12/10/2010

With ongoing uncertainty about the economic outlook and the strength of recovery, businesses are continuing to find ways to improve efficiency and cut costs. Martin Budd, Director of Business Development at Crown Records Management, explores how better information management and data security procedures can help companies reduce costs.

One of the biggest running costs for any business is the lease and associated costs of office space, such as heating, lighting and other rates. The majority of businesses now work from an open plan office, which not only improves teamwork but also makes efficient use of the space available. It is not unusual, however, to see only half of the office space used as an active working environment and the other half full of filing cabinets, boxes and cupboards.

Legal requirements oblige companies to keep some documents for a prescribed period before disposing of them and even after this managers can be reluctant to dispose of confidential and sensitive paperwork.

Businesses storing files and records in the office could downsize significantly if they moved their paperwork to a secure unit off site. With office space currently peaking at £55 per square foot in the City it is an increasingly valuable commodity. Storing documents securely off site could offer the chance to move into smaller, more cost efficient offices.

What’s more, careful records management protects companies against the financial implications, such as fines, and reputational damage caused by data losses. Consumer loyalty can be severely impacted if companies fail to treat personal and corporate information securely, with a survey conducted by YouGov and Check Point revealing that 91% of consumers would actively avoid purchasing goods or services from a company which had suffered information leaks.

Finally, effective records management is a key aspect of disaster recovery and business continuity planning. Whether it’s a case of flooding, fire or IT failure, any inability to get back up and running quickly can prove expensive. By ensuring that crucial information is backed up and stored in a secure location, companies can significantly improve their chances of being able to return to normal operations as quickly as possible, thus avoiding lost custom and increased costs.

It’s clear that the potential cost savings and reduction of risk make records management an issue which all companies must take seriously. By taking action now, companies can ensure they are in the best possible shape to navigate the road ahead.


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