Document & File Storage
Archival File Storage
With the ever increasing cost of office space and the advent of the current economic down turn, never has there been a more oportune time to consider savings which can be achieved by reducing your office footprint or at least making sure that it does not expand. When you concentrate on the fact that the room or rooms which have been converted from general office space to file storage rooms cost the exact same amount per square foot as your office space it is difficult to justify the continued use of onsite office storage for all but current files. The chart below shows the typical use of a file over its life time and how often it is expected to be retrieved over that lifetime. This applies no matter what the size of the company involved is with the exception that for a smaller firm it is more likely that a higher percentage of its total property footprint will be taken up by physical file storage space. This means that a higher return can be achieved by implementing an off site storage policy and freeing or reducing high cost office space.
There are many specialist offsite record Storage companies catering for medium to large firms with the requirement of storing the equivalent of one thousand boxes or more. These firms offer a complete managed service which includes cateloguing, storage and retrieval services. For those firms which do not have that number of boxes or do not wish their records to be stored in a massive warehouse is there an alternative. This is where Mini Storage Self Storage facilities come in. They offer a range of Self storage units. These units start as little as one sq meter and increase in size all the way up to fifty sq meters which gives clients the option of storing anything from four bankers boxes to many thousands. As this is a self storage option it is important that it is approached and carried out in an organised manor. A good general rule is that your policies and procedures should closely mirror those of your inhouse filing system and keep the KISS (keep it simple s..... ) principal at the forefront of your mind.
- Decide and record exactly when files should be put to offsite storage. This can be done on a weekly basIs or as little as a yearly basIs depending upon the volume of files involved and how quickly they reach their Archive state. (Less than 10% of those files are ever retrieved, usually within six months of the file being created)
- Record the policy and assign responsibility within the firm for its implementation
- Use bankers boxes or similar archive boxes and number the box in sequence and record the contents on the exterior of the boxes, and record the box numbers and their contents on a data base within the office. The reason for numbering the boxes is that if they are filed in numerical order then it is easier to retreive them when the time arrives
- Determine a retension policy for the files and record this on the data base. This is usually a future date at which time it is determined that the files will be of no further practical use and should be destroyed. The selection of this date is usually determined by statutory, legal or usage requirements
- Most importantly determine a policy for the retrieval of files from off site storage. Questions to consider are should the entire bankers box be retrieved or should the individual file be retrieved and who is responsible for the file back at the office and what is the policy for that file being returned to offsite storage. This choice will depend on the individual circumstances of each firm, and once determined either approach will work well as long as it is followed consistantly
There are significant advantages to using the above approach.
- You immediately free up valuable office space and declutter your office giving a better impression to your clients and staff
- You maintain direct control of your archival information which is often the lifeblood of any organisation
- You pay only for what you need. You can upsize or down size your units as you desire as there are no longterm lease commitments
- You are not limited to just storing files, the units can also be used for excess stock, furniture, stationary etc,. Though if this is a long term requirement I would recomend using seperate units within the same storage facility
- The units are all individually alarmed and you have the key, so no unauthorised access to your information is possible
- Our experienced staff would be delighted to assist in any way to ensure you implement the policy that is right for your firm. We have facilities in Cork which are conveniently located.