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Tips for Managing Your Inactive Files

Your organisation uses some files every day. You also have files that don’t see day-to-day use but must be retained for administrative purposes, retention requirements, or legal compliance; these are inactive files. Do you have a strategy for keeping them organised, accessible, and secure? Here are several tips for managing your inactive files:

Review Your Retention Schedule

Your record retention schedule establishes a timeline for which files to keep, whether they’re active or inactive. Just because a file isn’t used daily doesn’t mean it doesn’t have administrative or legal value. Review your retention schedule before determining what to do with your inactive files.

Shred the Excess

The problem with inactive records is they take up space. If an inactive file has reached the end of its retention lifecycle, it should be destroyed. A file shredding service helps you destroy inactive files quickly and securely. Secure destruction sacks are delivered to your office free of charge. When the sacks are filled, a screened shredding technician collects and shreds the contents. A Certificate of Destruction is issued at the end of destruction process.

Go Digital

Scanning is another method for addressing inactive file storage constraints. A document scanning service converts your hardcopy inactive files into easily-accessible digital images. Every image is indexed and made searchable with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. Your images can even be hosted online for you, so they are securely stored offsite and don’t take up valuable server space. 

Go Offsite

Depending on the size and volume of your inactive paper file inventory, it may be more cost effective to store it offsite. A record centre protects your inactive files from fires, floods, natural disasters, and unauthorised access. It should feature:

  • 24-hour internal staffing
  • entry access controls
  • monitored security systems
  • fire detection and suppression technology
  • secure loading and unloading areas

Your inventory should be managed only by background-screened records management professionals, and access to your files restricted to authorised individuals in your organisation.

Choose a file storage service that offers Scan on Demand. With Scan on Demand, when you need access to a file, a technician scans and converts it to a digital image. The image is then sent directly to your desktop or digital device.

For more inactive file management tips, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) provides records and information management services for businesses throughout London, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon.

Natasha Rawley The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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