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Saving Cash with an Inactive Data Technique

Inactive records may not be the first place businesses look for cost savings, but the right records strategy can have a significant impact on bottom line results.

Ten years earlier, an international energy company experienced a period of rapid growth, acquiring assets and records from over ten other companies. Typically, when several different collections of data come together, the situation would require the execution of a strategic plan to integrate all newly acquired data sets. However, the company did not prioritize handling of the inactive collections of records and shipped over 35,000 boxes of inactive files to a storage vendor with the intention of "processing the information at a later date." The company never did a full inventory of the boxes and 10,000 boxes weren't even opened before they were put into storage.

Fast forward to today, and the company was keen to reduce the cost and high price of inactive records. Storage came up for discussion. With a view to cost savings, it was finally time for the company to deal with the thousands of boxes that had been inactive for years.

What was in the boxes?

The company spent nine months internally reviewing spreadsheets and information to see what was in as many inactive fields as possible. The staff made a list of the boxes and found that many were ready to be destroyed. However, there were 2,300 boxes left with unknown contents.

If only we had done this sooner …

All boxes have been permanently moved to the TAB record center provided the company has a safe environment to check the boxes. The aim was to reduce the number of boxes stored and to save future storage costs.

Working with subject matter experts at TAB, the company examined the 2,300 boxes and found that hundreds of boxes could save thousands of dollars in fines and equipment purchases by indexing the documents earlier. Well files, contracts, AFEs, closing books, drawings, data books, and other critical documents were discovered that would have been key documents in important business transactions and decisions.

One Million Dollar Lesson

The company estimates that it would have saved approximately $ 1 million if the files had been properly indexed and organized when the information was originally collected would have been.

Today, employees can easily find files, the physical cost of storage is lower, and the company will avoid the hefty fines associated with lost or missing files. The company has learned that bringing in an experienced partner is a smart move – especially when records need to be edited before they become liable.

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