The switch to paperless business operation has been well underway for years now; however, we are still many years away from achieving a truly paperless business world. So, while the amount of paper generated in the course of doing business has been dramatically reduced, operating a business still means accessing, storing, safeguarding, and safely disposing of massive quantities of paper.
Depending on the size and paper output of your small business, you may be able to get by dedicating an area for in-house document storage space, purchasing document shredders, and placing them at key paper processing areas throughout the business to encourage staff to shred documents when they are no longer needed. This in-house model may work for a very small business that does not generate a large volume of paper. Larger businesses and those with substantial paper generation, processing, and storage needs are likely to benefit a great deal from the hiring of a third-party document shredding and storage company, like ALFA, to manage their document shredding and storage needs...
PrintAlfa offers a large array of small business solutions, including document storage, document shredding, and document management services. There are several key advantages to contracting with third-party document storage and shredding service provider. Let's take a look at some of the top benefits of hiring professional document management, storage, and shredding services.
Make Files And Documents More Accessible
While most businesses have yet to make a shift to full paperless operation, the volume of paper being generated and stored can still be reduced by a significant margin through the company-wide integration of document management software systems.
A business operating with a traditional paper-based document management system can generate a lot of paper. There are invoices, statements, and receipts for customer transactions, and reports, memos, letters, proposals, and information sheets for internal dissemination. The use of a classic paper generation and management system often means printing multiple copies of the same document, so each staff member has a copy for their reference.
In contrast, a document management software system works with documents in an electronic format eliminating the need to generate excess paper copies of important documents. A document management software system organizes and stores all of your important business documents. Administrators can assign various levels of security and access permissions allowing staff members to access the files and documents that they need when they need them; if needed, files and documents can be made available for access by any authorized user with a laptop or personal computer, and an internet connection.
The document management system will allow the administrator to track who has accessed, edited, or deleted a specific file or document. When linked with a multifunction printer network, the document management software can be programmed to track how many times a document has been printed. Administrators can even program printing restrictions and instructions into each individual document file, directing all printing orders for that specific document to be automatically routed to a specific printer. This automatic printer routing capability allows administrators to choose the most efficient and cost-effective printer for each type of printing job.
ALFAoffers document management software, cyber security, multifunction printers, VOIP services, and other office rentals, so you easy for you to get started off on the right foot with all of the top-end equipment you need to take full advantage of all of the benefits of a document management software system.
Improve Fire Prevention Safety
Paper is incredibly combustible, and a file storage room that is packed floor to ceiling and wall to wall is often a fire just waiting to happen; what's more, if or when a fire does break out in the file storage area, it will trigger the buildings built-in automatic fire sprinkler systems. If your business fire suppression systems are installed and working correctly, then the fire should be contained within the file storage room and will not spread out into the main areas of the company; the fire suppression system should help to keep the fire from spreading beyond the confines of the small file storage room. The downside of this particular fire safety system is the fact that fire and water are both really bad for paper. That means that while the fire is contained within the file storage room, due to the destructive effect of fire and water on paper, the files housed within the room are usually a complete loss.
A third-party document storage facility, like ALFA, provides a secure off-site storage option that won't take up your valuable business floorspace. While the third-party storage facility could still catch fire, and the documents could be damaged by the fire and fire suppression systems, you need not worry that the fire will spread to your common business.
Protect Sensitive Data
Most stored business documents contain varying amounts of sensitive data that is not intended to be seen by unauthorized viewers. These could be trade secrets, private business financial data, employee records, and more. The best way to ensure that documents and files containing sensitive data are not viewed by unauthorized viewers is to shred any documents as soon as they are no longer needed.
Document shredding is the gold standard for secure document destruction. By encouraging a policy of shredding documents as soon as they are no longer needed, you can greatly reduce the opportunity for bad actors to view the information in the file or document.
While document shredding can be done by in-house staff either immediately after they have finished with the document or documents can be deposited into a designated container to be shredded at a later time.
Of course, having staff perform in-house document shredding services does open up the possibility that sensitive info could be read, accessed, copied, and possibly misused by a disgruntled or dishonest staff member.
The best possible security solution to prevent the leaking or misuse of sensitive information is to employ a document shredding service offered by ALFA, or other local business solutions providers. Our team of secure document processing pros will ensure that all of your sensitive documents are securely shredded at our secure shredding location. Your business will always receive an official Certificate of Destruction as your proof that the documents were destroyed in a secure manner.
Business owners who have subscribed to one of the document storage and shredding packages will be able to drop off the materials to be shredded at one of our secure shredding locations, or a secure lockbox can be placed in the office, allowing staff to deposit documents for shredding inside the secure box where they will be safe from unauthorized view until picked up by the shredding company.
Protect Proprietary Information
Much like the sensitive data discussed in the previous section, companies often have a strong interest in preventing proprietary company information like trade secrets, employee personal information, business financial data, and more from winding up in the hands of bad actors posing as employees, or volunteers.
Document shredding is the go-to security protocol for managing the disposal of documents that may contain private business data. Documents can be stored in a secure lockbox for shredding on-site, or documents can be dropped off in bulk at our secure shredding facility for shredding. The business owner will always receive a Certificate of Destruction to prove the secure destruction of documents.
Improve Labor Efficiency
Many small businesses, or those that do not generate large quantities of paper throughout the course of the business day, will often store documents for later shredding. Staff will then shred the documents on-site. Larger companies, or companies that generate a large number of documents that must be disposed of by shredding, may find that it is neither practical nor cost-effective to have staff shred documents on-site.
By subscribing to a third-party document shredding service, your staff will be able to return to the work that they were originally hired to do; with the increases in the cost of labor and materials across the board, it is more important than ever to make sure that your staff is performing productive tasks, rather than time-consuming, low skill busy work.
Business owners can free up their staff for more valid and worthwhile tasks by contracting with document management, storage, and shredding service to perform the services so that your staff can spend their time working doing more valuable work.
Ensure Compliance With Privacy Laws
There is an abundance of rules and regulations governing the handling and destruction of documents in many different industries. Many industries require that hard copies of certain documents be stored in a secure location where the document is able to be located and accessed in a reasonable amount of time.
Because the specific requirements for each rule differ from industry to industry and from rule to rule, it can be difficult to know exactly what compliance rules must be followed. ALFA can help you determine which regulations are applicable to your business and industry, and our experts will help ensure that you are meeting those regulations.
Improve The Bottom Line
The nominal cost of hiring third-party document management, storage, and shredding service is often more than offset by the savings to your business bottom line.
Handling document shredding in-house requires skilled staff to be pulled away from more productive work to perform the low-skill, time-consuming work that does not produce value.
On-site document storage can quickly eat up a large amount of real estate within your business facility.
With both labor and real estate costs climbing year over year, taking document shredding off of your staff's shoulders and freeing up valuable real estate by storing files off-site should provide a boost to the business bottom line.
Contact Alfa Today!
ALFA offers a wide array of small business services, including IT solutions, data storage and shredding, cyber security, document management, VOIP, and much more. Give us a call, or stop by and visit us on the web. Our industry experts are ready to help you discover the best tools and services to grow your small business.