Every business is different. Some businesses have Operations Managers who are like the glue that keeps the organisation together. They have roles that span the full spectrum of the organisation’s functions and are frequently tasked with some of the more logistical tasks – such as file storage.

Or perhaps you are an Office Manager: similar to the Operations Manager but with a role specific to the workplace. It’s your job to make sure the office is a comfortable environment for everyone to work, live and cooperate.

Or maybe you are in charge of logistics and the clutter building up from in-house storage methods is beginning to get in the way of the logistical efficiency of the organisation.

Whatever job title you have, and regardless of the roles and responsibilities in the organisational structure, it is somebody’s job to make sure the company’s records are in order.

Legally, would my business need file storage?

The main reason that a business might need file storage is that it is a legal requirement to keep certain records for several years. This is a law straight from the government and pertains to certain accounting records and other administrative files.

We strongly advise that businesses of any size familiarise themselves with these laws and we have written an article on this to help with just that.

The gist of it is that the Kenyan government requires organisations and corporations to keep their records for a minimum of 7 years, but it also strongly advises that businesses keep their records for even longer.

It is best practice for businesses to keep their records

Regardless of the law, it would be prudent for businesses to keep all their records. Whilst these documents may never be needed, it is best to be prepared.

In essence, file storage is an insurance policy against unexpected events in the future. Having access to a specific document could save your organisation millions in future legal cases, should they ever occur.

The key question to answer though is, does your business need to pay for an external service to manage its documents and records? Whilst this is an added expense, there are many reasons why this is the best option. Here are a few of them:

  1. Quick and easy access to specific files – when you go through a third party, and if you choose a respected archiving organisation, they will likely have a document management system that is much more efficient and organised than anything you could produce in-house. This means that if you need a specific file, they will be able to get that file to you with minimum fuss.
  2. In-house file storage is time-consuming – do you have someone in the organisation managing the company’s files? If you do, it is likely that person is spending a lot of time trying to sort through the records and stay on top of the relentless influx of records. Going with a third party could free this person up to focus on business development.
  3. Risk-management of a third-party provider.

    At The Filing Room, we conduct bi-monthly pesticide operations to clear the warehouse of destructive insects.

    Peace of mind – file storage is a risky business. A fire, flood, or infestation of insects could destroy an entire storage system. Third-party providers like ours, have systems in place to combat all of these eventualities. Automated dry sprinkler systems, bi-annual pesticide sprays, and elevated racks are some of the ways we combat these disastrous events. What does your organisation do to combat these events?

If the reasons above are not a problem for your organisation, then you probably have an efficient and organised document management system. The only issues you will likely face are to do with space; as your business grows, your document management requirements will grow too.

If your business is growing fast, or you have plans for rapid expansion, you may run into issues.

For many businesses, going with a third party is the wrong option. If you receive limited files and are still a small/medium enterprise, you should be able to create your own document management system that should prevent any unnecessary expenses.