Everyone knows that investing in security is essential in South Africa. But how safe are your business documents? Can your business survive without those contracts if your offices got damaged by fire? And how do you go about making sure that your documents are filed properly and easy to access? Your company’s documents are extremely valuable for many reasons. Financials, contracts, employment letters and client files are all classified as confidential documents. And while it is tempting to keep filing “old school” in the office, paper-based files can be exposed to risks such as fire, theft or natural disasters. And if you do go “digital” it is essential that you properly protect sensitive information from hackers and other online security threats. So, whether your documents are printed or paperless, we recommend ensuring the safety of your company’s confidential data by engaging the services of a document storage company. Before you choose a storage company, there are a few factors to consider: Storage options A well-designed storage warehouse will have processes and systems in place to make your document storage as easy as possible. It is crucial that they offer efficient and comprehensive systems in place and that you understand how they work. If your documentation is not stored using a logical system that you understand, it will hinder your ability to retrieve what you need when you need it. A good document storage company will explain the different storage options to you. In addition, they should be able to recommend a solution that is best for document storage requirements whether it’s tweaking your existing system or customising a system for you. Top tip: Your document storage company should have an electronic document management system in place to conveniently scan and keep safe your business documents for you to access electronically. Safety and security As mentioned earlier, safe and secure storage is crucial for all your documentation because paper documents can be damaged by whether, fire or theft when you least expect it. Adequate security against all these potential hazards is vital. A decent document management company should offer a variety of safe facility options for document storage. This includes vault-type storage; climate-controlled environments as well as excellent fire prevention facilities. Should you have scanned paperwork and are utilising digital storage solutions, then the storage company should make sure that all your information is backed up and stored on secure servers. Retrieval Access to your documentation whenever necessary is vital. A well-planned labelling system should be in place to give you easy access to all your files irrespective of how many you have stored. Even if your particular storage vault is lined with shelves containing rows upon rows of boxes, you should be able to find documents alphabetically, by year and by type. You should also be able to access your documentation 24 hours a day, in case of an emergency. There are many benefits to secure document storage for your company. Not only will you have an organised system in place that you can utilise to find whatever you need but you will also have peace of mind knowing that important business documents are well protected. Now that is THE business!