Top Things to Consider
When Converting Your Records
We’ve said it many times and believe it can’t be overemphasized. Your records and documents, regardless of the format you have them in, are one of your company’s most important assets. At BIS, we’ve built the country’s most modern, cutting-edge facility designed to help companies convert, index, classify, store and protect their documents.
Having a well thought out – and documented – records retention policy is vital to any organization, and in many cases can save you from costly legal woes.
So once you establish your company’s records policy (a task BIS is uniquely qualified to help you with), when you’re ready to convert documents, there are several things you need to consider in choosing a company and entrusting them with one of your most precious assets.
Visit the company that will be handling your records
Just as you wouldn’t buy a house without first walking through and inspecting it, when you’re turning over your documents to a company to convert them, take the time to visit that company in person. Notice how modern the facility is. Have they invested in the building, equipment and people who will be handling your records?
When it comes to storage, size matters
If you’re required to keep documents for a specified period before you’re allowed to destroy them, you’re going to need a company that has enough storage space with proper safeguards that ensure the well-being of your company’s assets.
On your inspection, don’t just look at square footage. Look at cubic feet of storage space. You don’t want your documents sitting on the floor where they could be damaged. Make sure the company you’re considering has storage racks that elevate your records and that there’s ample room front to back, side to side and floor to ceiling.
At BIS, we have more than 350,000 cubic feet of storage space, giving us the capability to store massive quantities of records.
Security, Security, Security
One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a company to convert your documents is the security of the facility. Again, your records are vital assets. You don’t want them sitting in a storage locker in the middle of nowhere. So be sure to inspect the company’s security protocols. Your security checklist should include:
- Do they have 24-hour HD Internet surveillance cameras inside and outside the facility? BIS has a state-of-the-art, monitored system that helps ensure your records are safe and watched.
- Is there an employee ID system? It’s important when turning over your records to know who has access to them. A proper ID system controls access to the building – or parts of the building – so you know who is viewing your records at any given time.
- What type of fire protection is in place? Fire can strike anywhere…and at any time. When exploring companies to convert and/or store your records, make sure they have a highly sensitive fire alarm and suppression system like BIS.
A quality inventory management system is essential
The last thing you need to do when turning your records over to someone is worry about them getting lost. Having a company explain their inventory management system to you is always a smart move. You’ll want to know where your records are located and how they’re being accounted for.
Clean air matters
On the surface, it might not seem important. However, many records, especially old paper documents, books and photographs are affected by air quality. Check to see if the company you’re teaming with has an advanced air circulation system that maintains optimum humidity levels, and filters dust and airborne particles that can ruin many documents.
How advanced is the hardware/equipment being used?
Take the time on your tour to inspect the type of equipment the records facility uses. Do they have purpose-built devices to handle the job for which you’re considering them? Many companies either have or have purchased old, outdated, slow or second-hand machines.
At BIS, our equipment is cutting edge, which produces the highest quality scans with the industry’s fastest turnaround time. If the company you’re considering has older, slower machines, recognize it could add days, weeks or even months to your conversion project.
Is their software up to the task?
The company you employ on a conversion project needs to have software capable of accurately scanning, indexing, reviewing and classifying the work it’s handling. As is the case with hardware, having the best software for a project can dramatically streamline the entire job.
At BIS, we’ve developed a proprietary software called Grooper. It’s the world’s most innovative scanning, indexing and classification system, which gives our clients unparalleled access to the information contained inside their documents. Essentially, we convert ineffective documents into usable, smart electronic documents.
Is training a priority?
You’re getting ready to trust your most precious assets to a company and its employees. Before doing so, make sure they invest in their employees and that they’re properly trained on prepping, scanning, indexing and classifying documents. At BIS our staff are highly trained on each step of the conversion process and are teamed to maximize productivity.
As importantly as having properly trained staff, you want to make sure the company you’re turning your records over to has industry certifications and endorsements, confirming they meet certain standards. From privacy concerns to government regulations like HIPAA, the company you select for your conversion projects should hold – and produce – accreditations that prove they are compliant.
What’s your format?
Obviously, an important step in the selection process is to consider the types of documents and records you have, and whether the company you’re considering is capable of handling them. Many companies can scan paper and produce a digital file. But that’s not the only medium and scanning a document is just part of the conversion process. At BIS, we’re equipped to handle any job, including:
- Paper files, old, new and any size
- Existing electronic files
- Emails and attachments
When it comes time to convert your records, don’t trust them to just anyone! The benefits you’ll realize are huge and include:
- Streamlining your operation
- Cutting/reducing costs
- Modernizing your business
- Having quick, efficient access to your records whenever you need it
- Added security and better management
- Useful, powerful information to help you make better business decisions
If you’re considering a records conversion project, feel free to contact me (email@example.com) at BIS. I have decades of experience, and I understand regulations that govern a variety of industries. Let me help you craft a records policy and conversion plan that makes sense for your organization.
And remember, when you’re ready, our team can go to work for you and give you the peace-of-mind knowing that your records are safe, secure, smart and retained correctly!