4 signs it’s time to change your document storage services
Written by: Mark Wilton-Steer
Publish Date: Mar 2, 2021
Read time: 8 minutes
It’s easy to stick with the status quo when considering long-term document storage services. It’s a cost you’ll have to pay no matter who stores your documents and assets for you and, making the idea of moving seem unnecessary … as well as incurring a potential cost.
The truth of the matter isn’t so clear. You could be paying too much, and although you’re right to anticipate a cost in moving, the cost of moving is usually absorbed by your new provider. With a clearer picture of the landscape, this leaves you free to ask whether you’re getting the deal and support you’re looking for.
This blog should help shine a light on potential limitations to your current service and highlight signs that it’s time to change document storage service providers.
Are you getting support with compliance and regulation?
Compliance has to be a major part of your document storage services considerations.
When starting out with your current records management partner, did you discuss document retention policies? Perhaps this was before GDPR and setting out a retention policy was less of a focus. Now, several years after the implementation of GDPR, lacking a robust retention policy can leave you susceptible to major fines in accordance with GDPR. If a discussion didn’t take place at the beginning of your contract then there’s a strong possibility that your provider lacks this information and doesn’t really mind as they’re not liable to pay fines. Even if you do have a policy in place now, if your stored files weren’t indexed and catalogued with this information when placed into storage, you’re left with a major job on your hands.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you’re in a great position to start assessing other service providers. Most leading document storage services offer consultancy and support around document retention. They can support by helping you cement a policy which is compliant with all the latest regulation. Subsequently, managing and destroying documents in accordance with the policy and reducing your storage costs in the process as documents.
Are you getting the level of personal service you deserve?
The larger records management companies routinely provide account managers to their larger key clients - the top 10-15% - but provide significantly less support to smaller businesses.
Where do you sit?
Look, it’s fair to say that document storage services don’t require the most intensive account management process but we would strongly argue that it requires some. Many of these documents are valuable or important, there’s a reason you’ve not discarded them. There’s peace of mind in knowing that there is someone onsite with an understanding of your requirements. Someone pro-actively ensuring that you’re not liable to compliance issues, providing you with updates of any retention issues. Even simply identifying ways to reduce your storage costs through document consolidation, destruction or digitisation.
Want to find out what sort of service the EDM team could provide? Helping you arrange document transfers from service provider to service provider, and proactively maintaining your retention policy.
Is your provider innovative enough?
Seemingly an odd question to ask about what is essentially secure warehouse storage. How can you innovate in this sector?
Like all industries, implementing technical innovations is key to remaining competitive. Your document storage services can be improved by better logistics in-house to speed up return times? Or better storage protocols which help you manage compliance concerns, as we’ve already discussed.
Arguably the biggest innovation in this space concerns the marriage with scanning. Many - but not all - records management businesses have integrated a form of scanning on demand into their storage armoury. As the world adapts to more and more remote workers, retrieval of stored documents is increasingly cumbersome to manage effectively. This is where innovative Scan-on-Demand services come in and help reach remote workers with ease. Through scanning stored documents, this enables you to retrieve key information within the same day, no matter where you’re based.
Is your provider innovative enough? Does your secure storage provider offer scanning services?
Are they too expensive?
This should go without saying. Why would you continue to pay more than the market rate? But we all do it. As people, we rarely swap out utilities or banking services even though we could get a far better deal by doing so and many businesses also get stuck in what we call ‘retainer rut’.
You initially signed for 2 years and you let it run over. Now you just pay a rolling monthly subscription and don’t consider looking elsewhere because of the fuss required to change... but you could be paying more than the market rate. There is also an assumption that there would be a cost to moving your documents…which is partly true.
Historically, the records management industry has been known to charge fees to move your records, colloquially called ‘hostage fees’. Nowadays, the new provider of document storage services is likely to support and incorporate these fees - as well as the transportation fees - into your new contract and still provide a cheaper solution than you’re currently paying.
Document storage needn’t be a set it and forget it situation. In fact, a proactive approach to identifying inefficiencies could seriously improve your service and help you reduce costs.
Not ready to speak to one of our experts?
Try downloading our records management policy checklist. Your tool to ensure you consider every aspect of your document storage services.