When it comes to storing and managing your business records cost is definitely one of the deciding factors. But certainly, Cost is not just the single deciding factor. There is so much more than cost and convenience. Let’s take some of the important perspectives that help you get the right records storage vendor.
Safety, security, and the ability to produce a verifiable audit trail for your files are equally important considerations. A reliable professional records storage vendor can help your business achieve:
Focus on choosing the optimal vendor for your overall records management needs, not the cheapest.
Price is often the single-most decisive factor that many clients use to decide on their records management vendors. But it is not the right way. Indeed, pricing is one of the important factors. To understand how exactly the pricing works. Is it based on Cubic Foot, price per Box, or the number of files, etc? Understand ancillary and accessorial charges, transportation, and account administration Fees.
Good records management supports good data governance and data protection. Failure to handle records securely and inefficiently will lead to legal troubles and penalizing compliance issues. Records security also supports good governance. Understand how secure is your records storage facility vendor when it comes to handling:
Operational risk: If these records are compromised, what are the protocols that will be followed to ensure seamless business continuity.
Financial risk: Does the loss or theft of these records affect the ability to protect and document financial decisions or expenditures?
Reputational or image risk: If these records were released to the public, would it cause the company to lose its status as a reliable, effective, and accountable company?
Physical or security risk: Do these records contain sensitive information that, if in the wrong hands, could cause loss or damage to employees, the company, any physical building, or office?
All records management professionals should already be very familiar with the definitions of authenticity, reliability, and integrity at the national and international levels. Demonstrating reliability is a very good influencing factor when it comes to choosing a records management vendor.
How much time does your staff spend on retrieving records before taking decisions on an everyday basis? What are the timelines? What are the agreed SLAs? How effectively it is being followed? How consistent it has been over time? Make sure you have data on the above to understand the effectiveness and timeliness of your records management vendor.
One of the important aspects when it comes to records management is documentation skills and templates. Documentation helps in attaining clarity across the enterprise and helps very much in the audit purposes. Check for different reports, templates and log details your records management vendor is providing.
Beyond all work-related matters, exemplary customer service is important for any service we take from vendors. Look at various channels with which they provide timely customer support. Are they working 24/7? (if your business has such a need). What kind of channels through which they make themselves available to be of service? Do they have ticketing systems and address customer queries in a systematic manner?
Understand the standard contract, clauses, and their implications for the short-term and long-term. Especially if the contracts run over multiple years, that can indicate big trouble. Oftentimes, Record Storage Contracts have unreasonable charges for Permanent Withdrawal of Records. Such contracts will bind clients and levy unjustified or non-escapable fees. Also, look for any signs of Automatic-Renewal Clauses which make it clients difficult to ever get out of the contracts without having to go through an exhaustive exit process.
A lot of Records Management Service Contracts get stuck due to poorly defined and binding contracts that don’t allow customers to escape from unreasonable clauses. Kindly make sure you read and understand all clauses of your records management contract before signing them with confidence.
Are you in the process of beginning or renewing your records management contract? Take professional records management assistance. Consult KAYMAN Records Management Services.