Tips for Tackling Your Year-End File Organization

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If you’re like most companies, you are preparing to close out the year in December, and it’s time to start thinking about your end of year file archiving process or possibly even a file-purging project. If this is your first time completing this annual task, or even if you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s always nice to have a refresher on the best ways to get this tall task completed with the least amount of hiccups.

  1. Know your retention policy.
    And if you don’t have one, make one! This is a crucial first step, if you don’t have a written plan in place, there are bound to be mistakes. Your policy should include information on how long records should be archived, how often you move them into your archives, and what the process is for file purging when records become out of date, as well as where and how records will be archived.
  2. What’s the purpose of a records retention policy?
    By developing and implementing a record retention schedule, an organization can:

    • Improve their overall utilization of resources
    • Control the growth of records volume
    • Demonstrate compliance with regulatory record keeping requirements
    • Enforce the consistent implementation of record-keeping policies
    • Improve ability to locate and retrieve records when required
    • Reduce litigation risks

  3. Who needs a records retention schedule?
    As the volume of your information grows, the risk factors and potential threats do as well. To avoid this happening, an organizational retention plan is ideal for any corporation. The development and implementation of a records retention schedule helps to ensure companies comply with state and federal information privacy laws. Don’t fail to oversee the different moving pieces within your organization’s data and information infrastructure. Establish a system for managing, monitoring, and purging records. 

    Build a better records retention policy with these tips.

  4. Know your document disposal policy.
    Did you know that businesses handling sensitive or personal information should have document destruction policies in place? Regulations like the FACTA Final Disposal Rule and PCI compliance (1) set out guidelines for the appropriate way to handle the destruction of sensitive information, and having a policy in place to address these items is key in preventing data breaches and information theft. As a NAID AAA Certified service provider, Augusta Data Storage is committed to helping you create a destruction policy that works within the parameters of your file retention policy, we are an authorized compliance toolkit representative  and we have the tools in place to help you put together a written disposal policy.
  5. Define common searches to help organize prior to your file purging.
    If you are sorting and purging files this year, define your most common search parameters and use those to organize and sort your files. If you search by date, sort files chronologically, if you often search by name, search alphabetically, and if you search by order number, organize your files numerically. Having a system in place will help you avoid misplacing files or filing them in the wrong locations.File Purging
    Once you have determined which files are no longer needed, Augusta Data Storage will destroy your sensitive files. Businesses are able to schedule as many or as little record purges as needed. The scheduled purges can range from annually, semi-annually, or even a one time purge. We take pride in our secure purging to ensure your documents are safe from threats.
  6. Know your storage options.
    When you have all your files sorted and its time to get them filed away, what are your storage options? Will you be moving them from an active file location to an on-site archive? Or do these files need to be moved off-site for external storage? Augusta Data Storage can help with both. Even if you just need a few extra hands to get your files from one end of your facility to another, our crews can help you! Running out of storage space? Not to worry, our 100,000 ft. warehouse can house your archived files, and if you need them later, our retrieval program is at your service!Internal File Relocation
    Our team of experts at Augusta Data Storage will help keep things organized and expedite the process of relocating bulk file storage areas. This is ideal for office moves, relocating active records to archive storage facilities and more.
    Whether you’re relocating files to a new office, or from one storage area or warehouse to another, our trained and insured staff is here to help.File Relocation services are available for a variety of organizations including:

    • Businesses and professional services companies
    • Libraries and Archival Facilities
    • Laboratories
    • Healthcare Facilities and more

    External File Relocations & Off-site Storage
    If your company is looking to relocate files off-site and out of your active file storage areas, Augusta Data Storage will pick up files for secure transport and refiling at our secure off-site storage facility.

  7. How do we track and organize your records?
    Boxes will be picked up at the customer’s location, barcoded, and scanned to keep record or what work order. Once it is in the facility and ready to be stored, the box will be scanned to a specific location in the facility. Additionally, if a customer requests their item, we will barcode it before delivery to keep track of the item.
  8. What are the benefits of security and tracking?
    Our security systems ensure that we are able to maintain a monitored chain of custody for your information. Our restricted access entry monitoring and barcode tracking allows us to keep tabs on who accessed your records and when. Get the full scoop on our file organization and tracking here.

  9. Don’t forget about digital!
    In a time where digital information is king, it might be easy to overlook the importance of archiving and protecting your e-assets, but we’re here to help with that as well! Whether you have a room full of old out dated electronics that need to be disposed of properly, or boxes of tapes and backup discs, we’ve got you covered. Our climate controlled vault storage has all the items you could need to get your year-end back-ups archived and our e-solutions program is designed to help you safely and securely dispose of your end-of-life electronic devices so that digital information is not being compromised in the disposal process.

With Data breaches on the rise, and regulations constantly changing to better protect consumer information, you owe it to yourself and your clients to ensure that your end of year archiving and purging process does not place their information in any danger of being compromised. Augusta Data Storage is committed to creating secure storage and destruction solutions to help ease the stress and burden of managing your files, both digital and hard copy. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you tie up all your loose ends and close out 2015 with minimal stress!

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