How to Choose the Right Commercial Records Center
The value you place on your information extends to how you manage and store it. You have choices. You may decide to leave your files within office filing cabinets, or you might even have a year’s worth of business records stacked in the corner of a basement. You’ve even considered the mini storage facility down the street. Yet, as with any choice, it’s wise to examine the implications of your decisions.
Take your filing cabinets—you’ve been using them for years, and for the most part they’ve served their purpose. But over the years they’ve also become crammed with frayed and tattered documents. Adding a new file folder is a challenge to say the least. Some of the files contained within should have been destroyed months or even years ago. Comprised of financial records, personnel files and client information, there’s certainly confidential data in those file cabinets. You can’t remember how long ago you stopped locking them, and heaven knows where the keys are.
The boxes of records in the basement are another story. Just thinking of going through those brings on a mild panic attack. Every spring you resolve to sort through them, but more pressing business issues come up and you fall into “out of sight, out of mind” complacency. Your colleague suggested tackling the clutter with a mini storage unit a short drive away but the thought of having to transport and periodically retrieve documents results in phantom back pain.
You’ve heard of professional offsite records storage and are just beginning to entertain the idea. Perhaps a business associate finally made use of the service after his faulty sprinkler system completely destroyed his client contracts and tax records several years back, and now he touts the ability to view his records retention inventory online and have files brought to him without having to lift a finger.
The problem is, there are several document storage companies in the area and it comes down to making a choice. So how do you choose the right commercial records center for storing your business records?
Security and Safety
Your documents and files are the lifeblood of your business. Therefore, it’s critical to make sure your records inventory is going to be protected from theft, fire, natural disaster and of course a faulty sprinkler system. A professional records center should be equipped with the following:
- security protection technology
- intrusion detection systems
- digital surveillance monitoring
- motion sensors
- redundant backup systems
Your document storage facility should meet all of the regulations set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State of California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Additionally, only screened, uniformed, authorized personnel should have access to the records center.
Organization and management of your retention
It’s important to be able to quickly locate and request any records stored offsite at any time. Your commercial records center should have the ability to support routine requests as well as emergency retrieval of information to meet disaster recovery objectives. Look for a records center with the following:
- barcode tracking
- inventory management database
- secure online web access
In addition, you should always have full audit trail capabilities for your offsite records inventory.
Reputation and experience of your records storage provider
A commercial records center is only as safe, secure and effective as the records and information management company maintaining it. Reputation is everything. Look for a solution provider with long experience serving your community. A company confident in its services and track record will provide you with references and offer you a tour of its commercial records center.
Pacific Records Management provides professional records management and storage solutions for businesses throughout Fresno, Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, and Napa and Solano Counties. For more information, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on this page.