Managing business records is a critical part of any organisation.

There are many financial and legal requirements that relate to keeping records. There are also the practical considerations around storage space to consider.

There are some organisations that use archiving and storage as a way to store old documents. Often with little inclination to retrieve them at a later date.

While off site storage generally costs far less than the lease cost for office space - a concerted approach is still best. It also is an often overlooked issue which could cripple your business. Storing legal records in a storeroom, cupboard or other location on site does not protect your business against unforeseen events such as fire, flood , damage or theft.

The cost of records management can vary. It depends on the rates you can negotiate and the volume of documents you store. If you need to retrieve documents often you need to consider the right strategy to reduce expense.


Permanent removal charges
One of the most outrageous clauses we see in contracts is the cost called permanent removal. This is a charge for removing all your storage boxes from a supplier's storage. The charges are often many times higher than the cost of storage. While the industry tries to justify these charges as “cost of business”, it is a charge with no justifiable commercial basis other than profiteering. It in effect serves to simply dis-incentivise your business NOT to remove documents from storage. Ensure you choose a supplier who does not charge so-called ‘perm out’ fees or at the least clearly spells out what the charges are for permanent removal.

Retrieval and access
Most organisations store and forget and incur charges for retrieval infrequently. Retrieval charges can vary according to how fast you want the item back. It is important to consider any current or intended spend. Then balance what relates to retrieval vs storage and negotiate the right rates.

Retiring or destroying documents
Keep a register of everything that goes into storage. This allows you to remove or destroy them when no longer needed. Each carton incurs a monthly charge for storage. These costs add up fast for cartons that are no longer required.

Consider a digital solution
Storing documents online simply makes more sense than storing paper. You incur minimal costs to store and can access them whenever you need. While this shift can seem daunting, the cost benefit far outweighs the pain. Consider an information management solution as part of your planning. You can choose either a complete changeover or a hybrid approach which combines digital with traditional. More recent documents can be converted online while your older documents (with limited shelf life) are phased out of physical storage.


Reducing records management expense is easy through two factors.

  • The right behaviours and processes for storing documents
  • The right supplier to manage legacy records stored in boxes

We recommend a supplier who can deliver on the following:

  • Offers reduced rates on storage of cartons
  • Delivers on a strong digital capability to enable the flexibility of both digital and physical storage
  • Does not utilise punitive contract terms such as perm-out fees


Supply Clusters have partnered with TIMG to help you optimise your records management expense.

Supply Clusters members enjoy exclusive benefits including:

  • Preferential pricing on document storage
  • Preferential terms for ongoing pricing management

TIMG customers enjoy:

  • No permanent removal fees
  • A truly integrated digital and physical approach to records management
  • Fast and simple retrieval of files and documents when needed


The right approach to records management will streamline your processes and costs.

  • The right behavioural practices will help reduce costs
  • Combine this with the right contract with the right supplier for document storage

We recommend choosing a supplier who:

  • Delivers visibility over your records management costs nationally
  • Offers a clear and transparent pricing structure including the cost of permanent removal


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