So, you’ve decided to store your records with a professional archiving company. You work for or own a fast-growing business and you simply haven’t got the resources to store sheathes and sheathes of paper documents. Many business owners find themselves asking: ‘What factors should I consider when I choose my document management partner?’. This article will help you break down this question so that you make the right decision.
Facilities (Security, Protection and Hardware)
When choosing your archiving company, the first thing you should consider is whether it has the resources available to satisfy your needs. This document management firm will be housing all of your important records. It is very important that they have the space, security and facilities to keep these records safe.
Often, it might can be useful for you or one of your employees to go and visit their warehouses. It cannot hurt to see what security measures (from fire, flooding, pests as well as criminals) they have on offer. (Any archiving company worth its salt will have powder instead of water sprinklers, for example).
You should also look out for the equipment they use in the inventorying of your documents. This will give you an idea of how efficient they are likely to be when you want your records returned to you.
Digitisation is tied in with a document archiving company’s hardware. If they have not got the means to digitise your documents then they are holding themselves back. Your business is growing and at some stage your are likely to want your most important documents backed up on your computer.
If your document management partner cannot offer this service then they are likely to hold you back. Also, if they aren’t looking forward and modernising their equipment, then they aren’t partners a dynamic, growing company wants.
Collection and Delivery system
When you are considering who to entrust your documents to make sure you inspect their system for document collection and delivery. This is very important. It is in this transportation stage that documents are most likely to get lost.
If your prospective partners look disorganised then move on to the next choice. You cannot afford to partner with a business that doesn’t care enough about its business to organise itself properly.
The Size of their Business
Size does matter, sometimes. The size of an archival business can tell you a lot about their capabilities and how big of a priority you are likely to be for them. A small business is likely to lack the resources of a larger one but might treat you with more respect because you are more important to them.
The converse may be the case with a larger firm.
Standardisation and Culpability
This factor cannot be stressed enough. Always ask archival professionals if they are members of a standard-setting body, such as PRISM International.
Membership of PRISM, and other organisations like it, suggests that your potential partners are committed to keeping the highest standards with regards to record and information management.
Thanks for reading!
Hopefully this list has made you a little more prepared for your decision. Just remember, your records are important and you should only trust them to the very best!