Q: Why would I want to send my records off-site to be stored?
A: Keeping your important records in your office or in the basement of your office building can be extremely risky and potentially very costly. In the unfortunate event of a fire, flood or other disaster, your valuable documents could be partially or completely destroyed. By storing your records in a facility that has been designed and built specifically for document storage, you can rest easy knowing that your records are in a safe and secure environment.
Q: I have my records in a mini-warehouse now. What are the advantages of moving them to a records management facility?
A: Mini-warehouses are great for excess furniture or Christmas decorations, for example, but the environment in most mini-warehouses or self-storage units can be detrimental to paper documents and electronic media. In humid months, mold and mildew can quickly begin to damage the vital records you are trying to preserve. Also, it is very likely that you are paying more each month for your space rental than you would be paying for monthly storage in a records management facility.
Q: What if I need a box or file retrieved from storage?
A: Next to security of your records, the simplicity and efficiency of retrieving records from storage is the biggest advantage to storing documents with a records management company. Every company is a little different, but at InfoResources, your file is just one phone call away and can be accessed 24/7, every day of the year.
Q: What is a Records Retention Schedule?
A: A Records Retention Schedule is a set guideline that outlines which types of documents need to be retained and for what duration. The retention period varies from industry to industry, as well as from one organization to the next. The Internal Revenue Service publishes a list of recommended retention periods for a wide variety of records.
Q: How do I know what records I should keep and for how long?
A: Some companies have a Records Retention Schedule already in place. The Legal Department or Risk Management Department can usually tell you if your company has a published schedule.
If your company does not have a Records Retention Schedule, you may visit irs.gov and/or your state’s government Web site to see recommended records retention schedules.
Q: What are some examples of documents that need to be kept permanently?
A: Generally, records that can be called upon in an audit or other legal situations, such as financial statements, capital stock and bond records, deeds, mortgages, bills of sale, general ledgers, property appraisals, retirement and pension records, tax returns, and training manuals should be permanently retained.
Q: What do I do with my records that no longer have to be kept?
A: Shredding your documents is the most secure way to destroy your records. In fact, certain types of documents, such as medical records, are required by law to be shredded after the retention period has expired. Never throw your records away in a garbage can or dumpster.
Q: When using a document shredding company to shred my records, how do I know my records have actually been shredded and not just thrown out?
A: Most reputable records management companies and document shredding companies will provide a Certificate of Destruction after destroying your records. This documentation certifies that your documents have been shredded and is proof should any questions arise in the future. There are also some companies that offer “on-site shredding.” This means that you can watch your records being shredded. However, beware that some of these on-site shredding companies only shred a few boxes in your presence then transport the rest of the boxes to their shredding facility. This is not so much a security issue, but if you are paying a premium to have your records shredded on-site, you may want to ensure that they are all being shredded on-site.
Q: Why should I store my electronic data in a vault as opposed to a records storage warehouse?
A: Electronic media such as magnetic tapes and blu-ray discs are more sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuation. Most vaults are environmentally-controlled and conducive to storage of electronic media and/or sensitive equipment. Moreover, some vaults, like the vault at InfoResources, are equipped with dry fire suppression systems such as Halon — in the event of a fire, oxygen is eliminated from the vault, smothering the fire rather than having water sprinklers extinguish the flames. This method of fire safety reduces the chances of destruction of your electronic media in the event of a fire.
Q: How can I be sure that my records stored off-site are secure?
A: Before putting your records in any type of off-site storage facility, always personally tour the facility, if possible, and ask for proof of security measures such as fire and theft protection. Also, asking the off-site storage facility for references is a great idea.
Q: My office is considering scanning our records. What are the advantages of digitizing our paper documents?
A: There is no question that electronic records are easier to store, share, and retrieve. However, document scanning is not always practical depending on your end goal. For example, if your office is implementing an Electronic Records Management (ERM) program and existing paper documentation needs to be uploaded to the new system, you will more than likely need to scan your documents. However, if your aim is to save money on storage fees, for example, document scanning may not be a feasible solution. If you are not sure what is the best document storage solution for your business, please contact us and we will help you develop the right strategy.
Q: Does InfoResources store items other than paper documents and electronic media?
A: YES. InfoResources has ample storage space for pallet storage or other hardware storage.
Q: Can InfoResources expedite the distribution of bulk storage items when needed?
A: YES. InfoResources can provide logistics for products or other stored items that need to be shipped out from our warehouse.