All businesses, large or small, need to retain certain documentation – often for a fixed number of years to comply with relevant legislation. They may also wish to retain certain documentation not covered by legislation because it forms a historical record of their company or organisation.
Whether it's for the tax authorities or to comply with some other legal regulations it is essential not only to keep the documents but to have easy access and be able to retrieve them if necessary. In some circumstances, especially where the information is confidential, it is also important to ensure that you store business documents in a totally secure facility and that you control access to the data.
Of course, many documents can be held in electronic form but there are some, such as architect's drawings or medical records, that may need to be kept in paper form. However, even if retaining paper documents most companies will now have them scanned and also stored electronically for easy cataloguing and retrieving.
So, before devising your document archiving strategy you will need to understand your business objectives and legal requirements with regard to historic documents. Small businesses often do not have the storage space to keep all of the data they need to retain on their premises; online businesses often do not even have much in the way of premises so one easy and inexpensive solution for these types of business is to use a self storage unit. A number of business storage providers have reported that more and more small businesses are using their secure storage facilities for storing both stock and their document archives. Some providers such as Cambridge self storage even provide a dedicated document archiving service.
Larger companies are also increasingly using dedicated document archiving services rather than dealing with it in-house because it is more cost-effective and also adds a layer of security because the documents are not stored on their own premises.
Whatever your business needs for document archiving you will need to discuss the strategy with all the key decision-makers in your company and take account of their requirements and how the system can ensure customer satisfaction.