If you’re looking for space and operational cost savings, you may be considering a professional records storage solution. Many companies offer this service even though they don’t have a dedicated commercial records storage facility. Here, we bring you an inside look at a commercial records centre and the process and systems used to protect and preserve your confidential documents.
How records are stored
Within a commercial records centre, high-density racking systems are used to safely store individual boxes of documents. The racking systems are configured so that a fixed number of boxes can be stored within each shelving section. In addition to offering the ability to store standard-size cartons, records storage shelving may also be customized to store other important business records such as:
- medical X-rays
- architectural drawings
- large format and legal size documents
Typically, one of two racking system configurations is used within a commercial records centre. One configuration enables an electric “order picker” machine to be easily driven down aisles for the retrieval and re-filing of cartons. Another configuration, known as “catwalk,” utilizes multiple mezzanines for maximizing storage density. Both order picker and cat-walk shelving configurations are designed to:
- keep paper documents off the floor
- facilitate easy retrieval
- support barcode scanning of record storage cartons
In a commercial records centre, boxes and files are never stored individually stacked or on pallets directly on the floor as they are in a multi-purpose storage warehouse or self storage facility.
A commercial records centre is a high-security facility. Only heavily screened and vetted individuals are allowed access, and only trained professionals are authorized to handle and manage your information. Confidentiality is upheld through a number of measures. Clients are discouraged from including company identifiers on their records cartons. Discreet barcode tracking enables records management professionals to identify and track client-specific retention inventories.
Instead of being assigned a single storage area, your inventory is separated and stored anonymously at various locations throughout the commercial records centre. In the unlikely event an unauthorized person gains access to the facility, it would be impossible for them to identify a single box belonging to your company. Privacy protection is enhanced with the use of the following systems:
- 24/7/365 internal and external surveillance
- facility access-control technology
- alarm monitoring
In addition to providing strict privacy breach protection, a commercial records centre is also designed to minimize physical damage to your documents from fire, flooding and natural disaster. A commercial records centre is equipped with advanced fire protection and suppression systems and is kept in pristine condition at all times to eliminate additional risks and contaminates. And because your records are stored within a climate-controlled environment, they can attain optimal, long-term physical preservation.
Records storage and records management go hand-in-hand. A commercial records centre enables your inventory to be properly organized and indexed without an additional investment in labor, software and hardware. Records are tracked in an inventory management database with integrated barcode tracking technology. Your document inventory list can be viewed at any time using a secure, online access portal. If a file is needed, you can easily request it online and it will be securely delivered to you by a records centre professional or sent electronically with a Scan on Demand solution incorporating Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).
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