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Questions about offsite records storage

December 20, 2013

When we get questions about records management, I refer people to a newsletter from The University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Although it is ten years old, I believe it is still relevant and valuable.  I have paraphrased parts of this newsletter for your review:

The time to make a move

Despite the undeniable value of records, there comes a point when storage of infrequently-accessed-but-still-critical records hampers operations by consuming office space needed for personnel or equipment. At that moment, off-site records storage becomes a viable management solution which requires risk analysis.

Offsite storage

Offsite storage is generally an efficient and economical way to manage these records including all types and media. Storing records offsite is done to meet a variety of needs:

Risk management

arkansas-records-management-secure-storage-roomEven though offsite storage is a good answer to effective records management, you should look before you leap, because records management is risk management. When you select an offsite storage provider, you should always make certain that the provider’s facility, scope of services, and security are an exact match for your requirements. These areas are critical for that match:

Out of sight, does not mean out of mind

Often there is an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that sets in when records leave the immediate premises. Having moved the boxes out of the office and out of direct daily view and/or having removed data from your hard drive or central server gives the positive impression that the problem has been solved and no further action is needed.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Just because the records and/or data may have changed locations, they still need managing! The records still belong to you as the originator or creator, and as such, your office or department bears responsibility for them.

Go to http://archives.library.wisc.edu/records/bulletins/ARMS8.pdf and read the newsletter.  I am sure you will benefit from reading it in its entirety.

Sincerely,

David Reagler

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Arkansas Records Management is a professional service company based here in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We serve organizations throughout the state and our staff eats, sleeps, and breathes files, indexed fields, retention schedules, and audit trails. As records become more and more complex, and the task of properly managing your firm's documents is a key and often overwhelming task.

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