Offsite Records Storage: Vol 1. The Reasons

As Naviant continues to grow and contact organizations to discuss secure offsite records storage for the first time, we frequently become acquainted with individuals for whom the concept is new.  Not that it’s hard to imagine, but rather it simply has never been considered. Worth noting is that tossing your old files into a self store unit down the road is not necessarily the same thing.  While there is a place and good use for self store units or an office building’s basement, your confidential, mission critical, or unique documents are not among them.

Although there is a lock on the door of your neighborhood self store unit, rarely do these facilities meet the criteria for truly secure with chain of custody tracking, logging each location a record is stored, or capturing video surveillance of each person entering the facility.  For what is typically the same cost or less at a professional records storage facility, why take the chance?

Reasons For Considering Offsite

Many reasons are heard for considering secure offsite records storage.  And, you are in good company for considering it – from Fortune 500 companies to locally owned and operated sole proprietorships, all use secure offsite records storage.  Reasons include, but by no means are limited to:

  • Too much paper.  A business may be limited in the space available for storage and need to retain records.  Basements are an option, but only if you like mold.
  • Cost, Part I.  Yes, it is true – maintaining records internally can actually cost a significant amount,  especially if the volume of records is high.  Staffing a records room, taking the time to update whatever software that tracks where records are located, the physical racking to adequately hold the records without subjecting them to unnecessary damage.  It adds up.
  • Cost, Part II.  Using a self-store unit can actually be more expensive than professional storage. How? Not only is there rent (which many times is more than storage fees at a professional service provider) and time to manage the records, but now, adding insult to injury, you have to leave the office to go get it.  Your staff’s time is valuable.  Why waste it on climbing over boxes and not having enough light to see the back of the locker?  Have them stay in the office where they help you do what you do best and let the service provider perform record retrievals.
  • Remove clutter. Sometimes it is a matter of simply wanting to reclaim your space. Having boxes  upon boxes stacked in your office or in the hall can be an eye-sore, unsightly, and even unsafe in a space that could be a more professional environment or has a lot of foot traffic.
  • Valuable space.  Could you be using space now consumed by storage for something more?  Could it be generating revenue by adding an additional patient room?  Could it be the office for the new staff you need to accommodate growth in business?  You get the idea…
  • Tame the information.  Professional offsite storage vendors will also assist with managing information by providing reminders about destruction schedules, grouping records together as a set, getting records destroyed, and other services that allow you to focus on your business instead of your files.

At the end of the day there are plenty of reasons to consider relocating your records to an offsite facility, but remember to keep your process in mind. Your records are still a part of your business and are a cog in the gears that move your business along, even if you don’t touch them very often.

Up next for Offsite Records Storage – Should it stay or should it go?  How to decide.

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