5 Questions for Your Offsite Records Storage Provider
Whether you’re a small company or large corporation, employing an offsite records storage provider to manage your information can be a life-saver. Hiring a records storage company can help you safeguard your information assets, save costs and comply with complex regulations. However, you’ll only receive a positive outcome if you choose the right records storage company.
So how do you know who to trust with your most sensitive records? Before you decide on a records storage provider for your business, ask these five questions to see if they’re the right fit for you:
5 Questions To Ask When Interviewing Offsite Records Storage Providers
1) What security measures does your facility have in place?
If you’re using self-storage, then you can assume the answer is “none.” One main benefit to offsite records storage is that purpose-built facilities provide more security than self-storage units or office buildings. But don’t assume safety is a top priority for a potential provider, ask.
A professional offsite storage provider has advanced security measures at their facilities, including the following:
- external perimeter security
- climate control
- screened and background-checked professionals
- controlled access points
- 24-hour live security and alarm monitoring system
- ESFR (Early Suppression Fast Response) fire suppression systems
Additionally, a records storage provider should utilize chain-of-custody protocols and secure logistics while your information is in transit and at rest.
2) How do I receive access to my records?
In this fast-paced world, information is critical to running a successful business. You need to ensure that you’ll be able to attain vital records quickly to prevent lost productivity. That’s why professional document storage services are designed to not only protect your information but also provide access to it.
Ask if the storage provider has an online inventory management system that provides 24/7 access for viewing your documents. A secure login allows you to monitor all file activity remotely and easily update retention schedules.
Furthermore, a vendor with scan-on-demand services can scan your stored documents and send them to you digitally, expediting the retrieval process.
3) How are records boxes tracked?
You also need to know what’s in your boxes and how they’re tracked, so information doesn’t get lost. Will you be able to locate the box or file you need quickly?
Ask the offsite storage provider about their inventory tagging and search functions. A storage provider should use a barcoded RFID inventory control system in all its processes, ensuring your information is securely tracked throughout its lifespan. Once you’ve inventoried and indexed a box’s contents into an online inventory management system, they are linked to the box’s barcode label. At any time, you can give the barcode number to the vendor and request file retrieval.
As a further precaution, ask about the storage company’s process for refiles. Does each of your boxes get placed back in a permanent spot on a bay/shelf in their warehouse? Or are your boxes randomly dispersed and mixed in with other company’s?
4) What certifications do you hold?
While most industries have laws and regulations they must comply with, records management is no different. A vendor genuinely dedicated to the protection of your records should proactively stay on top of changing legal requirements and be audited annually by a third-party.
To ensure the vendor meets the strictest security standards, ask them if they comply or have certificates with the following:
- National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Compliance
- The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance
- National Association for Information Destruction (NAID)
- The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
Lastly, ask the vendor if they’re members of any industry-recognized associations, such as ARMA International, showing their commitment to educating organizations like yours on the importance of information governance.
5) Do you offer a range of services?
While you may be only interested in finding out about offsite records storage now, it’s worth knowing what other services the provider offers. Think about your organization’s goals and how outsourcing other records management functions might help cost-effectively increase productivity over time.
A storage provider who offers comprehensive solutions to manage your information, including document imaging, data backup, and document destruction services, might provide long-term cost savings and be a better fit in the long-run.
For businesses with unique needs, you may want to ask if the potential vendor can provide a customized plan before you sign a contract. A records storage provider who’s willing to address your specific needs and tailor a personalized solution upfront may be prone to deliver better service later on.
An Offsite Records Storage Provider for Your Needs
There’s no limit to what questions you can ask a storage provider, and we can help answer them. Our team works with you to learn more about your unique needs and customizes the right solution for your company. Learn more about our offsite records storage solutions.