It’s surprising how long making a decision can take. Even something simple like what to order at the local Chinese or whether you ought to wear the red or the blue tie for that client meeting tomorrow.
So it’s not surprising really that business owners can get themselves all knotted up over something like which document storage company to go with. After all, if we do say so ourselves, it’s a pretty important role. There’s valuable data at stake; you don’t want to be handing it over to any bloke with a warehouse.
That’s why we’ve given you a few things to think about when choosing a document storage company, to help you avoid the cowboys and make a decision you’ll be happy with.
Your document storage company should be able to help you create a brief
Beyond knowing that you want someone to please, please make all the paperwork go away, do you actually know exactly what it is that you need? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. Why should you understand the ins and outs of document storage? You’re an expert at what you do. That’s why a good document storage company should be able to ask you the right questions to help you work out a thorough brief. Like how often you’ll need to access your document, whether they’ll need storing long or short term, or whether you actually need paper records at all. It could be that you’d be better off with a scanning and secure data destruction package, to create easily-accessible, mega space saving digital records instead.
Your document storage company should have top notch security
This may sound a bit obvious, but the document storage company you choose should be able to guarantee the safety of your valuable documents. And not just by storing them in a facility that’s alarmed, protected and monitored. They also need to be thinking about the environmental conditions (we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – paper doesn’t like the damp, mould does), not to mention rodents (who have a surprising penchant for paper archives). Oh, and they need a good barcoding system, like we have, so your files don’t simply disappear amongst the many thousands of others they’re storing.
Your document storage company should be certified to industry standards
It’s not enough for your document storage company to say they’re good at what they do. They really ought to be able to prove it. Here are some of the reassurances we can offer:
- ISO 9001:2008 certification, which we’ve held since 2011 and which we’ll shortly be upgrading to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard – we’re one of the first in the industry to achieve it!
- DPA registration, which means we are compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 (our registration number is Z6020186, if you want to check).
- BS7858 compliance, which means we’re all security vetted and have had our DBS checks too.
- BS10008 compliance, which means we can ensure the integrity of any files from point of collection to point of return, much like CSIs transporting evidence<link to Protecting your documents like a CSI post>.
- A fully documented business continuity plan, which means we can keep working and protecting your documents in the case of a catastrophic event.
- A comprehensive Health & Safety policy, including regularly updated risk assessments, COSHH assessments, PAT tests and electrical testing across all our premises.
There’s also the Official Secrets Act <link to You’ll never make us talk post>, which we may or may not have signed (we can’t tell you, or we’d have to kill you).
Your document storage company should offer you a bespoke service
No two companies are the same. Well ok, there are similarities. But still – whether you’re a school or a hospital or a firm of architects or an Aerospace Engineering business, your document storage needs are going to be just that little bit different to the next school or hospital or firm of architects or Aerospace Engineering business. A standard ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t going to be as efficient as a bespoke solution, neither is it going to help you make the most of your budget. That’s why we meet with all our clients and even do a sample job when there’s scanning involved, so you can work out exactly what you need and pay only for that.
So for goodness sake, don’t stick a pin in the Yellow Pages or go for the cheapest option on the market. There’s nothing financially prudent about sticking vital business data in the care of anyone you don’t utterly trust.
Want to give us the once over and see whether we meet your standards? Give us a ring and one of the team will be happy to help.