Document Storage: Barcodes are Your Friend

Barcodes for Document Storage

At one point or another we all have experienced not being able to find something that we desperately need right away. Car keys, a cell phone, a purse or wallet – all things that have gone down that seemingly black hole, consuming a whole morning to find. Thankfully, for those types of items, there are useful trackers to help us locate them should they go missing. But when it comes to document storage, where do you turn if a file is taking too much time to find or can’t be found at all?

Alarming Stat

According to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, “the average company spends $20 in labor to file a document, $120 in labor to find a misfiled document, and $220 to reproduce a lost document. Meanwhile, companies lose one out of every 20 documents, and spend 25 hours recreating each lost document.”

These numbers can be downright shocking. Especially when in theory, your document storage practices should allow for easy access to authorized personnel. The good news is it has been several years since this study was published, so we are not going to sit and pretend that these exact numbers still hold true today. With advances in technology and procedures, the cost and time factors listed above have most likely been reduced, but that by no means signifies that they still don’t exist in most organizations.

Think back on the last time you were asked to locate a document and were unable to do so successfully. What was that feeling like? Sure enough, there was some pain, anxiety, and fear as to what could have happened to the vital information of your business. In most instances when this happens, organizations will try to recreate the information, but of course, this consumes time, energy, and resources. And let’s be honest, when it comes down to it, you and your employees have better things to do than to be scrambling to try and figure out what information is missing.

You Said Something About Barcodes

Okay, getting to barcodes. Barcodes play an integral role in the document storage process. Barcodes are assigned and affixed to each box of information that enters into a document storage facility so that when it comes time to retrieve or even analyze which boxes are in your company’s possession and which are not, you are able to quickly and efficiently. What does that mean? It means, depending on how well your information is classified when entering into storage, your business will have immediate knowledge of what file/box is needed, be able to easily retrieve it, and will have eliminated the hours spent searching for information that may or may not be there.

Barcodes also provide a verifiable chain of custody at every step of the storage process. Each and every time a box enters or leaves a secure document storage facility it is scanned. The status of that box is then updated accordingly so when it comes time to take audit of your inventory, it’s easy to understand at every step where your information is located, who has requested access and what information has been requested.

Analyzing your document storage practices and your ability to access information at the moment it is needed can expose some alarming practices that put you at risk. If you are finding yourself confused, and in need of more info, contact us to learn more about how partnering together can create clarity and minimize the risk.