Which records management solution is right for me?

Records management includes a number of different techniques designed to care for and protect your records over the entire document life cycle. But you may find yourself asking, which records management solution is right for me and my company? Let's take a look at some common record management needs, and address the proper records management solutions.

The cluttered office. I’m sure you have been to a cluttered, disorganized office. One of the defining characteristics of these places is the ceiling-high stack of boxes stacked up against a wall. If you visit the same cluttered office more than once, you may notice these boxes multiply and start to take over. A strange uneasy feeling begins to settle over the workplace. There are two options to cut through the clutter. First, you can simply store your records off-site in a secure records storage facility. The second option is to convert your paper records into digital computer files. Since millions of records can fit onto a single hard rive, these electronic documents are another great way to save space.

Managing and maintaining records. Every business generates paperwork. With the help of a records management specialist, your records will be cared for throughout the document life-cycle. Many records are official in nature and need to be protected in their original paper form. Some documents, particularly tax and legal files, need to be retained for several years. These documents are perfect for storage in an off-site facility. With all other records, a better option might be having them transcribed into digital documents. These electronic computer files offer unparalleled compactness and accessibility. With digital documents, you can find and access all of your records instantly!

Storing documents forever. With archival storage, your records and other valuables should be protected in a secure, dedicated, climate-controlled warehouse. Alternately, digital storage is another good option for long-term storage. Digital data takes up only a small fraction of the space of paper documents, and unlike paper, they will never decompose.

Protecting sensitive information. Records management is more than just storing your old documents, it is about keeping them safe as well. By storing your sensitive documents off-site in a secure facility, they are simply inaccessible to thieves and passersby. Since many cases of fraud and theft are simply crimes of convenience, it is of the utmost importance to store your records in a secure location. Every day victim business leave sensitive information literally out in the open. You work hard, so why not protect yourself, your hard work, and your business, with secure records management?

We have outlined some basic business needs which for which records management is the solution. To get started enjoying a more organized, secure, and productive work environment, call Corporate Storage Services, your local records management specialist today.

Document Storage Vs. Digital Storage

Invoices, receipts, and other records are piling up. What is one to do? Records management is the answer. There are two options for dealing with all those important papers. We can either store them off-site, or transfer them to an electronic format. Both are good options, and each is better suited to different applications. In this article, we describe and compare both records management techniques in detail, and outline the benefits of each. Choose the one you feel is right for you.

First, let’s examine traditional paper record storage. Instead of piling up in your office, your records are sent to an off-site storage facility. Such facilities are secure, climate-controlled environments where your records will be both safe and accessible. Off site record storage is a time-tested record management technique. It remains a popular choice among businesses today due to an array of benefits. First, paper documents are retained in their original form. This can be especially important for official documents which may be needed later on for proof or evidence. Second, you can rest assured knowing your documents are kept in a secure, climate-controlled environment. Since your records are kept off-site, they are inaccessible to fraudsters and other prying eyes. When using off-site storage, keep in mind that you do not have immediate access to your records. For this reason, it is important to find a records management firm which offers speedy next day delivery. Some of the better firms even offer emergency “urgent” delivery of your records in just a few hours! Most importantly, understand your access needs, and properly convey them to your document management firm.

In contrast, electronic storage involves transferring your existing paper documents into a digital format. Twenty years ago, this process was done manually. A person would read each document, and type the information into the computer. This used to be an intense and sometimes expensive (albeit worthwhile) process. Fortunately, with advances in modern technology, speeds have increased while costs have dropped dramatically. Today, this process simply involves using an optical scanner to create an image of each document page. Some more advanced programs are even able to read the text from this resulting scanner image. From here, your data can be stored as images on hard disks, written to a text file, or even input directly into your company's database. Digital files take up just a small fraction of the physical space paper does. With today's electronics, we can take the information contained in a truck-load of paper and put it onto a hard-drive that you can hold in your hand. Digital files allow for your records to be more accessible and flexible. With the right mix of technology and proper records management, you will have immediate access to all your records, whenever and wherever you want!

Contact Corporate Storage Services for all your document storage, records management, certified shredding and scanning services.

Records management for individuals and small business

When talking about records management, most people envision large corporate warehouses full of workers driving forklifts, moving and maintaining huge numbers of boxes full of receipts, invoices, and other data. While document storage is an important part of the records management process, it is far from the only solution. In fact, document management is not just for big business; small business and individuals can also reap the rewards of proper records management. In this article we will explore some time-tested records management solutions used by major companies, and develop a plan to help the individual or small business implement these strategies for themselves. Use these tips to get started managing your own records today.

The first step in managing your own records involves sorting and classifying all filed. Determine which files you need to keep and for how long. Consider hiring a records management specialist if you need help. These experts can assist in classifying your documents, as well as developing a plan for their care and storage over the document life cycle.

The second step in records management is the destruction of all unnecessary documents. For large companies, these papers are loaded onto trucks, and taken to a facility to be destroyed en masse. From there, the papers are either shredded to pulp, or pulverized into a powder. For an individual or small business, such elaborate equipment is not necessary. A simple paper shredder – available at an office supply store – should be able to handle most tasks. In case you have many short-term documents which need to be destroyed on an ongoing basis, consider investing in a certified shredding service, available from your local records management firm.

Step three of basic records management involves storing required documents. You can either keep your records in a storage facility, or scan them into digital files. Both are good options for different types of records. Document storage is best for files which are required to be retained, but do not require immediate access. Whether you store your files yourself, or at an off-site facility, make sure your storage area is secure, clean, and climate controlled. For files which need to be retained for long periods, yet remain highly accessible, digital scanning may be a better option.

The fourth step in records management involves protecting your assets. Everything from patents, to official documents, to secret recipes, are considered intangible or information assets. It is vital to your business that such assets are protected. Place these items in a safe, a safe-deposit box, or a secure record storage and asset management facility to ensure they are not misplaced or tampered with.

Finally, now that all of your records are where they should be, it is time to make a schedule to handle future records as they are created. Paperwork will never stop piling up, so make a plan. For an individual or small business, keeping track of your records may only take a few minutes a day. Those minutes you spend today will save you hours later on when it is time to access your records. Follow these few simple steps, and work with confidence and piece of mind knowing that your records are properly cared for and accessible.

Contact Corporate Storage Services for more information on records management, secure shredding and scanning services.

 

Protecting your assets with records management

No matter who we are in life, we all have important records and documents. Patents, blueprints, plans, tax and legal information, as well as medical records all need to be stored somewhere. The challenge, then, is finding a safe place. One of the best options for protecting these items is placing them in the care of a trustworthy records management firm.

Security and protection – Documents, records, and other items need to be well-protected, particularly those which must be retained for a long time. A good records management firm will be able to provide the secure, dedicated, and climate-controlled environment your valuables require. They will also make sure your items are cataloged and managed by trustworthy, experienced professionals.

Insurance on your investment – Unfortunately, traditional insurance only pays cash in the event of a loss. For critical documents, however, cash value isn’t good enough. Sometimes, you simply need the information, and an insurance settlement cannot get your unique documents back. Hence, the best way to insure your precious documents is to make certain nothing bad will happen to them in the first place. For this reason, consider storing your invaluable and irreplaceable documents in a dedicated storage facility. Some records are indeed priceless, and require proper care and management. Why take unnecessary risks? Let a dedicated record management firm ensure you will never lose an important document again.

Peace of mind - By keeping your priceless items off-site, in the hands of experienced professionals, you can rest assured knowing they will not be misplaced, damaged, or otherwise tampered with. A good records management firm will provide you with management tools to track and access your documents. Accessing your documents is worry-free; just call the storage facility to arrange for a delivery. Many records management facilities can deliver your items the net day. The best firms are even able to deliver items to your office in a matter of hours. With this sort of access at your fingertips, you can take comfort in knowing exactly where your important files are at all times. More importantly, you can stop worrying and focus on your business.

Whether you are an individual, or the owner of a multi-million dollar company, records management plays a vital role in protecting your assets. By storing your items in a safe, controlled, environment, you can rest easy knowing that your valuables are safe and accessible. Don’t miss out on the security, protection, insurance, and piece of mind that come with hiring a records management firm like Corporate Storage Services.

Reducing costs with records management

Believe it or not, there are a number of records management techniques capable of saving your company money. Every company produces a seemingly endless supply of documents. Not only do these records take up valuable office space, they also require proper care, protection, and management. Furthermore, failing to ensure the protection of one’s documents can lead to even bigger costs – fraud, theft, and even legal trouble. Let’s take a look at three common records management services, and the ways they can help your business cut costs.

Savings with Off-site document storage.

Storing documents yourself can be costly. For small firms, this usually amounts to a stack of boxes in the office containing all sorts of records. These files take up valuable real estate. Instead, consider storing your records in a secure, off-site records storage facility. The task of storing large amounts of documents yourself can be daunting, and expensive. Document storage facilities offer easy solutions, and are often much cheaper than managing your own storage space. Many facilities are equipped to handle your other valuables as well.

Loss prevention through Certified Destruction

For many businesses, the majority of the paperwork created is meant only for short-term use. Bills, invoices, and company memos can all be described as having short document life cycles. While they only need to be retained for a few days, these documents often contain sensitive financial and other information. Should these documents ever fall into the wrong hands, the consequences could be disastrous. With certified record destruction, your records management firm will typically provide your office secure bins to dispose of sensitive papers. Simply fill them up, then call your records management firm to have them replaced. This way, your papers are guaranteed to be destroyed. While certified destruction does have some up-front costs, these costs are outweighed by the long-term benefits of minimizing loss due to fraud and theft.

Reduce storage and administrative expenses with document scanning

Scanning documents can save your company money in two ways. First, scanning documents greatly reduces their physical size, allowing your company to save on storage space. Electronic files can last forever, and document scanning is an excellent option for archival records. The savings from document scanning can amount to quite a bit for records with a long document life cycle. More importantly, scanned documents are much easier to manage, which saves your company money by reducing administrative costs. Searching for a file on a computer, after all, takes just a few seconds, compared to the minutes or hours necessary to track down a paper file in storage. Remember, “time is money”; accessibility saves time.

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