Tips for Reducing Your Offsite Storage Costs


Published on

For most organizations, having to store files at offsite facilities is just a fact of life. The problem is that this can get expensive, eating up valuable records management budget.

If your organization could benefit from a reduction in offsite storage expenditures, then you'll want to check out this Slideshare of storage tips and best practices.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Tips for Reducing Your Offsite Storage Costs

  1. 1. Tips for Reducing Your Offsite Storage Costs
  2. 2. ….are we paying too much? Obviously, for many organizations, the answer is yes. And the reality is that most companies are typically storing documents they don’t need to, and paying to do it!!
  3. 3. There are ways to reduce what you are paying for offsite storage including: • Having a good records retention schedule • Purging your active collections of non-record materials • Performing offsite box audits • Optimizing your on-site storage potential • Negotiating and controlling the content of your storage contract Let’s take a deeper look at these…
  4. 4. Tip #1: Implement a Records Retention Schedule
  5. 5. Tip #1: Implement a Records Retention Schedule Most of us already know that having the right records retention schedule is a critical part of the foundation of a good records management program. This is also important when it comes to spending less for offsite storage. In fact, an effective records retention program could help you reduce offsite storage costs by up to one-third of what you are currently paying. So the question is – how? At its simplest form - a retention schedule establishes how long an organization needs to keep its records as they progress through their life cycle, including whether records are ultimately destroyed or archived.
  6. 6. Tip #1: Implement a Records Retention Schedule Control the GROWTH of your records collection Let’s take a series of accounting records for example. When they are created and entered into the records management program, the retention period is applied to those records. During that period, there are tools within the records management program (software or manual processes) that will notify the appropriate personnel within your organization that it is time for those boxes to be destroyed, wherever they might reside. Because your retention schedule specifies exactly what you need to keep and for how long, you are in a position to control the growth of your records collections. This way you ensure that you aren’t paying to store records you don’t need to keep.
  7. 7. Tip #1: Implement a Records Retention Schedule Here’s an example of how records retention can help! After installing a new Electronic Medical Records (E.M.R.) system, The Retina Group in Washington DC, found that they had a larger volume of legacy charts in offsite storage than they originally were aware of. They knew that a good portion of that chart inventory was due for destruction, but since different collections had become interfiled (adult and pediatric charts filed in the same box), it was difficult to know which retention requirements fit which of the offsite boxes!
  8. 8. Tip #1: Implement a Records Retention Schedule 40% !!! TAB helped the Retina Group implement a retention and destruction project and they were able to reduce their volume of inactive patient charts by 40% - simply by applying the right retention schedule to their entire collection and determining what was due for destruction.
  9. 9. Tip #2: Purge Active Records
  10. 10. Tip #2: Purge Active Records For many organizations, a good portion of their records stored offsite were once active records that had been quickly boxed up and shipped off for a variety of reasons - ranging from lack of space and office moves, to mergers and acquisitions, or downsizing. Through personnel changes over a period of time, newer RM staff at many companies continue to send these boxes to their offsite facilities year after year, which could result in a legacy situation where the current records personnel have less and less idea of what is actually in storage! This means that many of the stored records probably no longer need to be maintained!
  11. 11. Tip #2: Purge Active Records So how can you solve this? We highly recommend that you have a plan in place to purge your active records before you even think about sending them to offsite storage!
  12. 12. Tip #2: Purge Active Records The key is to purge active documents and files in a systematic way that takes records management principles into account. We suggest the following steps: • • • • Be sure to Communicate with your employees so they have a clear understanding of why you are implementing this procedure. Educate your employees on what is considered the Official Record vs. non-Record material so your employees know what material should be kept for compliance purposes. Set up a specific time (or actually schedule Clean-Up Days) to have all employees within a department or division participate in a cleanup of their office space and central filing areas. Finally, implement a specific plan with coordinated areas to accept materials that can be thrown out or recycled, centralized into a common filing area, or sent to inactive storage. When your collection is streamlined this way, you should be able to… …reduce document volume by up to 25%!
  13. 13. Tip #2: Purge Active Records A good example is TAB’s active records purge with Pengrowth, a North American energy trust company. Pengrowth had already been experiencing significant company growth, and then they acquired a billion dollar company which doubled their employee base within one year! Needless to say, this expansion came with a lot of record materials that needed to be audited and purged!
  14. 14. Tip #2: Purge Active Records Toss Recycle Information Management To do this, we helped them implement a TRIM Project, which is a records management principle that stands for Toss – Recycle and Information Management. The TRIM process involves educating your employees to be able to identify what is an Official Record vs. Non-Record materials. It is the physical action of going through all documents and purging out all nonrecord materials.
  15. 15. Tip #2: Purge Active Records By auditing their newly acquired materials and applying the TRIM principles, we were able to help Pengrowth significantly reduce the amount of material they needed to retain! This included:
  16. 16. Tip #3: Conduct a Box Audit
  17. 17. Tip #3: Conduct a Box Audit For many organizations, boxes of legacy files that had been moved to storage under previous records management programs and personnel, are an offsite storage reality! So no matter how good your current program is, you still may not be fully aware of everything you are paying to store.
  18. 18. Tip #3: Conduct a Box Audit Conducting a box audit will help identify what’s in each records storage box and determine what action is required. This could include: • Capturing all of the information at the BOX level. • Capturing all detail at the FILE level. • Restructuring the box contents based on current retention values. • Destroying or recycling all nonrecord materials. • Destroying records according to your retention schedule. • Or returning active files to your active file room!
  19. 19. Tip #3: Conduct a Box Audit Box Audits Drive Real Results! Let’s go back to our earlier example of The Retina Group. While undergoing their E.M.R. implementation, they had records stored at 10 different offsite storage locations. When they hit maximum capacity and began discussing an 11th storage facility, they realized they could no longer continue to manage their offsite storage environment in this manner.
  20. 20. Tip #3: Conduct a Box Audit So TAB came in and consulted with them further, and as part of a larger solution, we conducted an offsite storage audit at ALL of their offsite locations. We even discovered 1,000 boxes at one location they weren’t even aware they had! 50% of those boxes could actually now be destroyed. This process allowed them to reduce their overall volume of inactive patient charts by over 40%!
  21. 21. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential
  22. 22. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential Another helpful tip may be to look at ways to optimize your on-site storage potential! Keep in mind the ability do this will depend where you are located, the amount of space you have available and the cost of that space – when looking at your on-site storage vs. offsite cost comparisons. This may not be feasible for everyone.
  23. 23. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential I bet all of us have days where we feel like this? You don’t have to!! If you are able to get better at storing records at your own facility, then chances are you’ll have to store less at someone else’s facility! So how do you get there? The answer is better space planning.
  24. 24. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential Comprehensive Space Planning Solution A comprehensive space planning solution should incorporate smart choices in file storage, equipment and supplies. From design through installation, it’s important to make the best possible use of your physical space while implementing proper records management strategies along the way.
  25. 25. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential Maximize Capacity & Efficiency During the active phase of your records, their activity level is at its highest and offers the greatest opportunity to reduce costs and improve efficiency. The next few slides share some tips to help maximize the capacity and efficiency of your physical storage.
  26. 26. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential Be sure to implement efficient filing formats (for example, proper color-coding labels for easy identification)
  27. 27. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential Use end-tab file folders vs. top-tab folders (make your files visible at-a-glance!)
  28. 28. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential Using Lateral vs. Vertical filing will help you dramatically save on the overall footprint of your filing space!
  29. 29. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential Instantly increase your space utilization by using highdensity mobile shelving vs. static shelving. This eliminates aisles and compacts several cabinets or shelving units into a much smaller amount of space.
  30. 30. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential Remember, effective filing solutions optimize the storage potential of your existing office space by allowing you to store more files in less space, thereby helping you to reduce the need to move files from areas that are over capacity to offsite facilities. A great example of how this can work is the University of Washington Library. The university was looking for a better way to maximize the capacity of their own 35,000 square foot archival storage facility used for inactive books and collections.
  31. 31. Tip #4: Optimize Your On-Site Storage Potential TAB ended up working with the project architect to create a design that met their floor load requirements and maximized the workflow in their storage facility. The final design included three miles of mobile carriages and shelving with shelf configurations required for both the University’s books and their special collections. By combining the right equipment with smart space planning, the final implementation increased the storage capacity of their archival facility by 91%! 91% more space! 3 Miles of Mobile Carriages & Shelving!
  32. 32. Tip #5: Negotiate a ClientFriendly Contract
  33. 33. Tip #5: Negotiate a Client-Friendly Contract • Read contract in its entirety before signing. • Avoid exit fees (hold you hostage)! If these fees are already included in an existing contract, try to negotiate for reduced exit fees so purges later are not cost-prohibitive. • Itemization of all fees • Understand all terms or change them • Combine storage volume from all departments for negotiating power.* * Tip provided by David McLallen, Boulder County RM via RECMGMT-L (records management list serv)
  34. 34. Tip #5: Negotiate a Client-Friendly Contract A client-friendly storage vendor should: • Go above and beyond your expectations! • Offer ways to save you money, such as: • • Implementing minimum retention standards Disposing of records accordingly • Offer a site visit of their facility. • Assign a specific trained RM specialist to you. • Show a degree of flexibility to fit your needs. • Offer other RM solutions: • Scanning, destruction and emergency retrieval options, method for digital storage. *Source: ARMA Guidelines for Evaluating Offsite Records Storage Facilities
  35. 35. Tip #5: Negotiate a Client-Friendly Contract Be in Control of Your Contract! • Negotiate best terms • Understand all fees • Surcharges • Clauses • Terms • Restrictions • Protect yourself in the long-term also • Future price increases • Terms of eventual move-out • Legal review
  36. 36. DON’T be this person… • Offsite box volume swept up by merger. • RM failed to note “hostage fees” in new contract. • Perm out fee $11,000 (1,000 boxes @ $11/box)! • Found another vendor who absorbed this fee. • Storage costs went up but service improved. • Larger storage company bought out that vendor! • RM failed to read new contract details. • Higher storage fees PLUS a $15/box hostage fee! • The boss did the only thing he could!!! Story from Hugh Smith, Firelock Fireproof Modular Vaults, via RECMGMT-L LIST-SERV
  37. 37. FIRED the records manager who failed to develop a protective storage contract for their company!
  38. 38. Make Improvements Now!
  39. 39. Tip #5: Negotiate a Client-Friendly Contract • Find & read contract details • • Pay close attention to the date, roll-over clause and fee schedule Read any signed amendments to the contract as well • Stop adding to your inventory • Start new inventory with a new vendor • Begin destruction program by evaluating any inventory at your old center and begin to destroy records that have reached their destruction date • Don’t trigger punitive inventory reduction clause – you may be able to destroy up to 10% a year (check your contract) • GET OUT OF “STORAGE JAIL”!
  40. 40. TAB Can Help Full suite of records management services
  41. 41. TAB’s Records Management Program Design and Implementation We can help design and implement a records management program that is right for your organization. By applying the classification and retention schedules properly, we’ll make sure you are only storing what you need.
  42. 42. TAB’s Offsite Box Audits By properly identifying your offsite records, you can reduce exposure to risk, save operational costs and be ready for any organizational change. TAB’s Box Audit process verifies what is in each records storage box and determines what action is required. Each step is managed closely with established procedures for clients to review progress and approve final destruction of records. It all starts with knowing what’s in the box!
  43. 43. TAB TRIM Toss Recycle Information Management • Keep only essential documents • Lower storage costs for onsite and offsite storage • Improve retrieval time • Improve access to records
  44. 44. TAB’s Offsite Storage Facilities TAB provides secure offsite storage facilities that make storing files convenient and affordable. We won’t hold you or your documents hostage and there will be no hidden fees or surcharges. Our records centers feature secure managed facilities, professional records management staff hired and trained as specialists in the storage industry, and compliance with all government and industry standards related to records storage. We can ensure that your inventory is always up-to-date, while providing complete inventories of each box and manage the storage and retrieval activity with up-to-date box content listings. We are experts in the full range of records storage services, from file creation through destruction.
  45. 45. TAB’s Document Imaging Services Digitizing and imaging your documents may also be a way to save space and cut storage costs because depending on your legal and regulatory requirements, you can often destroy the originals. Best of all, the imaged and indexed documents are instantly available to staff across your organization, and can be quickly and easily accessed when needed.
  46. 46. Organize. Access. Manage. Better organized files Quicker access to information Lower operating costs Reduced exposure to risk Choose TAB as your RM partner!