The volume of information that businesses generate is a growing challenge in today’s digital world. Every company creates physical and electronic records, some of which are essential to the organization’s operations organization’s compliance, while others are not. As a result, managing this vast amount of information can consume significant physical and digital space, time, money and effort.
Businesses need to make informed decisions about what files to keep, where to store them, when to dispose of them and any privacy and security implications. Two processes that help companies manage their information are document storage and records management. Although these processes are related, they have distinct objectives, and understanding their differences is necessary for businesses of all sizes.
What is Document Storage?
Document storage is the process of storing paper files and electronic records in a safe and secure location. For some businesses, that may include storing information in filing cabinets within a storage room or keeping digital documents on hard drives. A better alternative is keeping business documents in an offsite records storage facility to protect confidential information and provide access to authorized users for efficient retrieval.
What is Records Management?
Records management is the process of organizing, storing and maintaining physical records and digital files throughout their lifecycle, from creation to destruction. The objective is to ensure that all vital records are kept secure, accessible and accurate while ensuring regulatory compliance with particular industry, legal and operations requirements throughout the entire process.
How Do Document Storage and Records Management Differ?
There are some critical differences between document storage and records management:
- Scope: Document storage refers to the physical or digital storage of individual documents, while a records management program manages all types of records belonging to a company.
- Records Lifecycle: Document storage focuses on the safe storage of documents, while a records management system concentrates on managing documents throughout their entire lifecycle, from creation to destruction, to ensure a complete chain of custody.
- Organization: Record storage focuses on the organization and retrieval of individual documents, while document management concentrates on the organization of all types of records belonging to a business. This includes creating a records management policy and retention rules so comprehensive guidelines are in place to keep documents organized.
- Regulatory Compliance: Record storage focuses on regulatory compliance by ensuring that documents are stored securely and accessible when needed, while records management specifically concentrates on compliance by following legal and regulatory requirements. This also includes secure and compliant destruction when records reach the end of their lifecycle.
Why Do Businesses Need Document Management and Records Storage?
When you consider the benefits of having a records management program that includes document storage, it is easy to see why all business owners should partner with a records management service to store and manage paper documents and digital records efficiently and effectively:
Benefits of a Records Management Program
Storing business documents in filing cabinets and store rooms uses expensive office space that could otherwise use for revenue-generating activities. As more files are accumulated, businesses must also invest in supplies to organize records. Organizations can better utilize their office space and reduce costs by relocating paper documents to off-site storage.
Information stored within the workplace is difficult to find and retrieve, and employees spend valuable time trying to access records. By storing documents in a consistent and organized manner, employees can save time and energy when searching for specific information and focus on revenue-generating opportunities.
Record storage can facilitate collaboration by providing a centralized location for employees to access and share business information. This can improve communication and streamline business operations, improving employee productivity and efficiency.
A document management program that includes off-site records storage protects sensitive information from unauthorised access, theft and natural disasters. Unlike storing records within an office location, records management services employ physical and digital security measures to keep information safe, such as alarms, access controls, encryption and backup systems.
Storing business documents within the workplace and not in a climate-controlled facility does increase the risk of damage and loss. On the other hand, records management services maintain pest suppression and fire protection measures to prevent damage or loss of archived data while in storage. Should your workplace experience a catastrophe, such as a fire or a flood, archived documents remain safe and accessible in secure storage to ensure business continuity.
When paper documents and electronic records are kept within the workplace, they are more likely to be neglected, leading to compliance issues. Professional document archive services are better equipped to manage retention periods to comply with government regulatory requirements, maintain audit trails and avoid fines.
Keep Your Business Information Secure, Accessible and Compliant
Don’t put your files at risk of theft, fire or privacy law violations. Make the better choice by partnering with a records management company. At Blue-Pencil, we provide integrated document storage solutions to protect important data throughout its entire lifecycle. Documents are managed by authorized and trained professionals and stored in our climate-controlled facility with 24/7 surveillance and strict security protocols.
With our records storage solutions, we track, index and scan files every step of the way to ensure a secure chain of custody. Our records management service can also create and implement a document storage policy to keep your business compliant with privacy laws. When retention periods expire, we can remove non-essential records from your inventory and destroy stored information using our secure shredding service.
Retrieval of business files from records storage is one click away. Paper documents can be physically delivered or scanned and sent via email within hours to keep your confidential information accessible. You can also centrally manage your account online to order documents, access your inventory, get record storage reports, and so much more. And since Blue-Pencil charges only a few dollars per box each year, our records storage services are a safe, scalable and affordable long-term solution for businesses of all sizes.
From storing and indexing to scanning and accessing your vital files, we can optimize your business processes. To learn more about Blue-Pencil’s records management services, contact our team to request a free quote.