Closing a file room?


Don't just move risk, mitigate it

30 August 202112 mins
Brochures and folders


Once a bustling hive of activity, file rooms havebecome quiet with the shift to electronic processing.For years that space has likely sat untouched, butnow you need to dust it off as you contemplateclosing an office, consolidating locations, or freeingup room to accommodate an agile workforce ornew strategies.

There is an inclination to pack your file room intoboxes and send records off to archival storage. Butthere are many more aspects beyond storage toconsider when decommissioning a file room. It's notonly a great opportunity to clean up your recordsinventory, but, by taking the right steps, you can savemoney on storage while reducing the risk that comesfrom over retaining records.

Checklist: Consideration for file room closure

    Before beginning a project, you'll need:

  • An up-to-date, authorized records retention schedule
  • A database that contains information about the individual files or boxes of files
  • A way to identify files that have met retention requirements AND ensure destruction decisions are defensible
  • A process to identify files according to destruction eligibility dates in the future
  • Methods that allow your employees to find what they need quickly so they can easily continue to do their jobs and follow records management best practices
  • A plan for what to do with racking and physical storage mediums, as well as a way to sustainably remarket, recycle, or dispose of them

    As you proceed, you'll need to consider these points:

  • Understand file retrieval and refile activity
  • Define how the process to request files and information will change
  • Ability to scan with quality and securely deliver images to a distributed workforce on a timely basis
  • Account for files at desks of employees (some of whom may not have been in the office for months)
  • Account for interfiles and document inserts
  • Option to keep a portion of files (those that are active) on open shelving
  • Retention policy for files that have been imaged
  • System of record for imaged files and records retention enablement
  • Legal discovery and litigation hold processes

    And you'll still need to:

  • Transport and store what you need offsite in a highly secure manner
  • Ensure it is all cost-effective and its maintenance sustainable for the organization within your defined budget

Taking steps to shutdown

One of the hardest parts of a file room shutdown isorganizing commingled files by like destruction date(to make sure you are not archiving files alreadybeyond required retention) before putting them instorage boxes. Iron Mountain Smart Sort uses yourdatabase and retention schedule and provides atechnology-enabled process to identify retentionrequirements for your files. We will destroy all recordsthat have met retention requirements and thenprepare and box all files that haven't met retentionrequirements by like eligibility date.

This solution not only culls your inventory but alsoprovides a standardized process for continuing toaddress defensible disposition moving forward. Duringthe process, files likely to be recalled by end users orthose that are important to have in digital form can betagged for imaging during the sorting process.

With a clean slate and organized inventory, youhave a strong foundation to digitize what you needgoing forward. Our Document Scanning and DigitalServices allow you to support your organization's moveto a paper-lite environment. This helps you continue tostreamline processes, support remote work, and expandinformation security. We'll also provide aplan for cleaning up thephysical space - includingwhat to do with racking, cabinets,and any equipment left in the file roomafter it's shuttered. With Iron Mountain CleanStart, we conduct a comprehensive assessmentof the space and make recommendations fora complete closure. Assets no longer needed areremoved and remarketed or recycled, or they canbe securely stored in one of our facilities shouldyou need them in the future. This includes furniture,equipment, supplies, and more.

And, in the event that you require ongoing support,Iron Mountain's Dedicated Professional Services team assures all defined processes and procedures areadhered to throughout the engagement and beyond.Acting as the connective tissue throughout yourorganization - from end-user support to end-of-lifecycledisposition - our qualified professionals ensure all KPI'sare met to steadily drive your program forward.

Don't just move risk - mitigate it now and protectyour organization into the future.