Records Management servicesWhy Records Management?
Typically records management is for inactive records, which by very definition are records that are no longer being accessed frequently, if at all. This makes it easy to put those records in a deep, dark corner of your facility or a storage unit never to be thought of again. But it is not that simple. The records have to be kept, or you would simply throw them out. The question is where they are kept.
There are several factors that play key roles in determining your particular records management needs.
"Inactive files management is a strategy to continually move files out of more expensive office space when they have become inactive." By definition, inactive records are no longer needed on a daily or weekly basis. Once they have reached the inactive stage, you must decide where these records will be stored. For many, the solution is one of the following: an empty office or offices, the manufacturing floor or warehouse, a basement or attic, a self storage unit, or even an abandoned building. For many reasons, these seem like attractive options. After all, the files are inactive and the space is already there.
However, you should ask yourselves some questions about these facilities. Are records stored in basements near water pipes that may be prone to flooding? Are they stored in damp areas that lead to mold and mildew and the eventual destruction of the contents? Are the records protected against fire in any way?
In other areas, we will discuss how your storage solution defines the accessibility, security, control, and cost of your records management solution.
In many ways, space and cost are inevitably tied together. For most, the decision to store your records in your own facility is seen as a cost-savings. Additionally, space, as a records management issue, often comes down to the simple fact that you have records you need to retain, and you have no place to put them. Renting a self-storage unit often times seems like the only solution, even if you lose control and accessibility of your records. As you will see under the other reasons for a commercial records management program, self-storage should only be a solution if you do not have a company like TRANSFERET for Records Management Services.
TRANSFERET’s Records Management Services can help you solve your space issues. Our records center is designed to store records in the least expensive way possible, while still maintaining accessibility and protecting your records from unauthorized access.
As you look at having TRANSFERET be your commercial records center, you should ask yourself some of the following questions:
• Are files needed by customers, employees, auditors, the public, attorneys, and other that are difficult - or even impossible - to find?
• Are restricted records such as personnel files or protected health information shielded from unauthorized viewing?
• How long does it take to find and pull an inactive record?
• Are you running a risk of injury just to find a box?
• Do you miss deadlines with customers or auditors because you can't locate a file?
The cost of storing your records is much more than the space it takes up. Even inactive records should be accessible when the need arises. The cost of access is a major factor to consider when considering the cost of a records program. Not only do you have to pay an employee to find the inactive file, but you lose what that employee or employees could be doing for you instead of looking for a needed file.
Security, with regards to records management, can take on distinct functions: protection against theft of data and against outside forces, such as fire.
Records that your company creates are sensitive. Some data is more sensitive than others. Examples of this kind of data are:
• Personnel Records
• Patient Records (health care)
• Case Records (legal)
• Proprietary Info
• Customer Info
• Account Information (bank and financial)
Your records and the sensitive information that they contain should be shielded from prying eyes, even if those eyes might be your own employees. If your records are stored in your basement or in your office somewhere, who currently has access to those records? Are they locked when not being accessed?
In addition to security of access to individual files and records, security on the location of those records in equally important. Access to our building is restricted throughout the day. To get in our doors, you must have a code to enter the building or be buzzed in by our receptionist. At night, our alarm system is connected into a monitoring system that will alert the police should any issue arise. In addition, we have video monitoring of our records warehouse so that should an incident occur, we have video of what occurred.
Another key security feature on our location is the fire protection. Many people who view and tour our records center ask about sprinkler systems. The answer to that question is easy: we don't have sprinklers. For a records center, versus many other types of businesses, a sprinkler system is actually just as hazardous to the contents of our facility as a fire would be, and in some cases more. If a fire is isolated, the sprinkler system could easily destroy records outside of the fire area which would be safe otherwise.
Instead of sprinklers, TRANSFERT employs a fire detection system that is connected with our alarm system. Monitored 24 hours a day, including during business operations, smoke detectors located throughout the building will alert the monitoring service of any potential issue. The fire department will be called and they will come check the building even if no fire is readily apparent. In addition, our records center is separated from the rest of our building by a fireproof wall. Should a fire occur in the front of our building, the records center would be sealed off from the rest of the building in order to protect our customers' records.
Security and control are closely related within records management and it is easy to have issues that revolve around security be considered control, and vice versa. With regards to your records, control is more than just making sure your records are secure. Control means knowing your records are being managed.
The feeling of "not being in control" is one of the worst feelings there is. With control comes management, with management comes stability. Control of your records is about peace of mind. Having your records with TRANSFERET provide the following to allow you peace of mind:
• Desktop delivery of records that you request
• Your records are just a phone call away
• Sensitive data is away from prying eyes
• Your records are in a secure facility
• Your records are off-site and not in the way or taking up valuable space
With TRANSFERET, your inactive records are managed, giving you control over your records that you simply do not have if your records are stored at your location or in a storage unit. With TRANSFERET, you get peace of mind.
Every business has to watch its bottom line. While records management is an important function of your company, it will often take a back burner to other, more immediate, concerns. Often a records management program is only thought of when space becomes an issue or there has been a security breach of some sort. Most view records management with a commercial facility as an "added" expense, failing to realize that they are currently paying for records management in some fashion already.
In essence, regardless of how you are storing your records currently, there is a cost associated with that. That cost could be in space being used that you could put to other uses, in the rental of self-storage units, or in cost of man hours necessary to maintain your records and find records as needed. In almost every instance, the cost of using a commercial records center, such as TRANSFERET, will inevitably be less than the cost of managing your records internally when real values are given to the costs associated with space and labor.