Here’s why you need to audit your offsite storage

Posted by TAB on

Sometimes storing your records at an offsite facility is a necessity. If your organization is acquiring or selling a division, or has moved offices, for example, storing boxes of files can be an efficient way for records managers to handle their information. But choosing an offsite solution shouldn’t be a “set it and forget” proposition. You need to make sure that even though those records are out of sight, they don’t stay out of mind.

By properly identifying your offsite records, you can reduce risk, save costs, and be ready for any organizational changes.

At TAB, we’ve helped hundreds of companies implement records management solutions to better organize and access their critical information. We know that when it comes to offsite storage services, it all starts with a box audit. This blog post looks at why you need to audit your offsite storage and walks you through our process.

1.0 Why do you need to proactively manage all your offsite storage?

Organizations with unidentified or poorly identified boxes expose themselves to several business risks:

1.1 Missed income opportunities

If you can’t find critical information because it was stored without an audit trail, it could affect the final price or successful completion of a divestiture. One company spent $40,000 just to locate two files—out of 235 it actually needed for the sale of a division.

1.2 Compliance

Don’t fall short of regulatory requirements because you can’t find a critical file that’s stored offsite.

1.3 Cost

Stop paying to store what should be destroyed. At some companies, 90% of all boxes are eligible for destruction, but retention schedules have not been followed, needlessly costing tens of thousands of dollars in annual storage and related service fees.

1.4 Legal

If an organization faces legal action, discovery costs can soar as lawyers request copies of records that are stored offsite in unknown boxes. The organization is exposed to further legal risk if documents are improperly stored and not destroyed according to a formal retention schedule.

1.5 Disaster Recovery

An organization’s ability to get back up and running can be severely impaired by information getting improperly catalogued in a record storage environment.

2.0 What is a box audit?

A box audit will help identify the information in your records and make sure you store only what you need.

TAB’s proven methodology will verify what’s in each records box, and determine what action is required, including:

  • Capturing box-level information
  • Capturing file-level detail
  • Restructuring contents based on retention values
  • Destroying non-records
  • Destroying records according to lapsed records retention schedule
  • Returning active files to active file room

Each step is managed closely by TAB, with established procedures for clients to review progress and approve the final destruction of records.

3.0 What’s the benefit to you?

In addition to reducing your organization’s exposure to litigation and compliance risks, a thorough, professional offsite box audit will also directly save money by:

  • Destroying non-record or out-of-date materials
  • Reducing retrieval costs of pulling multiple boxes to find a single file
  • Lowering the costs of external audits

Next Steps

  • Learn how to store more records in less space with mobile shelving.
  • Watch this short video to explore TAB’s Records Centers and how they can help with your offsite storage.
  • Talk to a TAB representative about how we can help you better manage all your records—in-office or offsite.


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