Choosing a record management company to handle your documents might seem daunting. It is likely the facility you chose will hold your records for years, even decades, to come. The company you chose will not only be looking after your records but the records of your clients as well.
It is your responsibility to choose a facility that will not only fulfil your needs but also the needs of your clients. Checking the vendor’s memberships is a good starting point from which to assess their customer quality levels. Whilst you might have expertise in your own business sector, an organisation outside the record management industry is unlikely to know much about the operations of the business. Luckily, there are industry memberships, standards and certificates that can be used to verify a high performing facility.
Having the expertise of a third party can help businesses distinguish between those storage companies that are unexceptional and those that excel in security, customer service and document management.
To learn more about offsite storage options please check out our post: 7 reasons you should consider an offsite storage vendor
ISO 9001 is part of the ISO 9000 standardisation series which is distributed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and is an internationally renowned indicator for quality management.
The standards set out by the ISO are guidelines that are used by organisations that want to achieve the best quality service. This standard can be used by any organisation in any sector and is highly prized globally. It is currently being used by over 1 million companies in 170 countries.
A company can be confident that these standards are in place to ensure the best customer service. To ascertain that these standards remain relevant they are reviewed every 5 years by the ISO.
An offsite storage facility that uses this standardisation will have to follow eight quality management maxims. These guidelines have been drafted by distinguished authorities who are part of the ISO Technical Committee (ISO/TC 176).
The 8 principles taken directly from the ISO 9001 reference guide are:
- Customer Focus
- Involvement of People
- Process Approach
- System approach to management
- Continual improvement
- Factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
It goes without saying that a registered ISO 9001 firm will become a part of the International Standardization Organisation family. The ISO aims to:
Ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.
The Information and Records Management Society
This society, since founded in 1983, has been the foremost association for records management and the association encourages all its members to aim for quality service.
The association is in frequent contact with its members and therefore is able to share its expertise on record management. The society has 1100 members from 30 countries and holds an annual conference where these members can meet together.
The society and its members are incredibly active. Members are not only expected to attend the annual conference but also vote in the Executive Committee elections. Members receive a bi-monthly Society Bulletin which has informing articles about the industry and is an ideal medium for members to share ideas.
Member companies are given access to the Local Government Classification Retention Schedule (LGCRS) which is an essential record management document.
AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management)
AIIM is an association founded specifically for the membership of companies and individuals that specialise in information management.
The association has expertise in areas such as case management, collaboration, document management and information management. Founded in 1943 and led by a 20 member Board of Directors, AIIM has an abundance of first-hand experience to offer its members.
AIIM hosts educational events which help individuals of the industry deal with new technological advances. AIIM recognises the increased fluidity and technological expansion of information systems and so strives to support its members by publishing in-depth industry know-how.
An offsite storage company that wants to be a competitive player in the industry will know that becoming part of these associations is incredibly beneficial.
Acquiring up-to-date knowledge about good industry practice and fellow competitors will improve a company’s own operations.