. Given that workspace rentals in major UK cities are on the increase, you need to use whatever office space you have efficiently. Storing your files in an off-site document archiving facility will provide additional space to help you expand your business.
A professional document storage system also brings increased efficiency to your business. Very often as companies grow, internal filing systems can become unwieldy, making it difficult for staff to access important files. Just one misplaced document can throw your whole filing system into disarray! A professional document storage service will bring structure to your filing processes and free up your time for higher priority tasks.
Questions to ask when choosing a document storage company
When considering which document archiving company to use, there are a number of important questions you should ask before committing to a supplier.
1. IS THE STORAGE FACILITY PURPOSE-BUILT?
Temperature controlled environments are designed to prevent degradation of your important physical documents. Check whether your shortlist of storage companies can provide this facility.
2. WHAT SECURITY MEASURES ARE IN PLACE TO SAFEGUARD MY DOCUMENTS?
- Fire protection
Has the facility been fitted with adequate fire protection? VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus) smoke detectors constantly sample the air conditions and will alert the operations team of any changes. On-site water tanks and zonal monitoring which alerts the local police and fire services of any incidents are other features to consider.
- Building security
Ask what security measures are in place to protect your files. For example, who has access to the secure area, are staff vetted, and has CCTV surveillance been installed? Features such as high perimeter fencing and a single locked entrance to which only authorised personnel have access are key attributes of any credible storage facility.
3. IS THERE A FILE RETRIEVAL SYSTEM?
Should you require access to your files at any point, it’s important you can do so quickly and easily. Is there barcode technology in place to facilitate the management and retrieval of your files? Can your documents be accessed at short notice? Archived files should be easily identified and accessed without issue.
4. CAN MY DOCUMENTS BE SCANNED BEFORE THEY ARE ARCHIVED?
The ability to have your documents scanned before they are archived is another consideration. Scanned files can be managed in a central database and shared with users in multiple offices and locations, providing secure and flexible access. The files can be also accessed instantaneously, saving you valuable time and effort.
5. IS THE COMPANY CERTIFIED TO INDUSTRY STANDARDS?
Check what certifications are in place. Any reputable document storage company should be certified to the required ISO and BS standards.
There are many benefits of storing your files in an external, purpose-built archiving system. Use this checklist to assess which measures have been taken to protect your documents before signing a contract with your new supplier.
Here at SDR, we provide a flexible document archiving service to suit your business needs. Contact one of our experts today about improving the efficiency of your filing systems.