Record management is an important part of organizing and storing any company’s documents and important files. Great record management practices can keep your business information safe, orderly, and secure. However, poor records management can actually harm your business. Learn about the 7 ways your business can suffer from bad record management below. You can also contact the experts at Blue-Pencil to find out how you can receive the best records management services for you and your business!

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7 Ways Your Business Can Suffer From Bad Record Management

Records management is simply the processes, such as storage, retrieval, and eventual destruction, of your company’s records. Records can include tax information, business transactions, receipts, customer or client information, and more.

Trying to manage records internally, either at your own workplace or using storage lockers, without the proper resources or training can lead to improperly managed records. This can quickly cause your business to suffer. Here are the ways poor records management may affect you and your company.

1. Records not filed in any particular order can be difficult to locate when needed

Retrieving poorly organized records can take up valuable work time 

Records management requires a high degree of skilled organization. When you work with a professional record management company, they will have a clear and foolproof method for organizing and storing files. This makes it quick and simple when you need to retrieve your much-needed documents.

However, if employees, who are not trained in proper records management, are responsible for filing your records, you could end up with a lot of problems. Records may get filed in no particular order, or they may follow a confusing or unclear storage method.

Improperly organized and stored records make it difficult when the time comes to retrieve them. Though many records stay stored without ever leaving their filing cabinet, others are important and need to be accessible. For example, if your company gets audited, you will need to be able to easily retrieve all tax records and information, or you could find yourself in trouble.

2. Employees’ time to retrieve records takes them away from their actual job

Managing records can cost employees hours of work per week

Unless you work with a professional records management company, your employees will be responsible for organizing, storing, and eventually retrieving your documents and records.

Retrieving large amounts of records and documents can take hours away from your employees’ valuable time. If you store off-site in a rental space, you will also have to take into account your employees’ commute time. Instead of employees working on their own projects, they may have to dedicate an entire afternoon to sifting through files in order to find the right ones.

This is especially true if you are a business that requires regular retrieval of stored documents and records, have significant amounts of records on file, or store your records off-site in a storage unit or storage locker instead of on your own property.

3. Most rental spaces are not properly secured against floods, insects, fire, burglary

Records could be lost in a fire or flood

As mentioned above, some companies choose to rent storage space, either large storage units or smaller storage lockers, to store their documents and records. These rental spaces may be somewhat convenient – especially if your business is located close to one. They can help reclaim some space in your own office.

However, these storage rental spaces are not designed for records storage and management services. Though they can function as a space to keep your records, they are often not highly secured against floods, insects, fire, and burglary – at least not in the same way as a secure records management facility.

If you are simply storing furniture or old items you no longer use, storage spaces can be an excellent choice. If a flood or fire does occur, of course, it would be upsetting. But it would likely not affect your business. However, if you store records in a storage space destroyed by the elements, your business could lose irreplaceable information and documents.

4. Most rental spaces are not humidity controlled

Rental spaces can contribute to mold growth on records

If you choose to store your company’s records off-site in a storage space, potential accidents are not the only thing you need to worry about. Most rental spaces are not humidity controlled or cost significantly more if they offer climate-controlled options.

Bob Johnson, NAID CEO, writes this about the growth of mold on records:

“Deep inside any stack of wet paper, boxed or not, it is dark and warm, which creates optimal conditions for the growth of mold.”

This potential for excess moisture can quickly cause problems with your paper documents. Moisture can quickly lead to cartons breaking down and potential mold issues. Once again, these conditions can cause your documents to be completely destroyed or at the very least, unreadable. Mold can also cause potential adverse health effects and allergic reactions for employees who must retrieve and handle these documents.

When working with a great records management service, you won’t have to worry about wet and moldy records. A professional company will ensure your records are stored in a secure, climate-controlled space. If water damage does happen to occur, the company will know how to safely handle potentially moldy records, ensuring your employees are not exposed to potential risk.

5. Renting storage locker space can be costly

Rental spaces can cost hundreds of dollars per month

The costs of renting a storage unit to keep your documents can quickly add up. The average price for a 10×20 storage unit is approximately $200.00 per month. That may not seem like much at first, but it will end up costing over $2,400 per year. Is it really worth it?

When you rent a storage space, the only thing you are paying for is, well, space! There are no additional services. No one to retrieve your records (that is on your employees’ time and travel costs), no one to organize your records (once again, your time and money), and no one to help if something goes wrong.

Another problem is, what if you run out of space? A 10×20 space can go a long way, but what if your company grows significantly over a five-year span? That can generate thousands of records that need storage. A large space means even more money per month. And if you have to move your files to a larger storage unit, it could take quite a long time to re-organize and move them over!

6. Your records cartons are not entirely secure

A secure facility ensures your records are always safe and secure

Whether you store in a storage unit or choose to store in your own building, your records will never be totally secure. Storing your information at your workplace can greatly increase your risk of a purposeful or accidental information leak. This is because employees, cleaning staff, and others who enter your office will have easy access to your records.

Storing in a rental space may reduce the number of people who have access to your records, but it is not as secure as storing with a records management company that has a facility specifically designed for secure storage. Not properly storing your records can lead to security breaches of both company and client information.

7. No chain of custody when a carton is removed from the room

No chain of custody can lead to stolen or misplaced information

A chain of custody, essentially a paper trail that shows who has accessed, removed, and otherwise obtained records and documents, is an important part of records management. This paper trail helps keep track of who has seen and used records – and can be useful if an information leak should occur, or if a file goes missing.

However, when there is no proper records management system in place, there is no official chain of custody set up. Even if you set up a book or log for employees to sign, there is no guarantee they will follow those rules or remember to log their information. Once again, this can lead to information breaches, and stolen or accidentally misplaced information.

If you work with a professional records management company, you will never have to worry about not having a paper trail – all information about accessing your files will be accurately logged, documented, and filed.

Let Blue-Pencil Help You With Your Records Management Needs!

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Blue-Pencil helps empower Canadian organizations to reach new heights with friendly and efficient record management services. Customer service is not only a slogan but something we practice by investing in our strategic partners.

Located in Oakville, we have grown our document security business over the past 10 years, serving more than 6,000 organizations including small and medium-sized companies as well as Fortune 500 businesses.

“Blue-Pencil has always been there when we need them.”

–Paul Charlebois, Read more testimonials here!

We have recently launched two new divisions; Documents Storage and Records Management division and Document Imaging and Scanning Solutions division. This allows us to offer full circle, comprehensive solutions for information security management. We service the GTA and surrounding cities –  click here for a full list of our service areas. If you’d like to learn more about us and what we can do for you contact us today!

 

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At this time, we continue to provide our customers with shredding and storage services. Read our COVID-19 Position Statement for complete details.