Storing Important Files and Archives
An archive holds an organized body of records relating to an organization or institution. Because of the large number of records being generated by firms and the need to have them stored correctly and many times meet regulatory requirements, Archive Facilities have come about in great numbers around the country. It is also due to the need for offices to be as paperless as possible.
Customers want easy access to records so that they can be retrieved whenever needed and delivered quickly. Many storage companies have jumped into this potentially lucrative business however, some storage facilities want to use a specialized archive storage firm. These are very common in urban areas with a large amount of offices and businesses.
Almost any company can benefit from storing files and paper records in an archive. Doctors, dentists, lawyers and corporations of all sizes can take advantage of this option to move some of that paperwork off site.
If you take this route, you will need to organize your records before placing them into storage so that retrieval is simple and easy. Archive boxes clearly labeled with the contents and understanding your filing system is both essential and crucial. Conducting this work upfront will make it much easier in the future when looking to find records in a rush.
What to look for in an archive facility
Climate control – Humidity is one of paper’s biggest enemies; when there is too much moisture in the air paper gets wet and eventually disintegrates. Paper products rot when humidity levels are above 55% RH. High humidity can also cause damage to the spine of books eventually causing it to collapse and come apart. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a facility that offers climate control. Mildew can also cause damage to paper products; RH levels of 55% or below will control mildew. Paper products are best stored at 50-80 degrees F.
Easy Access –Many companies offer access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The firm may have archive specialists hired that can access records for you whenever you want and fax or send them to you at a moments notice; this service will most likely cost you extra.
Removals -Many specialized storage companies like USA Moving and Storage offer specialists hired by the storage facility to come to your office and transport the records to the storage facility for you. They are experts in handling records so you can trust they will arrive at the storage facility in the same condition as they left your office. These specialists can retrieve any records you require at any time and deliver them to you electronically or by hardcopy.
Organization – Is the facility well organized? Are the storage areas easily accessible for retrieval?
- Are the aisles wide enough and shelving laid out in l a way easy to see the labels on the archive boxes?
- Are the shelves sturdy enough to hold all your records safely and securely?
Also consider whether a large range of paper sizes can be accommodated and whether electronic media can be stored.
Added Services – Specialized archive storage facilities often have extra services available. These can include sales of office supplies including archive boxes and labels. Many facilities also offer office services like phone, fax and computer access. You probably need to pay a premium rate to gain access to these types of services; convenience may outweigh the high cost for use.
Insurance –Better companies will insist you have adequate insurance in the unfortunate event your records might get damaged. Some companies will suggest you take out supplemental insurance beyond what is offered by the facility. This is recommended as you cannot replace records once destroyed unless you backed them up electronically.
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