Smarter storage – Part 1: Assessing current and future needs

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With the rise in real estate costs and the yearly growth of paper records, you might be asking yourself if there is a better, lower cost way to store records.

In a two-part blog post we will explore the steps you can take to develop a smarter and more cost-effective records storage system.

The first step to smarter storage is to assess the current and future needs of your organization. The following questions will ensure you have a complete picture of the current requirements and what your organization will need in the future.

1. What type of media are you storing?

Make a list of the types of media you are storing. If you need to store different types of media, or plan to in the future, you will need to select more flexible storage options.

2. How much capacity do you need now? In the future?

Ideally, you should plan for your expected growth over the coming years or even decades. Many of our clients will start with their current capacity needs and then plan for various growth scenarios over a certain time period. This ensures that they are ready for whatever happens in the future.

 3. What is the nature of your workflows?

To determine the location and design of your system, you should consider workflow factors such as:

  • who is creating and using files?
  • where they are created?
  • how often are records accessed at different stages in their lifecycle?

 4. What type of safety and security measures do you need?

You will want to take into consideration all applicable regulations, legislation and compliance requirements. Will some storage areas need to be secured and accessed only by authorized users? What about fireproofing and worker safety? Accessibility is another important consideration – ensuring that staff can access the records easily and in ergonomically friendly ways.

5. How do you want records to be presented?

Will records be out in the open where clients and other visitors can see them? If so, you will need to consider the aesthetics of the equipment you purchase, as well as the overall appearance of the storage solution. An orderly, well-presented filing solution assures clients and internal stakeholders that records are being managed well.

6. Are you planning to move in the future?

If the organization is going to be moving in the future you need to ensure that your filing products can withstand the move. Also, you will want to ensure that storage units can be disassembled and assembled with ease.

With this assessment in place, it is time to take stock of your existing storage resources and crunch some numbers. In next week’s blog post we will explore those steps in detail.

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