The use of a secure and reputable archive storage facility can be an alternative to the backfile conversion of your paper files to image. This can both help you save and reuse space and provide support to a disaster recovery policy. You may also require a storage facility for archived computer media, microfiche or microfilm, x-rays and film/video.
There are a number of factors in choosing a vendor, including whether the location is convenient for the potential access and retrieval patterns, together with the quality and standard of their building, racking infrastructure, security, fire detection and prevention systems, and record tracking systems.
The following list highlights attributes you might look for from a storage vendor and their records centre:
- 24 hour, 365 day collection and retrieval, to a service level agreement
- Convenience of the location (although this does not necessarily have to be local)
- Secure transport, possibly in unmarked vehicles
- Intruder alarms, fire alarms and CCTV surveillance
- Potentially private spaces for your records
- Private viewing rooms or areas
- Inventory databases to facilitate location, retrieval and tracking
- Ability to scan and send or fax documents to you
- Assess the risk of potential disaster from location near major power lines, gas works, rivers etc.
- How closely they comply with the BS5454:2000 standard for the storage and display of records; this includes principles regarding storage away from danger, the correct humidity and temperature relevant to their media, that they are stored in the correct preservation materials etc.
- ISO 9000 accreditation
- Fire detection and prevention systems
- Provision of management reports relating to costs and activities
If you require documents to be destroyed, following imaging or the end of their retention period, an archival facility may provide secure and confidential data destruction. Again, ensure that there are secure collection and transport arrangements in place. The company may supply you with sealable polypropylene sacks or secure containers. Ensure that the records are shredded then incinerated or pulped in an environmentally friendly manner, with a subsequent certificate of destruction issued.
Please also see our complementary information resource, The Document Site
The page offsite document storage Services was added to your clippings file for future reference. You can access your clippings files using the icon at the top of the screen.
How to use the online consultant
Clicking on the appropriate statement will lead to our advice; further statements may also in turn be provided, offering more specific or detailed advice. Upon occasion an item from the article library may be added to your clippings file (please click on the 'show clippings' icon next to the search box).