Tips for Finding the Right Records Storage Vendor
The files that make up your records are likely your most-valuable business assets. Not only do they represent documents critical to your operational and customer service processes, but they also may contain confidential and private corporate or client data. As a result, you need a storage vendor that’s going to ensure the safety and security of your records. The following tips will help you make the right decision.
Tour document storage facilities
Finding a records storage solution provider who has the right combination of trusted staff, facilities, operational procedures, and controls can be challenging. As part of your due diligence, you should be prepared to tour the facilities where your records will potentially be stored, as a tour will give you a firsthand look at the systems used to preserve and protect your records.
Find out the physical location of the document storage facility. It should be strategically located within close proximity of emergency services, yet not in an area prone to flooding or crime. While on your tour, assess the following:
- fire-detection and suppression systems;
- security-monitoring and surveillance equipment;
- racking configuration and stability;
- climate control systems;
- the types of equipment used to locate and retrieve your records; and
- presence of mold, dust, pests, and other hazardous materials.
Don’t be afraid to ask for copies of recent fire-protection inspections and documentation related to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and State of California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requirements.
Similarly, ask to view the vehicles used to transport and deliver your records. They should be well-maintained and clean. Other things to look for include:
- GPS tracking,
- vehicle alarm systems, and
- secure cargo areas.
In short, the more you can see, the better you’ll be able to achieve an overall assessment of where and how your records will be stored.
Assess the employees entrusted with protecting your records
You want the people charged with handling and protecting your records to be competent and trusting. Your records storage vendor should utilize personnel who are have been thoroughly screened prior to employment, and the employees should look professional and have knowledge of privacy protection laws and regulations, including:
- GLB, and
Ask if employees are required to sign confidentiality agreements and to view a template of this document.
Review chain of custody procedures
The methods and procedures that your records storage vendor uses to maintain chain of custody for your records is crucial. Access, retrieval, and delivery controls all minimize the risk of information being compromised at any point during the retention lifecycle. Your provider should use the following tools:
- barcode-tracking technology,
- an inventory-management database, and
- a client web portal for retention management and ordering of services.
Request to see any documents related to operational procedures and standards. On your facility tour, you may also want to observe the retrieval, handling, and delivery processes.
Pacific Records Management provides records storage for businesses throughout Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, Fresno, Napa, and Solano counties. For more information, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on the page.