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Offsite Document Storage Tips for 2016

How to take your offsite document storage to the next level.

 

 

While your offsite document storage solution may not be at the top of your list of things to do come January, taking the time to access it can make for a more efficient and stress free year ahead.

Offsite document storage is too valuable to take a ‘send it offsite and forget it’ approach. Keeping track of records that have been archived offsite is not only wise but also essential. Therefore, we’ve put together a number of tips to help ease the process of evaluating your offsite records archive.

 

  1. Study Your KPI’s

Perhaps the best place to start is a review of your offsite document storage KPI’s. Once you are familiar with your programme’s performance you will be able to locate problem areas and implement changes as you review each part of it.

 

  1. Offsite Document Storage Audit

Take the time to assess your list of records that have been archived offsite. Ask your service provider for a copy of their record inventory so that you can compare the records listed and ensure all your records are accounted for. A good supplier should be able to supply you will additional reports and audit trails if need be.

 

  1. Retention Schedule Assessment

Once all your records are accounted for, you should assess them against your retention schedule. Any records that have reached the end of their legal retention period may be destroyed using a secure shredding service. Should you still wish to keep certain records for business purposes rather than destroy them then make sure to note this.

 

  1. Send New Records to Archives

Having reviewed your records and retention schedule, it should be obvious that you may have acquired new records similar to those that you have archived offsite. This means these records may also be sent offsite. Any new records should then be assessed as to their use, retention schedule, etc. and then sent to your offsite storage facility.

 

  1. Review Access Control

As with any organisation, people leave and new people come on board. Therefore it is important to review who has access to your offsite records archives. Anyone who has left your organisation should be removed for the access list unless this has already been done. Should access to records be granted to new employees then the access list must be updated accordingly.

 

  1. Disaster Management Compliance

Don’t just assume your offsite document storage partner has maintained their facilities. Ask them what measures they have in place to mitigate disaster and maintain security. Where possible ask for the relevant certification proving compliance.

 

  1. Review Your Offsite Storage Policies

Take the time to fully review your organisation’s offsite document storage policies. It is important to stay familiar with these policies and update them too if needed. Make sure all who need to be familiar with your policies take the time to review them.

 

  1. Review Your Training Process

Ongoing training in how to manage important documents and records is vital to maintaining an efficient Records & Information Management Programme Relevant training courses should be created or existing ones updated and rolled out throughout the organisation. Training should be regular and compliance must be monitored. New training methods such as e-learning may be useful as compliance can be easily monitored and the courses created and maintained relatively easily.

 

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