The quick and easy answer to this question is NOW! As your business runs its day to day operations, everything and anything can seem more important than the tasks involved with records management. And we get it, focusing on records management may seem dull and a minuscule part of your business, but with the loss of productivity, and potential fines from not handling sensitive information correctly, any one business cannot simply ignore it for long.
What most fail to realize is as they increase their clientele, add employees, generate more reports, etc., one simple stack of paper can turn into a room full very quickly. Fortunately, determining a record keeping process early on will eliminate the headaches of dealing with stacks and stacks of paper. Consider these key benefits that implementing a records storage program now will create for your business.
Ignoring records management will create clutter that you never imagined was possible. Since companies both large and small are always looking to maximize the amount of office space they have to work with, it is safe to say that storing boxes or loose paper is not an efficient use of that space. Using an offsite storage facility to store files that are not part of the everyday information necessary to run the business, can free up space and save time for those employees who would potentially be spending hours searching through piles of files.
Establishing strong lines of communication is vital not only with the teams within your organization but also externally with the vendors that you deal with, especially when it comes to records management. Partnering with a vendor who is not only certified and audited routinely, but also who can provide 24/7 access to your files is essential. In doing so you will be able to eliminate the headaches that can arise from not knowing when you will be able to access the information you need.
What would happen if a fire or flood were to impact your business? Would you be able to recover and access all the data that is needed to get it back up and running? Small businesses in particular need to be asking these kinds of questions to themselves as according to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), around 40 percent never open their doors again once a disaster hits. An offsite records storage facility that can store your records with the assurance of disaster protection systems in place, can make all the difference in the case of a disaster.
Whether you have or haven’t considered how long to keep files and when the right time to destroy them is, doesn’t mask the fact that all files both digital and hard-copy have a retention life. The longer your business keeps unneeded or unwanted files, the more at risk your business is for a data breach. Working with a records management partner that offers not only records storage, but certified shredding will protect your company and client’s information, while keeping your focus on your business.
*Bonus: Check out this Retention Guide that can help direct your business on just how long to retain your information.
Actively managing your data allows your business to operate at its peak potential. Just speaking with a professional at Williams Data Management can get you on the right track to answering questions and concerns you may have. Chat with us @ www.williamsdatamanagement.com or call us @ 888.920.4549.