What To Look Out For In a Records Management Provider

February 21, 2023 | Elless Solutions Team

Records management has existed for an immensely long time, dating back to the invention of the archive almost 6000 years ago. In recent years, there have been significant changes, and the industry is now worth over 5.5  billion USD worldwide.

New records management providers are emerging, but there has also been significant consolidation of the industry through the acquisition of smaller companies.

In this changing environment, we have compiled a list of essential factors you should consider if you are reviewing records management providers.


The level of a provider’s innovation will determine how they can adapt to customer requirements and use the latest technology to provide the best service relative to competitors. A recent industry innovation includes the switch from physical record delivery to scan-on-demand.  This shift was accelerated amidst the Covid pandemic to give greater flexibility.  In many cases, this means that the physical archive never needs to leave the storage location.  This can increase the speed of retrieval, increase security of the documentation and reduce transport costs.  It also means that the geographical accessibility of the archive becomes less important, helping to reduce service costs.

Action – Look into how the provider adopts technology and processes innovation to increase service levels and manage costs.


The point of records management is to keep track of your records and keep them safe. So, a company that offers high levels of security is essential. Records management facilities have been compromised in the past, so both physical and human security is important.  Physical security includes intruder and fire protection equipment, while human security is necessary with appropriate recruiting, vetting, and training processes.  It may be useful to understand the level of staff turnover and the policy adopted by the business for the use of temporary staff.

In the modern environment, digital security is a concern with increasing cyber attacks that could compromise a provider and influence their ability to access records or keep your information secure.  At the very least, records management firms need to be registered with the Information Commissioners Office and take their responsibilities as a data processor seriously.  Ideally, they should be certified to ISO 27001 (Information Security), alongside ISO 9001 (quality management system) .

Action – visit the premises to assess physical security and ask probing questions about human security.  Check accreditations.


A reputable company should have numerous positive online reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and to ask amongst colleagues and peers in your industry for their experience to help make an assessment.

Action – check reviews and ask around for an objective assessment of customer experiences.


Using a records management provider should save money, space, and time. Higher prices will diminish your savings, so competitive prices are a must.

Despite increasing inflation over recent years, the underlying costs of the records management industry have not been subject to the same increases as consumer prices.  In fact, as the industry utilises much larger warehouses that are more efficient competitive storage costs have actually reduced over time.

Action – if your pricing has increased or remained static for many years with your provider, then it is almost certainly time for a review.

Who are they looking after?

A final consideration is a firm’s ethical standpoint. Many of the larger companies are blatantly prioritising shareholder interests over those of their customers. Just look at our recent article to see how larger companies are making extra profits at the expense of their customers.

You should know how far companies are willing to go to make more money and whether that will be at your expense.  We have found many firms provide inaccurate invoices (in their favour) and keep adding price increases on additional charges on yet more price increases.

Action – get an industry expert to review your invoices and contract to evaluate whether pricing is accurate and justifiable under the terms of your agreement.

At Elless, we aim to help you make the right choice with your record management solutions. If you’re looking to review your provider or need to get the most out of your current contract, get in touch with us today to see what solutions we have for you.

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Contact us today to get started on the process. If you have any questions we will be more than happy to advise.

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Elless Solutions Team

Elless Solutions Team

In 2016, we created Elless to be the independent advisor that fills the gap and provides businesses with bespoke solutions, honest advice and cost-saving answers. Continue Reading...

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