Storing and managing physical records has always been a challenging task. Unfortunately, it just keeps getting harder. Despite the promise that paper would go the way of dodo in the electronic age, the volume of physical records has been increasing at a steady rate. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite.
Commercial real estate costs are once again on the rise, which is another factor putting the squeeze on paper records. These 2 factors, together, are forcing records manager around the country to address the paper issue.
This week, we have outlined a few storage and filing practices to help you free up floor space and reduce the cost of storing physical records.
Off-site and near-site storage
If you wish to cut down on storage cost, storing records outside your main operational center would be a great option. Active records can be placed in near-site storage. You can also choose to move active records to a third-party facility. Inactive records, on the other hand, can be transferred to off-site storage.
This is the key to an effective records management program. By dividing the records into different categories, it makes it easier to identify and pull out records when you need them.
Records retention schedule
By knowing which class a record belongs to, it would be easier for everyone to set the retention schedule based on the legal requirement for the business activities which they support. Additionally, by knowing how long the records should be retained, it prevents the unnecessary storage of expire records.
Disposal of expired records is one of the simplest, yet effective ways of reducing both storage cost and space at the same time. Unfortunately, a lot of organizations are hesitant to push through with this step due to uncertainty and the lack of approval for document destruction and disposal.
To eliminate doubt, it would be best to establish clear policies for document destruction. This is also beneficial as it will serve as a legal evidence in case the destruction process is called into question.