Posted on 12 September 2012.
This was written by Beant Bajwa of http://www.recordsmanagement.co.uk.
Let’s start with a scenario.
Company Alpha and Company Gamma are new tax consultant firms. Both the firms have multiple clients, which leads to various documents. Company Alpha has a robust document storage system, wherein they maintain a complete track of all the documents within their premises. On the other hand, Company Gamma has a huge room in which they store documents and files at random, and do not have any document archive system. Which of these companies, in your opinion, during an emergency or a random audit, will be more prepared to present the relevant documents?
Document storage can be a simple, yet a lengthy process. You can archive the documents based on various metadata, including a combination of many. Some of these metadata can be names, origin, date and time, importance, and so on. Once you have decided the metadata type, you have to decide the storage type. Will it be in boxes, in carton, in folders, in envelopes, and so on? Yet another step after that will be where to store the documents, and the precautions that need to be taken to minimize theft and damage to the documents. Let us look at each of these aspects in details.
Nowadays, there are many computer-generated software that help in electronic storage of documents. You can store and archive and label the documents, in whichever format and using n-number of metadata with the help of this software. But, what if you have hard copies of the document? How will you label these documents? One of the most common labeling types is labeling by name. For example: Last name, first name. Another common labeling type is through date and time, wherein the documents are stored day, week, month, and year-wise. Besides these common labeling types, companies nowadays use various types of labeling such as organisation name, product names, costs, serial number, country of origin, importance, and so on.
You can store documents in multiple ways. Depending on the storage space, storage style and document type, you can select from various options.
Some of these options are:
- Storage cases and cartons
- Storage boxes
- Encapsulation supplies
- Flat files
You can select from any of these options, or have a combination of 2 or more, depending on your requirements.
The final step in the document archival and document storage is keeping the stored documents safe. There should be minimal risk of theft, forgery, misplacement and damage to the stored documents. You can ensure this by maintaining the proper safety precautions and ensuring that only trusted employees have the access to the storage facility.
Still confused as to how you should go about archiving hard copies of documents? Well, you don’t have to worry. Nowadays, there are many companies who do the archiving for you. These firms specialize in the archive storage business. What’s more, if you do not want to keep years and years of data in your premises, these firms provide offsite document storage facility as well. So, in short, these firms not only help you to archive the documents, they also take the responsibility of storing and maintaining the documents.
Document archival and storage has never been as easy as it is nowadays!
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