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7 Ways Traditional Document Storage Companies Fall Short

An old-fashioned document storage firm may not offer an advanced search interface. For instance, a filename-only search function may be inadequate. Some documents don't have titles that are descriptive enough to locate them quickly, therefore. On the other hand, a digital document storage company may have a more sophisticated search system that allows for multiple search criteria, including document title, author, and keywords.

Written by
June 15, 2022

7 Ways Traditional Document Storage Companies Fall Short

Image Source: FreeImages‍

In a digital world, managing and storing paper documents seems like an antiquated activity. However, businesses continue to generate documents in paper format as many of their customers still prefer to read and respond to documents this way. These businesses understand that paper records need to be stored in a safe environment, accessible only to those who are authorized. As such, these organizations often contract with a document storage company that provides secure document storage facilities for their files. These services typically offer many benefits including: reduced space usage costs; less risk of fire or flood damage; ease of access at any time; retrieval within minutes rather than days; and much more. However, not every document storage company provides the same value for money or quality customer service. Here are 5 common pitfalls of using a traditional document storage company:

Conflicting service and contract end dates

Many of the benefits of using a document storage company can only be realized if the files are actually being stored. The contract end date should be at least as long as the longest projected retention period for any document. This ensures that the documents are not only available for retrieval when needed, but are also secure until their end date. If the contract end date for the service is shorter than the retention period for any document, the business may need to pay extra fees to extend the contract for an additional fee. This can become very costly for companies with large volumes of documents.

Poor quality scanning or archiving services

While some companies may only offer document storage, others may also offer document imaging and archiving services. Document imaging and archiving enables organizations to scan paper documents into their electronic systems. This process can include sorting and digitizing paper files, converting file formats, and even indexing and OCR (optical character recognition) services. By scanning the documents, organizations can not only streamline their operations by removing paper from the system, but they can also more easily meet compliance requirements by storing the electronic files. A reputable document storage company will use advanced equipment to scan the paper documents, ensuring high-quality scans that preserve both legibility and content. The company should also have sophisticated software systems to index and tag the documents so that they can be easily and accurately retrieved.

Lack of security and data protection measures

The security measures that a document storage company has in place can affect the long-term viability of the data stored there. If there are data breaches, the documents may become damaged or even unreadable due to poor storage conditions. For example, if the paper documents are stored in a high-humidity environment, they may become moldy and/or discolored with time. If the documents are stored in an area with excessive heat, they may suffer from accelerated aging. In either case, the documents may become unreadable or even completely disappear. A good document storage company will have humidity and temperature control systems in place to safeguard the documents. They will also have fire and flood protection systems in place, as well as security systems to protect against theft.

Lack of visibility into the storage process

Visibility into the storage process helps any organization understand its risks and exposures. This can be applied to document storage companies as well. If a company has a standard process for storing documents, and a standard process for accessing documents, it is easier to understand what could go wrong in each process. In a document storage process, companies may have unique ways of storing large volumes of documents. This can make it difficult to know what to expect in terms of retrieval times (especially when a business needs a document immediately). It can also make it difficult to know how the company will proceed if the documents are damaged by water or fire.

Inability to respond to changing business needs

Traditional document storage companies do not often offer customized solutions for organizations with high volumes of documents or specific needs. They also may not offer secure offsite storage locations that meet the needs of businesses in other parts of the world. If a business needs certain documents to be immediately accessible, or if the business needs to store its documents in a certain way, a more traditional document storage company may not be able to meet those needs.

No communication options

The ability to communicate with the document storage company is important in the event of a disaster, such as a fire or flood. Victims of such catastrophes often need to know where their documents were stored, and what happened to them. If the storage company does not have a state-of-the-art facility, the business owner may not be able to find out what happened to their documents.

Antiquated search

A traditional document storage company may not offer a state-of-the-art search interface. For example, a search function that looks only at the filename of a document may be insufficient. Some documents have titles that aren’t descriptive enough to find them quickly. In contrast, a company that offers digital document storage services may have a more sophisticated search function, allowing the user to enter multiple search criteria, including document title, author, and key words.


While traditional document storage companies provide a valuable service, businesses that use these companies should be aware of the potential pitfalls associated with this approach. To avoid these pitfalls, companies should choose a document storage company that has in-house digitization capabilities, a secure offsite backup solution, a sophisticated search function, and a communication system that allows the company to contact its customers in the event of a disaster.

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