Sunday, February 13, 2011 -
What is an archive? An archive is an organized body of records relating to an organization or institution. In addition, it is also the name of the location where these records are kept.
Recently, archive facilities have risen in popularity throughout the U.S. This is due to the increase in records being produced by companies and the need to have them stored properly. It is also because of the need for offices to be as orderly as possible.
Companies who decide to utilize storage for their paperwork and files want easy access so that their records can be obtained and delivered to them promptly. Regardless of the amount of storage companies that have taken advantage of incorporating archive storage, many come short of the requirements for a good archive facility. If this is the case, you may decide to use a specialized archive storage firm. These are quite common in urban areas that are abundant in offices and businesses.
Companies can gain a great deal by utilizing archive storage. Various doctors, dentists, lawyers and corporations can take advantage of the option to move their paperwork out of the office. This creates a more organized environment where there is less of a chance of misplacing important documents.
Office space tends to be very expensive and using space in your office for storage may not be cost effective. Off-site archiving is available at drastically lower costs. However, you will need to clearly label contents and organize your records before placing them into storage so that retrieving them is not an issue.
So what should you look for in an archive facility?
- Climate control. Moisture has the ability to destroy paper goods. When paper is exposed to too much moisture it gets wet and eventually falls apart. Paper products are best stored at 50-80° F and rot when humidity levels are above 55 percent RH (Relative Humidity). Humidity also has the ability to damage the spine of a book, eventually causing the book to collapse and come apart. For all these reasons, it is important to choose a storage facility that offers climate control.
- Easy access. Many companies offer 24-hour access, seven days a week. Your preferred archive storage firm may have specialists that are available to access your records for you whenever you need them and fax them immediately. There may be additional fees associated with this service. However, it may be necessary if you are storing crucial documents.
- Removals. Other special services by storage companies may include bringing a professional to come to your office and physically bring the records to the storage facility for you. The people handling these specialized services are experts in dealing with records so you can rest assured your files will arrive safely and undamaged.
- Organization. Does the facility appear to be well organized? More importantly, is the storage area laid out in a way that would allow your files or electronic media to be easily retrieved? Are the shelves sturdy enough to properly support your belongings? These are a few of the important questions you should ask yourself when visiting your storage facility. They may sound like basic requirements, however many facilities do not meet these basic needs so go examine the space on your own.
- Services. Specialized services are common among archive storage facilities to beat out competition. These services can include sales of office supplies such as boxes or labels and phone or fax access. You will most likely pay a premium rate to gain access to any of these services however the convenience may outweigh the cost of use.
- Insurance. It is advised you obtain adequate insurance on your items in storage in the event that your records are damaged. Many companies may suggest you take out additional insurance beyond what the storage facility offers seeing as that you cannot replace destroyed records unless you have them backed up on your hard drive, on disc/CD or in another location.