Handling documents correctly is important to the success of your business. Here are 3 reasons to put controls in place and 3 risks you take if you don’t have a process for document handling and storage in place – plus, a process you can use.
The Reasons Why
• Your Employee Efficiency. It’s a fact. The average worker spends about 10% of their average day trying to find information and documents that exist. That’s like losing 10% of the salaries you pay them. Plus, it may mean that a customer or client is waiting for an answer while the search continues.
• Work Becomes Redundant. At some point, an employee may decide that it easier to recreate the lost document and work than continue a search that appears to be fruitless. Again, it’s time lost.
• Is What is Found What You Needed? Documents tend to be living things with changes added, additional ideas included and corrections made. When an employee has to search through a filing cabinet, it is too easy to pull up a document that really isn’t right. That can cause mistakes and problems.
Risks of Mishandling Documents
• Not Keeping Sensitive Documents Secure. When there isn’t a process in place and filing becomes haphazard, security may not be enforced. You have an obligation to keep sensitive information about your employees and customers secure. You don’t want inappropriate people to be able to access that information or your business plans and financial records. Important and sensitive documents need to be protected.
• Lack of Access Control. Who can access information in your office? Are file drawers locked? Are sensitive documents – along with those you need to be able to find – filed in an orderly manner? Are they under lock and key when necessary? Do you know who has seen and/or worked on each document? Controlling documents and access to them is keeping your business safe.
• Lost Information. You may need it for an audit or a tax issue or to review a quote from a supplier – but, it may be several years old. Over the years, papers tend to get pushed to the back of the filing drawer or even lost or destroyed. You knew you needed to save it, but you didn’t think you’d really need it and, now, you can’t find it.
Document Storage simply makes good sense for businesses. Your documents are put in catalogued boxes so finding something is as simple as a phone call. Plus, those documents are stored in a pest-free, climate-controlled, secure facility. And, you have other options. A document storage facility can scan your documents so they are available digitally. They can store those digital documents and access them for you when there is something you need or you can store the media – it’s much smaller than all that paper. There is document storage in Phoenix, AZ that even lets you scan your documents yourself with their high-speed, commercial scanners.
If you’re being overwhelmed with paper, start by talking to your onsite shredding company. Many of them offer complete document storage as well as taking care of secure shredding for the documents you no longer need. Put a document process in place that works from destruction to storage.