The average office worker uses approximately 10,000 sheets of paper a year. For many businesses, that adds up to a lot of documents that need to be stored, organized, secured—and easily accessible. It’s a challenge to say the least. Here we offer a six-step plan to make it easy for your business to manage all that paperwork.
1. Set Goals
Begin by setting realistic goals; they are crucial for success. Documenting your goals will help you prioritize tasks and keep your motivation level high. Don’t forget to post your file management goals in a place where you will see them, otherwise it’s easy to push them aside in favour of other projects.
2. Assemble a Team
Most organizations have files spread out among several departments or business units. Gather each department head and review your goals with them. Collect suggestions and concerns from each key stakeholder. Then before moving on to the next step, make sure everyone is in agreement on what you are trying to achieve.
3. Take Inventory
It’s critical to account for all of your business files. You’ll be surprised at the places you’ll discover files, including closets, empty offices and warehouse areas designated for product and material storage. Record each file type and verify its retention time frame. If you haven’t already established a retention schedule, now is time to ask your lawyer for guidance on how to do that.
Now that you have a clear idea of each file type and where everything is located, purge your outdated records. A shredding services provider can deliver secure collection containers to your office so files can be purged quickly and securely. When the containers are full, a shredding technician collects the contents and destroys your files onsite with a mobile shredding vehicle, or transports them to a shredding plant in a GPS-tracked vehicle for secure destruction.
5. Archive Offsite
After you’ve purged your expired files, you’ll have more room to tackle your archival files, some of which may need to be stored for several years. Storing them offsite frees up valuable office space and protects them from disaster. A professional records storage service offers the most secure, efficient and cost effective offsite storage choice. Your files are stored in a climate controlled commercial records centre that features:
- Entry access control
- Perimeter alarms
- Motion sensors
- Multi-zone fire sprinklers
- Security video monitoring and recording
Barcode technology tracks your archival file storage inventory and allows your staff to request items online for delivery anytime.
By the time you’ve gotten to this step, only your most active files should remain. In order to eliminate relying on space-consuming file cabinets for storing and accessing your information, convert those active files to a digital format. With a professional scanning service they can be digitized quickly and without the additional investment in imaging equipment and software.
These steps will help you manage your files more efficiently, securely and cost-effectively. To further help with the process, hire an experienced records and information management firm.
FileBank offers information management solutions to businesses throughout Canada. For more information about our services, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.