When a business is starting a partnership with an offsite storage provider there will be certain questions they will be wanting to ask. These questions will vary from business to business, depending on what sector they belong in and what type of information they hold. However, there are some non-industry specific questions that every business should be looking to ask their storage provider when embarking on any joint record management projects with them.
Will this storage partnership save my business money in the long-term?
A lot of offsite storage companies will claim that they can save businesses money in the long-term by reducing the amount a business will need to spend on record management and storage. Businesses are likely to make huge savings by using an offsite storage provider, by reducing the amount they spend on office space, administration and hardware for document destruction. However, in order for businesses to continue making these savings they need to make sure that their offsite storage provider is transparent with the costing of all their services. This means looking out for unexpected termination fees and surcharges.
Businesses will often find offsite storage providers are more than happy to go into the details when it comes to costing, as they know how important it is for businesses to continue reducing offsite storage costs.
2. How will this service help my business achieve its’ record management goals?
For most businesses a key record management goal will be trying to implement a system that is more cost effective. However, beyond this there are other aims a business might set itself when attempting to improve its’ RIM system with the help of an offsite storage facility, including:
- Employee productivity
- Client satisfaction
- Investor confidence
- Reliable business continuity plans
- Increased data accessibility
Offsite storage vendors have the expertise and experience to be able to assist businesses with creating record management programs that are tailored to achieve their own specific RIM goals.
3. What security measures does this facility have in place?
An offsite storage facility should always ensure the security of their clients’ information is a top priority. One of main reasons businesses often choose to transfer their records offsite is in order to guarantee the security of their information. Businesses should expect a facility to have alarms, CCTV and 24-hour manned security in place as standard. It is always worth inquiring what security measures a provider has in place as the answer will vary; first rate storage vendors are normally prepared to spend more on resources to protect their customers’ records.
4. How does this facility make sure that a businesses’ Data Protection requirements are met?
When it comes to Data Protection laws most businesses expect absolute legal vigilance from their offsite vendor at all times. Falling foul of these data laws can cost a business up to £500,000, and with new EU data regulations being imposed next year the penalties for not complying are only going to become even greater. A business should find out whether their storage provider carries out regular audits of their clients’ files and accurately record retention deadlines which are used to determine a document’s disposal date.
5. Does this facility offer services that are environmentally friendly?
For most businesses, being environmentally friendly is becoming an increasingly important priority, especially as it is something that clients are becoming more attentive to. Most premier storage providers will have excellent credentials when it comes to being green, but it is always worth asking a provider how they strive to make all their services, from document collection to disposal, as environmentally considerate as possible.
Offsite storage vendors know how valuable a business’ records are and so will always expect employees to have plenty of questions for them before signing the dotted line. First rate storage vendors will have already catered for a whole variety of businesses and will have a wealth of experience at the ready to give assurance to those businesses about to begin their new record management partnership.