Paper Records Live On – Store them in Safety

As many of our clients will know, at the end of last year, Box-it Central issued an e-survey on Document Retention.  Our questions produced some interesting feedback and we thank all those who participated.

We will be sharing the outcome with you throughout the next few months and we hope this will generate some lively discussion points on records retention policies and their importance in today’s business environment.

One of the survey questions asked was: “are paper records still important to your organisation?” Now, we were quite surprised by the answer.  100% of those who replied answered ‘yes’ to this question.  So perhaps the mood for “going paperless” is not as strong as we had envisaged.  It seems that paper records are still very important.  Over 82% of respondents said that paper accounted for the majority of their documents, with just 17% citing digital over paper.

The trouble is, it’s not all plain sailing with paper.  Paper records are notoriously difficult to manage, take up valuable office space, and are prone to all sorts of risks, such as being mislaid, misfiled, stolen, damaged or deliberately/accidently destroyed.  Paper also deteriorates with age.  These factors are very important, especially if records contain personal or confidential information, or are company documents, such as legally-binding contracts/agreements that have evidential weight.  It seems that signatures are still very important.

That is why many organisations use offsite document storage centres because most professional service providers offer security, humidity-controlled conditions for paper storage, and a full tracking service, supporting audit trails.  This instantly removes many of the risks associated with paper records stored onsite.  Retrieval of specific records can very often be easier, given the barcode tracking systems that most document storage companies use.  A world away from wistfully searching through all those office filing cabinets for that elusive file!

While outsourced document storage may be a cost, it may also be cheaper and more efficient than using office space for archiving, that could be utilized in a more productive way.

For information about storing your paper documents with Warwickshire based Box-it Central, please contact us by email or telephone.

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