When looking at your business’s current records management procedures, there are 3 main questions to ask…Many small-to-mid size businesses feel that record storage is an area of their business that they can manage on their own. The total costs involved with doing this are often overlooked. Using your own employees and your own storage space makes you feel like you aren’t incurring additional fees. However, when you really look at it, most businesses are actually costing themselves MORE and putting themselves at risk when handling record storage on their own.
- Is your current system efficient and cost-effective?
Information retrieval should be fast and easy. Documents should be organized in a way that all employees can easily understand. A well designed filing system, with an effective index, can make a significant difference in the time it takes to locate a document. Time spent searching for documents costs your business money, and is non-productive. There are also hidden costs including administrative fees, filing equipment and cabinets, and storage spaces within your office. An office space with boxes stacked all around, and filing cabinets and desks filled with old documents can also create a poor working environment.
“At any given time, between 3 and 5 percent of an organization’s files are lost or misplaced. The average cost of recreating a document is $180. Annual loses for a Fortune 1000 company with one million files is $5 million dollars.” (Information Week)
- Is your records management system compliant with industry regulations?
In terms of record keeping requirements, the United States is the most heavily regulated country in the world. These laws can create major compliance problems for businesses and government agencies since they can be difficult to locate, interpret and apply. The best way an organization can be reasonably sure that it is in full compliance with laws and regulations is by trusting a professional records management company. Failure to comply with laws and regulations could result in severe fines, penalties, or other legal consequences. Trusting the professionals will keep your business up-to-date on any industry regulation changes.
“In the United States the recent passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and regulations promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission prompt Chief Executive Officers to meet periodically with their CFOs and records managers to insure that all required information is being retained, managed, and destroyed according to statute. Failure to comply with these and other regulations, including enhanced laws protecting personal privacy in many countries, regarding information retention and disposition could result in severe fines, criminal charges, and imprisonment.” (PRISM International)
- Are your records at risk of a data breach?
Data breaches happen every day and cost businesses millions of dollars each year. There are many different ways a breach can happen, but overall many of these data breaches are preventable. Employee turnover, theft, careless placement of files, and improper disposal are oftentimes the reasons a data breach can happen. Trusting a records management company to store your files off-site can help prevent these types of breaches. A good records management company will provide 24/7 security, background –checked employees, and a secure recycling program for expired records/files.
As an added bonus, off-site storage also protects your records from catastrophes and natural disasters.
“More than 70% of executives say their organizations do not understand fully the risks associated with data breaches.” (Ponemon Institute study)
All in all, there are many hidden costs associated with storing internally that are often overlooked, when you weigh all your options, you can typically save money, improve regulatory compliance, and reduce your risk by using a trustworthy outside vendor to handle your records management.
The bottom line: Your business’s record storage should be efficient, cost-effective, compliant, and secure!