Secure Document Storage Solutions North East from Ashington’s Removals & Storage
Whether you are a small business that is growing or a large business with lots of paperwork then offsite document storage is a really good way to minimise your business costs as well as increase your data security. Ashington Removals & Storage offers dry and secure Document Storage North East where you can have easy access to your business documents as and when you need them, without them taking up valuable office space.
We are all now trying to be more environmentally friendly and use digital documents as much as we can. There are, however, still lots of businesses that have, and will continue to need physical hard copy documents, many that are highly confidential and that need to be archived and kept for a period of 10 plus years. Examples of these can be; patient records, PAYE details, accident reports, land registry documents, mortgage applications, banking information, tax records, client information, human resources files, medical files, personal files and so much more.
Why Do Businesses Still Store Documents in Paper Form?
There are many reasons why storing paper documents is still required:
- Paper documents are not at risk to cybersecurity threats and data breaches
- They are an important backup in case of a short or long term data loss or breach
- It is often easier for paper copies to be organised and more easily readable when they are needed, compared to digital versions
- There are some official documents that cannot be digitised
Unfortunately, there are still lots of data breaches that happen from human error when it comes to paper documents as well as duplicate documents increasing the risk of data breaches, however, having an offsite document storage solution minimises these.
Risks can include:
- Document or copies being left on a desk or in office drawers and not filed appropriately
- Documents and copies left on printers and photocopiers
- Copies on unencrypted devices (USB sticks, CD’s DVDs)
- Disposal of documents or copies being in regular bins
- Paper documents on-site mean a higher risk of customer or employee data being taken off-site
What are the Benefits of Document Storage Offsite with Ashington’s Storage?
Storing documents that you don’t need regular access to at your business property can be extremely costly and there are many reasons why storing them off-site at a document storage facility is your best option.
Reduction of Commercial Office Space Costs
Storing paper documents on-site can take up a huge amount of space which is very costly and this is why choosing document storage offsite is a cheaper option.
Document archiving off-site frees up space and will reduce your overall operating costs as well as giving you more opportunities to expand your business. The fewer documents you store at your business site means less management of the documents and organisation.
Moving your paper documents to a document storage facility won’t mean you can’t access them when you need them as easy access is a priority but it will reduce your costs and enable you to use your commercial space for other more beneficial purposes.
By storing paper documents at your business property it can make you vulnerable unless you have all of the right security systems in place. Your documents could be at risk of being stolen, damaged by the elements (damp, fire, flooding), being tampered with as well as the risk of them getting lost if you don’t have a good document management system in place.
Loss of important and confidential documents and data can result in financial loss, damage to your company’s brand and reputation and at times can put your business at risk of no longer being able to trade.
Legal Data Responsibilities
In addition to business-related losses, you could be at risk of legal action if you don’t store and protect your digital and paper documents safely and securely.
Europe is now covered by the strongest privacy regulations globally and if you are not GDPR compliant and have the necessary policies and procedures in place you can be subject to legal proceedings in the event of leak, loss or poor storage of data. GDPR means a business can be fined up to 4% of its turnover if the necessary precautions haven’t been taken both digitally and for paper documents.
Reports by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) show that there are still hundreds of incidents of loss, theft and data breaches of paper documents as they are not stored securely. You can find out more about your data responsibilities as a business here.
One ICO study reported that around 40% of UK data security incidents were attributed to papers that were damaged, sent in error, leaked, stolen, or misplaced by employees.
By using a professional document storage company you will significantly reduce the risk of data breaches within your business.
Significantly Minimises Damage
Storing paper documents on site can mean they are more at risk of damage from the elements, dampness, the cold, floods, fire. A purpose-built storage facility like Ashington’s will have humidity control and fire systems in place which will mean your documents are always safe and dry.
Easier Document Access
Storing paper documents offsite will ensure you have an effective document management and storage system in place rather than them being stored in filing cabinets, and as your documents grow your filing cabinets will increase. This often means when you are looking for a document that you need you are then unable to find it. This can be extremely time consuming and can put your business at risk if you are unable to provide the document that has been requested, or you are unable to find the information you need.
If you are storing your documents off-site it is also a good idea to have an effective scanning system in place and as the document goes off to be stored it is digitally scanned and saved so you have both options if you need a document.
Improved Employee Efficiency
Filing, sorting and locating documents can take up a huge amount of time for your team. Storing documents offsite ensures no time is wasted, subsequently minimising staff costs.
Effective Document Management System
When deciding to store your documents in a document storage facility you can ensure you have the most effective document filling, management and document lifecycle system in place. This means you can find the documents you need quickly and effectively and you won’t be paying to store documents that you are no longer legally required to keep.
A robust document management policy ensures your important documents are dealt with correctly. Often failure to implement a policy can result in loss of sensitive information, fines and you paying for storage you no longer need to.
What is the most important factor when you are considering storage offsite?
Your Document Management Filing System
You should take a lot of time to decide on your document storage management system and review it regularly to ensure it is working for your business. Organise your documents into logical categories and folders and ensure this is clearly documented so it doesn’t change over time. Have one hard copy and a digital copy to cover any situation. Always use a consistent naming convention for digital files so that you can easily search and locate them and again ensure this is clearly documented so every employee uses the same process.
What security systems are in place for your document storage facility. They should have 24/7 CCTV in place, pin code or lockable storage spaces and strict access control processes. Use security seals for your document storage boxes and a document access signing in and out system.
You should check that the storage facility you are using has access control policies in place so only authorised people are able to access the documents as well as easy access times so you can get to your documents whenever you need to.
Humidity Control Systems
Your document storage facility should have good humidity control to ensure your documents are protected from the elements. Paper documents are easily damaged over time if they are exposed to wet, damp or hot conditions so this is always an important factor to consider.
About Ashington’s Document Storage Facilities
We are a family run business and have been offering removals, self-storage and document storage in our purpose-built facilities in the North East for over 10 years.
- We offer self-storage facilities for both homeowners and businesses
- Our self-storage and document storage units vary in size to suit your needs
- Due to the size of our facilities, we can quickly increase or decrease the size of your storage to suit your needs
- We have 24/7 CCTV covering the perimeter and inside of our storage facility
- We have a secure perimeter fence surrounding our facility
- We aren’t close to any public access
- We have a professionally fitted alarm system
- Each storage unit has an individual lock and pin access code alarm system
- Our purpose-built storage facilities are clean, dry and humidity-controlled
- We can offer a pre-arranged collection and delivery service
- We offer a porter service which supports you when first storing your documents with us
- We are fully insured for any loss if there is any unauthorised access to our main storage facility
- We offer short and long term storage agreements to suit your needs
- We have the ability to increase or decrease the size of your storage as you need it
- We can provide stackable storage boxes which means you will get the most out of your document storage
- We can provide you with security seals for your document storage boxes giving you additional security
- We can also help you with your archive storage box system if you need support with this