Archives storage: How to manage your archives?

Managing a company requires a lot of obligation and involves especially keeping a lot of paper archive: mails, bills, and other administrative documents. These archives can take a lot of space and sometimes may require external archives storage. 

What is archives storage?

There are two storage solutions: archives locale, an archive drop-off.

An archive local consists of storing archives that still have an administrative utility. They need to be available whichever the moment.

While an archive drop-off is storage for important documents that do not have immediate utility. These documents are also subject to a legal retention period, and will be stored or destroyed at the end of this period.

Conditions of a good storage company

Paper archives are fragile and can be damaged by different factors: water, fire, wrong management, or they can be stolen. It is then really important to choose the right storage company that will be able to answer positively to all these criteria. In these kinds of services, a good temperature and security are essential but also cleanliness that will prevent any risks of insects or rodents. Besides, to classify and manage these archives with ease, it is important to discuss with the storage company the logistics to apply depending on your needs.

You will also need to take an insurance in order to prevent any case of damages. 

How to organize an archives storage? 

Organizing your archives storage can be a tough task. For this, you will need to define the priority of your documents to store starting with the archives that you do not need for the moment. Then you will only need to organize them in order to easily find them if needed. Depending on the size and the age of your company, the archives’ quantity may vary from a small to an important volume. Their transport to the storage might require an appropriate vehicle. 

Need to consult them?

It is important to organize your documents in order to have access to them at any moment. Indeed, some archives might be asked immediately and you will need to react quickly. This is why you need to define with your storage organism the people authorized to have access to these documents. 

Legal Obligations 

These documents might be bulky and require a retention period of 2,3 or 5 years depending on their use. They can be asked for different motives like an administrative control, or a litigation with a client. Once the retention period is over, the storage organism can engage a destruction process.

You can find on this website a list of the legal retention periods for each type of document.

Advantages of an external archives storage

Choosing an external storage company can give you different advantages. 

First, it will allow you to save some money. Indeed, if your documents are becoming bulky, an external storage solution would be cheaper than moving into another office and requires less organization. 

Space-saving: for the same reasons, it will be less bulky to choose an external warehouse and will allow you to earn space and be dedicated to your activity.

Taking advantage of professional expertise: surround yourself with professionals assures you to have a service of quality which will help you in all the archives process: pick-up, transport, archival, recuperation and destruction of documents. 

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Internal and external storage pro & cons

Internal : 

  • Depending on the number of your archives, you will eventually need a local and maybe someone in charge of the organization and management of these documents. 
  • Make sure that the location is safe to prevent any risk of damages.
  • Think of a destruction solution for the end of your retention period. 
  • Invest in warehousing material: storage unit, boxes, files to limit the risks of damage.
  • Organize your files by priority or pertinence to make sure they can be easily accessed.

External : 

  • Space savings.
  • Takes care of your archives transportation and can help you organize the files.
  • Assurance of having an adequate place in terms of conditions (preservation factors such as temperature, flooding, safety).
  • Have professionals that can take care of the storage, transportation and destruction of your archives.


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