Archiving documents

Archiving paper documents

Though most companies strive to reduce the volume of paper documents in their daily operations, such documents often cannot be completely avoided. Over time, the volume of documents, which need to be archived for business or legal reasons increases to the extent that it is necessary to establish an organized archive of paper documents and other materials.

We can help you establish effective control over the management and long-term storage of documents and other archival media. Contact us!

Miha Čebron, Senior technologist at Mikrocop

What are the most common challenges our clients face?

  • Lack of (adequate) space for archiving documents
  • Lack of qualified staff to manage the archive
  • Disorganized documentation and inadequate records of documentary material and storage periods
  • Prolonged and often unsuccessful searches for physical documents

Your archive can also be organized in such a way that your documents are securely archived yet remain accessible until the retention deadline expires. At Mikrocop, we can establish an archive at your location, or you can choose to archive documents at one of our modern archiving centers. We guarantee high service quality and security levels in accordance with applicable legislation and internationally recognized standards.

 

Establishing storage at your location

An archive of documentary material in physical form must be arranged in such a way as to ensure control over archived documents, their transparency and accessibility, and the recording of documents released from the archive. If you would like to create an organized physical archive at your location but do not have qualified materials management professionals, we can act as a materials manager. We can also provide assistance with systematic organization of the archive.

As part of establishing or reorganizing a physical archive, we always:

  • Assess the existing situation
  • Establish an effective storage system
  • Establish an effective archival function

At the Agraria Koper Agricultural Cooperative, we deal with a large amount of paper documentation, which we store in our own archives. Though these archives are now properly organized, it used to be impossible to find certain documents... Restructuring the archive offered us greater control over documents.

Agraria Koper Agricultural Cooperative

Assessing the existing situation

When reviewing your archival spaces, we prepare a suitability analysis and an assessment of potential investments for the establishment of an archive in accordance with the minimum standards for physical security of documentary material:

  • The material should be kept in appropriate premises, equipment, and climatic conditions
  • The material should be protected against theft, fire, and water, biological, chemical, and physical damage, and other adverse effects
  • The material should be available to authorised users for the entire duration of storage and should be protected against loss
  • The integrity of the material – that is, its stability, intactness, and orderliness – must be ensured

Establishing a storage system

  • Documentary material in the archive is physically organized and thoroughly catalogued. In this way, we create an accurate material inventory and a comprehensive material overview.
  • We classify materials and determine their storage period, while materials whose storage period has expired are excluded.
  • We verify that your archiving policy and classification plan are up-to-date.
  • In accordance with the material inventory methodology, we prepare and/or supplement policies for performing archiving functions (archiving policy, classification plan, written instructions) and put them into use.
  • Establish a system of ongoing exclusion and destruction of material whose storage period has expired, as well as supervision of material use (audit trail).

Establishing archive functions

We ensure that your colleagues involved in the management and storage of materials are acquainted with the new policies and procedures for maintaining the organization of the archive:

  • We train your employees about the handling of documentary material, familiarising them with the archiving policies and instructions, with all internal regulations, and with any additional instructions
  • We establish control over the archive premises (responsibility for the archive)
  • We ensure the uniform arrangement of all archival premises in accordance with the standards for physical security of documentary material
  • We establish the traceability of materials (control over incoming and outgoing materials)

Storage at the Mikrocop archive center

As an alternative to establishing your own archive, we can store your documents at the Mikrocop archive center. Your documents, organized in various storage media (binders, folders, boxes, pallets, microfilm or microfiche material), are arranged and received for storage at our modern archival centers, where we guarantee safe long-term storage and centralized management. This also includes an inventory of materials, filing documents in open collections, releasing materials upon request, and safely destroying materials whose storage period has expired.

By delivering these materials to us for storage and management, you increase the efficiency of your business:

  • Increase the transparency of documentary material and ensure legally compliant archiving.
  • Provide your colleagues with controlled access to materials when they need them. Use of documents and their release from the archive are documented and supervised.
  • Free up the space you used to store documentary material and stop worrying about your increasing volume of documents.
  • Reduce operational risks – we ensure the physical security of materials in appropriate storage premises and conditions, and the risk of document loss due to natural disasters or other events is negligible.
  • Ensure the exclusion and safe destruction of documentary material whose storage period has expired.

Inventory of documentary material

When handing over documentary material for storage, you will also submit records of the materials provided. Such records must also include written instructions on storage periods for each type of documentary material. If you do not have such records at your disposal, we will prepare an inventory of the documentary material ourselves. We will collect all information, which may influence our decision on how to archive various types of documentary material in the future, including information on the types and quantities of materials.

Filing in open collections

We also allow you to store material in collections, which have not yet been completed. This will relieve you of storing large volumes of paper documents before work with said documents is complete. We file such documents in open collections after the receipt.

Releasing documentary material

The documentary material you store with us is provided to your authorized users upon written request. We can deliver your material in physical or electronic form (a scanned copy of the document), depending on your needs.

Elimination and safe destruction of documentary material

After the expiration of the established storage periods, we ensure the safe destruction of paper documents and other archival media (microfilm, microfiche). The destruction of documentary material whose storage period has expired is performed exclusively based on a destruction order confirmed by the owner of the material. In this way, we ensure that the archive contains only valid documentation, and consequently that storage costs do not increase significantly.

The material selected for destruction is securely shredded, thus permanently preventing access to documents containing critical business or personal data, as the documents cannot be restored. Unauthorized access to such information may cause significant damage to your business, which is reflected in a diminished reputation and lost public trust.

Want to set up an organized and legally compliant archive of paper documents?

Contact us