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Cutting Costs: Firms Can Store Up Savings

Business as varied as law firms, hospitals and banks create a lot of data and documents and are sometimes legally required to keep it all. The cost of storing and managing these records is often overlooked.

Here are six common methods of storage:

• Off-site records storage: Storing of physical documents in an off-site warehouse.

• Off-site data protection: Storing data tapes and CDs in an off-site location -- usually with periodic rotation -- is often thought of as an information-technology expense.

• Imaging and scanning: Digital imaging of a physical document. A scanned document is easier to access and the hard copy can usually be destroyed.

• Electronic document management (EDM): Scanning hard copies or importing digital images to organize, store and retrieve electronic documents.

• Enterprise content management (ECM): Software that goes beyond EDM to include all types of content, such as engineering drawings, still images, audio and video files and many other file types and formats.

• Shredding: Not only shredding paper, but also destroying hard drives and other media.

Neglecting to look at this expense is like leaving money in a safe and forgetting the combination -- this is where significant saving can be found . One local law firm stored 35,000 cartons of documents off-site. Through operational improvements and renegotiating storage rates, the firm was able to reduce spending by 40 percent.

Deena Kaye is a director in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island with Expense Reduction Analysts, a worldwide network of consultants specializing in finding extra profits by reducing expenses in non-core categories. She can be reached at 800-656-7270, ext. 136; 203-550-2094 (cell); or .

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