Points all well made and well taken. We recently moved from in-house
records storage to a commercial records facility, and for the record I
did not choose the lowest cost option, but rather a company that I have
been familiar with for many years, whose facitlity I toured and whose
personnel I knew well and knew that I could always work with to "make it
all work." (I eat at Sloppy Joe's, but I don't store my records there.)

Not all industries can completely join the electronic records
revolution. In our industry, A/E, we have a higher % of documentation
that is "other." Project documentation includes samples of bricks, glass
block, wood veneer, carpet, aluminum, and anything you can think of that
might be used in building a building, to include the housing for
security cameras. In some industries electronic records may be able to
supplant paper in most cases, but in mine that won't happen until
hologram technology becomes much more advanced. :-) So physical storage
will be needed for the foreseeable future.

Best wishes,

Gary Link, CRM
227 Fort Pitt Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

-----Original Message-----
From: Hugh Smith [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 3:47 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [RM] Avg. Cost offsite storage vs. onsite

On Feb 5, 2008, at 12:00 AM, RECMGMT-L automatic digest system wrote:

> From:    "Link, Gary M." <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Avg. Cost offsite storage vs. onsite
>> If the goal is to reduce the real estate foot print then storing them
> in media format is the best course of action.
> I believe everyone here will agree that the ability to convert 10,000 
> boxes of storage into the size of a piece of Texas Toast is the only 
> way to go.  Does everyone agree??  :~( <
> Hugh,

Snip from Gary
> I don't agree.

And I agree with you.  But I also believe that you will agree with me
that moving all your records offsite to Sloppy Joe's Storage may not
always be the best course of action. That cost is not the basis of
rationale for records management!  It is the basic rationale for offsite
storage though. Once you choose to always select the cheapest vendor you
start down another slippery slope where you are no longer managing
records.  In fact, the movement to the lowest cost offsite option is the
beginning of poor records management.

Management desires the lowest costs right up until they find themselves
in court like TJ MAXX or GE Money or Penneys or a host of other records
management failures that open the door to massive liability.

> If you have retention schedules in place and destroy your records 
> accordingly, it's possible that it can cost less to store the paper 
> than to do the conversion.

What conversion?  Records are born digital now.  Just ask the IT people
who think they are in control until the first subpoena appears and then
they call for records management to bail them out.  This is very similar
to the large storage company that talks about their proficiency until
they lose a box or a tape and then "That is not our problem, because we
are so big that your problem doesn't matter to us. You gave up the right
to accuracy when you selected the Walmart approach to records storage."

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