One of the questions our Archives Division frequently encounters is, “Why should I store my records off-site? What’s the benefit?” Today, we would like to answer with 5 reasons to store your records off-site, at a dedicated records center.
Reason 1 – Security
Your records (sensitive files, media files, backup tapes) are stored on-site everybody knows where they are, and their importance. When they are stored in a records center, your documents are in a secure environment. There is no unauthorized access. There is video security monitoring 24/7 and written procedures with who has access to files (and who does not).
You want to select an archive provider whose employees are background checked and drug-tested. All the while, trained in proper handling of sensitive information and chain-of-custody protocols.
Reason 2 – Managed retention process
For instance, who manages the retention process? More specifically, who is in charge of making sure your documents are being destroyed when they should be? This is an important process for your business to legally follow. When your records are placed in a records center you only have to set the retention schedule and the rest is taken care of. Records centers will provide you with an authentic certificate of destruction.
Reason 3 – Convenience
It may seem convenient to have your records on-site. After all, you only have to walk down the hallway and all of your records are there. Is your office designed for file storage? Do you have barcode scanning so you know exactly where the files are? Record centers are designed to know exactly where your box is. In many cases, simply visit a secure webpage and request a particular box or file to be delivered the next day (or even the same day). Or a particular file or pages within a file can be scanned and available online within minutes of the request.
Reason 4 – Off-site records storage is a permanent solution
In addition, on-site storage is a temporary solution to a permanent situation. If you’re storing your records on-site, where do you plan to store your records once you’ve filled up your designated space? On the other hand, record centers offer virtually unlimited space for your records. So you don’t have to be concerned about where the next box is going.
Reason 5 – More effective use of office space
The final reason to store records off-site, is because office space is expensive. Most offices have very limited common-area file storage capacity. As a result, overflow files often find their way into individual cubicles or offices cluttering up the space. Reclaim your office space for your office. Record centers are designed to store large numbers of records; your office simply is not.
We understand the allure of storing your records on-site; it’s convenient, you know exactly who has access, and you have the space (for the moment). That being said, the benefits of storing your records off-site outweigh any perceived benefits to storing records on-site. Record centers are designed to store your records while protecting them from possible theft, security breach, fire, water, and pest damage.