Over the past number of years, data has become power. Documentation, whether on paper or electronic, is therefore steadily increasing. However, at the same time documentation has become essential, storage has become complex. Keeping documents in the workplace not only requires resources and space, it also requires management, meaning that there is indeed a cost attached. For physical documents, there are some things to consider, such as how much document storage costs, and the pros and cons of on-site and off-site document storage costs.
The Cost of Storing Documents
There are many hidden costs that come with paper document storage at the office. Think about how long businesses often retain important files. Depending on the industry, these paper files could be sitting in the office for 5 years or more, meaning that documents will rapidly stack up. Because of this, resources and manpower will inevitably be funneled into the following:
- Purchasing paper
- Purchasing file cabinets, printers, scanners, storage boxes, and shelving
- Hiring bookkeepers
- Loss of space for appliances and furniture associated with said paper documents
- Loss of productivity as employees need to locate, file, and re-locate certain documents repeatedly
The main advantage to this system is that you have everything available, since it’s in the office. Unfortunately, this advantage is met with several disadvantages, such as the expense and inconvenience.
On-site document storage cost increases when you consider the following statistic: The average office employee in the United States goes through roughly 10,000 sheets of paper annually.
If the average bulk box of copy paper holds 5,000 sheets and costs around $40-50 per case, then $80-100 is being used to purchase paper for each employee per year. Hypothetically, a company that has 150 employees will go through 300 boxes of paper annually, costing the business an upwards of $12,000 solely for paper. From there, you can add in the cost of filing cabinets, office space, labor costs, and so on. The main problem with document storage is that most companies don’t have space to archive the massive amounts of paper data.
Using the example for your personal calculations, you can potentially answer the question of how much does document storage cost on your own.
Off-Site Document Storage Costs
Aside from spending more money that necessary on storage documents at the office, there are other disadvantages to on-site storage. For example, documents can be lost, damaged, and, depending on the industry, on-site record and document storage can go against compliance laws. That is why offsite document storage is ideal for companies struggling to maintain records and office space.
Off-site document storage means freeing up valuable office space. Imagine, if the older file cabinets and boxes were gone, this opens up more space for new desks, more employees, and keeps the office uncluttered.
Off-site document storage costs are progressively less than on-site costs. The cost of the service depends on the sizing of the space or the number of boxes that are used. Usually, you can choose from small, medium, or large storage units that have a monthly rent. What would have been spent on equipment, space, labor, and so on can now be used for other sections of the company. Plus, enhanced organization the office will increase productivity and create chances for faster, more accurate work.
Furthermore, off-site document storage is a step towards enhanced security. Many offices don’t have the furnishings required for satisfactory security, such as surveillance cameras and locks. However, an off-site document storage company will not only archive important documents, they also handle the security of the data. Security also goes beyond privacy and anti-theft measures. Even natural or unexpected disasters like fires, floods, and so forth can endanger on-site documents. Off-site storage, on the other hand, protects data from unexpected damages and disasters, so even if the business itself suffers a loss, the data is secured elsewhere.
So, how much does document storage cost? Depending on how dependent the business is on paper, how much security is required, and the space of the office, the cost of storing documents can be much higher than anticipated. Luckily, with off-site document storage solutions that are acceptable for valuable record storage and more, the cost of document storage can be reduced to a flat monthly rate.