Some of the world’s oldest historical documents reside on paper. As long as paper records are kept dry, cool and secure they can last decades–even hundreds of years–which make them the ideal archival medium. However, because hardcopy documents are so hearty, factors such as cost and perceived convenience often take priority over variables that help facilitate long term preservation, such as:
- relative humidity
- light exposure
- integrated pest management
As a result, companies may choose to store their business records in places such as basements, attics, and self storage units which do not ensure preservation for extended retention periods. Professional offsite records storage, on the other hand, provides a combination of facilities and systems that allow for the maximum preservation of paper documents and files by providing:
- fire and flood prevention
- environmental monitoring and regulation
- disaster mitigation
- regulated access control
Inventory management to meet legal and regulatory requirements
Within the current regulatory environment, storage is just one key component of comprehensive corporate records management. Documents and files (of any format, not just paper) require proper classification, organization and disposition in order to support legal, fiscal and administrative requirements. While it’s necessary to store records for their required retention period, it’s also important to be able to access specific pieces of information in a timely manner. Misplaced documents can result in lost time, productivity and penalties associated with non-compliance.
A professional, outsourced records storage solution combines protection and preservation of paper documents with a system for indexing and tracking offsite records inventory: an inventory management database. Such a database not only allows your records management provider to locate and retrieve a specific carton for you, but also provides a means for organizing your complete archival inventory without undertaking additional administrative and overhead costs. Records that are transferred to an offsite document storage center can easily be indexed to allow for sorting and searching within the inventory management system by:
- retention period
- destruction date
- document type
Having access to this type of searchable database saves valuable time and leads to better business processes.
Efficient, controlled and documented retrieval
Documented and controlled access to your archival records not only supports audit requirements but also decreases the risk of files being mishandled or misplaced. Within an inventory management system, permission levels can be assigned to departments and/or individual end users, thus assuring the security and integrity of all requests. Also, since requests can be made through a secure online connection, the time and resources needed to manually locate and retrieve files in-house is eliminated. Scan on demand options even allow for documents to be sent electronically to an authorized requester’s computer. Whether delivered manually or electronically, the documentation of each request is important for building a comprehensive audit trail that supports legal and regulatory processes.
Pacific Records Management provides turnkey record services for businesses throughout Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, Napa and Solano Counties. For more information, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on this page.