When choosing a remote document storage provider, you'll want to get the best choice for your budget. You'll also want to make sure that the company is transparent, accountable, safe, accredited, and capable. By asking the right questions, you can rapidly assess whether a provider has the right experience, approvals, and facilities to meet your organisational needs. Here are seven of the best questions to ask.
1) How Long Have You Been In Business?
Establishing how long the company's been around can help you set service expectations, gauge the businesses' size, and explain any gaps in portfolios, accreditation, and customer reviews. If your candidate can't provide you with a good portfolio and a list of services after more than three years trading, you might need to ask why that is.
2) How Are My Documents Protected?
Excellent environmental protection, digital and physical safeguards, and security standards are at the heart of every professional archive service. Those responsible should be able to explain what they've put in place to guard against fire, the elements, cold and heat, burglars, hackers, and unauthorised access to your files.
3) How Do I Request Document Deliveries?
It may seem obvious, but you'll need to know how to get your documents back out at points. It's a particular priority to work out how this will happen if you're working a long way from your document storage location. If your archive doesn't offer remote delivery and deposit services, you'll have to organise them yourself or hire a third-party courier. It's worth factoring those concerns into your overall budget.
4) When Can I Make Access Requests?
Is the company open for deposits and retrievals 24-7? Does it only operate on weekdays? What about holidays and off-peak turnaround times? If you need to access critical records at off-peak times, you might need to look for a larger archival company or specialist storage provider.
5) How Long Does It Take For Documents To Be Delivered?
It's crucial to know how long the archive will take to get your files out and back to you. Long-term storage providers typically work to slower schedules (1-7 days) than rapid access warehouses (2-12 hours). If you're looking to keep using the records as a semi-active database, pick a company that can provide the former.
6) Can I Save Money By Using Your Document Storage Services?
While off-site storage often cuts monthly overheads, your provider should be able to give you a breakdown of how exactly they'll do that for you. They should also be able to tell you what special features they offer over nearby rivals.
7) Are Your Services Environmentally Friendly?
As they deal with disposing of a lot of paperwork that's reached the end of its working life and use extensive climate controls, off-site archives tend to be high-energy buildings that generate lots of waste paper. Does the company have procedures in place to shred and recycle records that are no longer needed? Do they employ any energy-saving tech (e.g. timers, solar panels) or strategies? Do they use scanning and digitisation extensively to save on paper?
Affordable External Record Archiving With CAS Ltd.
At CAS, we specialise in the safe off-site storage, management, and disposal of paper archives for a variety of UK businesses and medical organisations. For a storage plan tailored to your needs, please speak with one of our service team today.
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