Scanning or physical storage – which is the best option?

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Storing records electronically is undoubtedly the ideal solution for any business, however, the cost and benefits of converting high volume archives is not always financially viable.

Take, for instance, a chain of restaurants where staff turnover can be over 100% per annum. Every employee has to have a personnel file which includes personal details such as a letter of appointment, salary paid and sickness reports. There are statutory requirements for the retention of certain types of personal information, some having to be retained for several years. This can amount to a large volume of paper files but what is the best way to store them?

Scanning large volumes of HR Records can be costly and the question has to be asked ‘will I ever need to look at it again?’ If the answer is ‘it’s very unlikely’ then the more cost effective option would be to use off site storage. A mixed strategy can also be deployed whereby should a file be requested out of storage, it could be scanned and delivered electronically. This way, only selective scanning is required and used only for documents which become ‘active’ again.

Having dealt with the archive, a sensible strategy going forward would be to implement an electronic document management system to store all new records - in other words, the files would cease to be in paper format and would become electronic. This would then eliminate any future storage issues and provide a far more efficient and secure way of managing personnel records.

The IPC Group has a great deal of experience in the storage of HR Records and can provide bureau scanning services, EDM systems and physical document storage. For further information or advice, please call us on 08081 45 46 47.

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