3 Signs Your Record Storage and Destruction Schedules are Out of Sync
Wed, May 27, 2015
By: Jim Beran
Running a business means keeping up with all of the details both inside and outside the office. There are prospects to attract, customers to service, invoices to collect, while simultaneously keeping an eye on personnel issues, inventory, and daily operations.
With all that goes into running a business, sometimes seemingly less urgent tasks get forgotten or pushed into the background. One example is the management of business records. Nearly every business has the need to maintain important business and customer records for tax purposes, regulatory reasons, and for the convenience and legal safety of the company.
If information is not carefully monitored, the schedule on which records are stored and eventually destroyed can become disorganized, causing an array of problems. Here are three signs your records storage and destruction schedules are out of sync:
Cluttered and overstuffed on-site filing space
If the office file room or file cabinets are overstuffed and cluttered, there is a serious issue with your record storage arrangements. Similarly, if files have expanded beyond one room, with boxes piled up around the office, it's clear that your records management system is in need of help. A poorly managed document system can cost your company money with the time it takes to locate and retrieve necessary records. It could also mean some files aren’t even necessary any more.
When facing this challenge, many companies choose a dependable offsite document storage solution that allows them to streamline the clutter, while still maintaining strict retention scheduling and having outdated documents securely destroyed.
Important documents have been destroyed too soon
Prematurely destroyed information can be a problem, especially if you’re searching for a record for legal or regulatory reasons.
Often a records manager or staff member will destroy information in an effort to maintain the privacy of customers and to protect proprietary information for the company. But, the same regulations and internal requirements that demand these records be securely destroyed will also usually insist that they are kept intact and retrievable for a certain amount of time.
Records retention requirements can vary by industry, but the end result will be the same: if you don’t have access to an important document because it was destroyed too soon, it could result in a serious problem for your business. Working with a reliable partner to handle both the records retention scheduling and certified document destruction of your business records can remove this heavy responsibility from your staff.
You’re constantly needing hard copies back from offsite document storage
If your company has already started working with an offsite document storage provider, but you’re finding that you need to request the original documents back routinely for various reasons, it probably means your records schedule is off.
The best way to resolve this is to review your current workflow when it comes to the records you have set aside for storage and simply ask yourself, “Are we likely to need that record any time soon? Is the hard copy itself important for the signature or some other included item?” If the answer is yes, adjust the storage schedule to accommodate that.
If you’ve noticed these or any similar issues creeping up in your current records storage and destruction scheduling, it could be time to consider working with an offsite document storage company. For more information about how a records management company can help your business in even the most dire circumstances, download our recent Case Study.