Most small to mid-size businesses think that professional records and information management (RIM) services are only for large companies or major corporations, so many choose to store their vital company documents in a variety of different places.
Do any of these sound like familiar storage areas: an outdoor mini-storage unit, the owner's home garage, on cheaply constructed shelving in the company bathroom, in the office attic's crawl space, an outside storage trailer, on top of the refrigerator in the company breakroom, or on top of a large beer cooler?
Regardless of where you work or the size of your company, you have files and records, and these business documents contain tremendous operational, financial, and legal value. Additionally, many companies unknowingly have documents that require specific retention and disposal procedures covered by a variety of different privacy laws, such HIPAA, HITECH and Red Flag Rule, FACTA, and SOX, just to mention a few.
A reputable, professional RIM firm cannot only keep your company compliant, it can be less costly than you may think. In fact, you will save valuable staff time and money when you take into consideration the time it takes to properly index, organize, and pack your records into storage boxes, not to mention the time it takes to search for, and retrieve, the documents from these creatively stored boxes along with the actual cost of storing them. Moreover, using a professional RIM company is a good "insurance policy" in case of thief, fire, or unforeseen disaster.
Here are 5 considerations for using a professional RIM company:
1) Technology has made access to your records simple, with online retrieval solutions using virtually any internet browser, in addition to email or facsimile requests.
2) A fully audible "chain of custody" for tracking your vital records is readily available. So, no longer will you be asking "where is that file?"
3) Professional management solutions will help you better control your ever-growing volume of sensitive, vital, business records.
4) Implementation of legally sound retention policies, that protect your organization from "Discovery" lapses, will keep you prepared in case of audit or litigation, keeping you fully compliant.
5) The average file cabinet holds about 8 boxes worth of files, and the same cabinet consumes 7.5 square feet of office floor space. If you, or your company, are paying $15/sq ft annually for the office space, you are actually paying $112.50 per year (over $14/box) to store 8 boxes of records. The average cost to store a box at most commercial records storage centers is less than $7.00 per box per year.
As a final point, when you outsource your records management to a professional, they become an extension of your staff, and you'll benefit from the insightful experience they've gained over the years. As a result, you'll achieve greater control over your information management processes, all while reducing risk, managing your costs, and maintaining full, legal compliancy.
Whether you're storing records at your office or in a storage facility, or working with a professional records management company, there are things you need to know.
Find out the Real Difference Between DIY and Professional Document Storage - the Environmental Factors, Hidden Costs and Security Measures you have to know.