Stop spending so much on records storage! Here’s how.

Posted by TAB on

“Lifting the lid” on your company’s records storage practices can be a real eye-opening exercise. In most cases, a closer look will reveal inefficiencies that are driving up your record storage costs.

While this is obviously bad news, it comes with a silver lining. Rethinking and revamping your approach to storage gives you the opportunity to create something more efficient than you’ve ever had before.

This post offers tips to help you find those savings.

How much can you save?

Before revisiting your records storage practices you may wonder if it will be worth the effort.

To get an idea of how much you stand to gain, you need to look at several factors.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • How much does a square foot of office storage space cost? This should factor in the leasing costs, taxes, and maintenance fees.
  • How many square feet of storage are you using today?
  • How much are you spending on offsite storage in total, and per box? This should factor in the monthly or annual storage fee, ongoing retrieval and re-file charges, and one-time charges for accessioning, de-accessioning, and secure destruction.
  • How many boxes do you currently have in offsite storage?

With this data in hand, you can easily calculate what a five, ten or 25 percent reduction in storage requirements would do for your bottom line. The tips outlined in this post will generally deliver savings in that range.

Four ways to reduce storage costs

  1. Purge non-record material
    In the thousands clients we have worked with, we have seen that between 30 and 70 percent of onsite file storage is made up of non-record materials. These include duplicate “convenience” copies, superseded drafts and versions, and out-of-date reference documents. This gives you a sense of how much you could save if non-records and unneeded documents were purged on a regular basis.
  1. Records scheduling & disposition
    This is all about ensuring that you only store records as along as the law requires. A thoroughly researched records retention schedule is essential for this. The schedule specifies the minimum retention periods necessary to meet legal and regulatory requirements. By disposing of records as soon as they pass the minimum retention requirements, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary storage costs.
  1. Inactive or near-site storage
    Before records reach the end of their mandated retention period, they often undergo an “inactive phase” in which they are no longer required for ongoing business. Or they may only see infrequent use. Moving these documents into lower-cost offsite or near-site storage can free up expensive office space for revenue generating activities. To achieve this, put lifecycle controls and checks in place to ensure that infrequently used documents aren’t being stored at a premium.
  1. In-office filing design
    A lot of money can be saved by rethinking your filing and storage equipment and how you use your existing space. By combining such innovations as end tab file folders, color-coded labeling, lateral filing, and mobile shelving, a professionally designed filing solution can improve space utilization by more than 300 percent! This means you can store three times as many records using the same floor space, or the same volume of records in only one-third the space.

The key with all of these tips is to store less and store smarter!

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