At Ardington Archives LLP we understand that the complexities of document storage, and the associated services, can be daunting. Below is a list of frequently asked questions relating to document storage, designed to help answer any immediate queries. Should you have a question not listed here, please feel free to contact us directly.
What are the key benefits of document storage / archiving?
Key benefits of storing documents off-site include protecting valuable business assets, managing risk and addressing information protection issues, responding to a lack of office space for other usage, and allowing for a distinction between operational records kept on-site and historical archive held in store. Why Archive? gives further details on how document storage can save you time and money.
How would a service to us be costed?
Each part of our service is individually costed, meaning that on a monthly basis we charge for:
- Sale of flatpack archive boxes
- Collection of newly deposited boxes
- Set up charges
- Physical retrievals
- Digital retrievals
- Confidential destruction
- Storage for new boxes deposited to the end of the quarter
Ongoing storage of boxes is invoiced quarterly in advance.
Where are the storage depots?
All Ardington Archives LLP storage facilities are located across one site, based in Oxfordshire.
How do you manage the boxes in your care?
Boxes are stacked on racking, and allocated a space when first brought into stores. Each box is given a unique Identification Number which allows us to trace the movement of the box from initial collection through to the box’s end of life. This information is kept in both hard copy format and on our computerised tracking program, allowing us to monitor the location of each box by storage area, aisle reference and storage bin location.
How quickly can I get boxes returned to me if I need them?
We offer a next day retrieval service. Simply email your request by 12 noon to guarantee next working day retrieval. Turnaround times are guaranteed through the use of our own transport. All retrievals must be authorised by a nominated signatory. Our Document retrieval page provides further details on this service.
What about cataloguing support?
We provide a catalogue template with your welcome pack and can also offer full onsite training on best practices. Additionally, we can quote for providing our in-house cataloguing service.
What are the arrangements for hours of working and service arrangements out of hours?
The office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm. For collections and deliveries, we will often work outside standard office hours in order to make this service as convenient as possible to you.
Who has access to the boxes in store?
The archive stores are both secure and alarmed. They remain locked at all times. Unaccompanied access is only available to staff, all of whom are DBS checked. If clients visit to inspect the facilities a Partner, or member of management, must accompany them at all times. Part of our procedure is to security band each box before it is put into storage, ensuring that it cannot be easily opened, and that confidentiality is maintained at all times.
Do you supply flatpack boxes for housing documents?
We have specially engineered boxes specifically designed for optimum document storage. All our boxes are delivered in flatpack form and can be ordered in multiples of 10. Further details can be found on our range of bespoke archive boxes here.
What procedures do you have regarding security of the documents?
All boxes are security banded when they enter the archive store and at no time will a box be opened unless at your written request. Full confidentiality is therefore maintained throughout. All staff are DBS checked and our facilities benefit from mechanical and electronic security systems. Any movement of a box for Digital or Retrieval purposes is recorded both electronically and manually, and applied to a work order, ensuring full traceability.
What is the process for requesting a file back?
We currently have two methods of returning files. Firstly, a Digital Retrieval System (DRS) and secondly, we deliver the complete box back to our customers. For the digital retrieval we retrieve the file box, scan the relevant files and upload to a secure web area for our client to download when convenient. This is our preferred option as it is both environmentally conscious (keeping vans off the road) and provides a faster turnaround. However, if a client needs or prefers to receive the full box back then we offer a guaranteed next working day service (when notified by 12 noon on that day).
Is there a minimum contract period that we would have to tie ourselves to?
There is no minimum contract period. However, document storage is normally a long-term relationship.
What is the notice period for termination of a contract, and are there any termination penalties?
Clients are required to give three months notice in writing on a quarter day (linked to the invoicing). There are no termination penalties, however if a client fails to collect all boxes from store prior to the end of the three month notice period, boxes become applicable to additional storage costs.
What is the minimum number of boxes that you accept for storage?
There is no minimum number of boxes.
What measures do you have in place to deal with external threats such as fire and illegal entry?
The secure archive stores are fully protected against illegal entry and fire using electronic security systems.
Do you undertake confidential destruction of material and does this incur an extra cost?
Yes we do. We ask clients to advise us of a review date when the boxes first come into store. Every quarter we write to our clients who have boxes with a review date during that quarter to ask if they would like the boxes destroyed. They can either sign the form approving destruction (this has to be completed by an authorised signatory) or give a new review date. If the boxes are to be destroyed we then remove them from storage and send them to be confidentially shredded whereby it is then pulped and recycled into tissue paper. A certificate of destruction is issued. We will also collect directly from clients any paper or IT equipment they would like confidentially destroyed. Please visit our Confidential destruction page for additional information.