Self-storage is proving to be a reliable and efficient alternative to traditional archive storage facilities. You can basically get all the advantages of specialist archive firms with access on your terms, making it a cost-effective way of managing your business document storage.
Document archiving can suit any business with a need or legal requirement to archive high volumes of documents. With some countries demanding that certain documents must be stored for up to 40 years in specific industries, investing in a self-storage archive means that you can free up potentially expensive office space and keep business operations at a manageable and affordable level. Self-storage archiving is particularly popular in the following industries:<
- Sales organizations
Using self-storage to archive gives you a very real advantage over traditional archive methods – that of access. Many archiving specialists charge for or limit access, whereas the whole principle of self-storage is that you can access your goods at any time (subject to the facility’s opening times). This allows many companies to archive recent documents that they may need to access quickly, as well as historical ones that demand infrequent access.
It is, however, vital to pay careful attention to the archive environment on offer. Many self-storage companies offer specialist environments for archives and some specialize solely in archiving. Beware of using a self-storage facility without specialist archive experience – place your documents in a self-storage unit without climate control, for example, and you could find that they become damaged and unusable.
If you are planning on archiving large volumes of files in self-storage, you’ll probably opt to use a removal service rather than do it yourself. Many self-storage archiving specialists will offer these types of services at an additional cost or can point you in the direction of local removal firms that can help.
Specialist archiving units may offer built-in shelving and you may be able to buy specific archiving boxes ready for use. Climate control should always be considered and you should be looking to utilize specially constructed archive units that both protect your documents and make retrieval easy. Many people make the mistake of not planning filing systems for their archiving space correctly when they use self-storage with the result that it becomes increasingly difficult to find what you want. It’s also important to make sure that you label all your boxes and construct aisles for easy viewing and access.
Occasionally, the self-storage facility may also offer a range of office-based services that you can use when you need to access documents. In this instance, you call the company, tell them which documents you want and they can fax or email them to you so you don’t have to physically visit your unit. In these cases the company may insist on helping you organize your archive so that they can find your documents as necessary. Additional services can include document destruction and shredding. These services will probably cost you extra.
If your facility offers archiving services, you need to check that they are meeting any relevant statutory safety recommendations for issues such as fire etc., for your region. Insurance is of particular importance here – some facilities will offer specialist protection, however many will insist that you back up their existing policies with your own. You can’t pay too much attention to this – documents are generally irreplaceable and you need to show that you have taken all due care in keeping them safely.