How to reduce and minimise the cost of your off-site storage
As any well-run business professional will know, it makes total sense to use off-site storage for any old records, files and archives.
There are so many benefits, from freeing up office space on your business premises, to knowing that your important documents are completely secure or there might even be a need to store your data for legal reasons or data protection.
The trap that many business professionals can fall into though, is the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality where virtually everything is sent into storage just to get rid of it, while the costs, as well as the storage space, mount up.
Like with many good practices, the secret to minimising the amount of off-site storage space needed is the planning and here are a few tips:
• Educate your staff on what needs to be kept and what can be thrown away. Encourage tidiness and efficiency in the workplace to avoid piles of paperwork mounting up around you.
• Put a purge schedule in place in the workplace and nominate some staff members to ensure it is completed regularly and stuck to.
• Give your purge schedule a trial run in one department. See how it goes and make a note of lessons learnt before taking the purge to the whole company.
• Give yourself and your staff a set time to clean up office space and filing areas, so they can be more focussed on the task in hand, rather than fitting it in around their other duties.
• Have specific staging areas for the items that are going into storage and those which can be thrown away. Make sure the two areas don’t run into each other.
• Do a purge on your items already in off-site storage. Have any reached the necessary file retention date? Be ruthless. What do you really need there? You’ll probably rediscover some of what you have in storage and realise you don’t need it anymore.
• Once you’ve done the purge on your off-site storage area, keep records of what’s there, so you’ll know when things have passed their necessary retention date.
Active record purging can reduce the amount of storage space you need dramatically, therefore making the time it takes to do it very worthwhile and cost effective.
Once you get into the habit of having a regular office tidy up and purge, prior to your record storage, it will become second nature to you and your team, therefore taking up less and less of your valuable time.