records management

Records Management

Increase your records management efficiency

Organisations tend to review Records Management costs at most every 3 to 5 years, and as documents are often stored off-site this can be a matter of out of sight, out of mind.

The complexities of Records Management contracts also encourage inertia, not least the application of Hostage Charges in the form of Exit or Permanent Withdrawal fees.

The introduction of GDPR in May 2018 is driving the review of current arrangements from a compliance perspective, but most organisations are at an extreme disadvantage when considering commercial terms.

Fortunately, ERA’s Records Management Team is active in the market every day negotiating & auditing the storage of millions of files & boxes across multiple suppliers.

Our tried & trusted process shines a light into the deepest recesses of your current contract. Once our review is complete you will have transparent market-leading pricing and a clear & compliant service schedule.

Download our recent Records Management case study

Great Savings for Howard Kennedy

Howard Kennedy is a leading London law firm with 54 Partners. ERA Legal was invited to assist in their post-merger integration of Records Management services and Office Supplies prior to a move to prestigious new offices. ERA’s relationship with Howard Kennedy is now into its seventh year.

Howard Kennedy Case Study PDF
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The Problem

How good is our current deal?

If you only engage in the marketplace every 3, 5 or even 10 years it can be difficult to gauge whether your current arrangements are cost competitive, using contemporary techniques or taking proper account of regulatory changes.

How do I address contractual issues?

Your last contract may have expired, can be missing or could be open to interpretation.

Hostage charges

Most suppliers will levy charges to firms for the “permanent withdrawal” of their boxes & files. Such charges range from the unfair to the indefensible.

Problem archives

The supply of Records Management services may present you with other challenges:

  • Over time or via M&A supply may become fragmented.
  • You may be behind with file destruction, so volume has grown.
  • You may have a partially or wholly uncatalogued archive.
  • You may have concerns over how compliant your current services are.

The ERA Solution


Even before a formal engagement ERA’s Records Management Team will indicate if and how your terms can be improved. We then proceed to unpick complex tariffs and contracts to illustrate the real costs of records management for you.


Because ERA is in the market with multiple suppliers on a daily basis, we’re able to use our influence to speedily clarify contractual issues.


ERA’s Records Management Team strives to ensure all Exit Charges are reimbursed to you, and that no new Hostage Charges are applied to the tariff in the new contract.


ERA’s Records Management Team is adept at dealing with:

  • Consolidation of suppliers
  • Recataloguing of poorly referenced archives
  • Uplift of archives from Client premises
  • Compliance

    Every project we undertake has a 100-point service, process & compliance checklist to ensure you enter into a new contracts in full possession of the facts.

    Legal and Regulatory Help

    We help our clients to achieve best arrangements and value in a range of aspects associated with Records Management and Information Management.

    All organisations create a large volume of information on a daily basis that legislation and regulations stipulate must be kept, protected and must be readily available. For some items of personal data, the data must be ‘disposed’ of after a designated time.

    ERA has experienced specialists able to assist organisations in managing that information and data and achieve significant savings while complying with their legal and regulatory obligations.

    A little more information

    Records management (RM), also known as the records and information management or RIM, is the professional practice of managing the records of an organisation throughout their life cycle, from the time they are created to their eventual disposal. This includes identifying, classifying, storing, securing, retrieving, tracking and destroying or permanently preserving records.

    The purpose of records management is part of an organisation’s broader function of Governance, Risk, and Compliance and is primarily concerned with the managing the evidence of an organisation’s activities as well as the reduction or mitigation of risk associated with it.

    The definition of ‘document’ and ‘record’: in records management it is important to be clear about the difference between a document and a record.

    A document is any piece of written information in any form, produced or received by an organisation or person. It can include databases, website, email messages, word processor and spreadsheet files, letters, and memos. Some of these documents will be ephemeral or of very short-term value and should never end up in a records management system (such as invitations to lunch).

    Some documents will need to be kept as evidence of business transactions, routine activities or as a result of legal obligations, such as policy documents. These should be placed into an official filing system and at this point, they become official records. In other words, all records start off as documents, but not all documents will ultimately become records.

    ERA has an excellent record of achieving very high levels of savings with traditional off-site storage (boxes, files, deeds, wills, architectural drawings, etc.), scanning, digitising and secure shredding. They also assist with the management of electronic data.

    At ERA we are also concerned with broader issues than the price you pay for the storage, management and disposition of your business records. We recognise that our clients have responsibilities for information security, data protection, business continuity, risk management and compliance. There are a raft of statutory and industry specific regulations and our aim is to find solutions that can assist you in compliance with those obligations as well as save you money.

    Records Management Services

    Our projects usually start by reviewing current arrangements, with particular focus on the current contract in place. We analyse your existing arrangements and future requirements in order to form a profile of the needs of the organisation from both a legacy and forward-thinking perspective.

    Our initial engagement is often to focus on paper records; however, when relevant, our solutions consider process improvements, compliance and often the future effective management of documents in electronic formats and the integration with in-house systems.

    From these initial interactions, ERA gains an understanding of both requirements and current processes, and can liaise with existing suppliers and go to market as necessary, to produce the best outcome.

    We will deliver the optimal solution for your organisation to best manage the requirements and needs in an area where legislation is becoming more onerous.

    ERA’s knowledge of the market ensures that we are in a position to understand the best pricing available and to get those prices for our clients. We know what others are paying and the suppliers know that we know.

    For the cost savings element of the reviews we undertake, a full and forensic analysis of current volumes and expenditure is undertaken to estimate precisely the value of future expenditure and potential savings that ERA could achieve. This analysis also provides potential suppliers with the information they require to tailor their responses to the specific needs of our client.

    We believe that in our projects we will deliver the following:

    • Provide clients with a self funded outsourced solution that is in line with current best practice and likely future developments.
    • Tangible cost savings.
    • Provide independent Records Management expertise and resource to supplement that of the client’s own staff enabling an accurate, independent and impartial assessment of total cost of operation for current policy and procedures and advice on opportunities to enhance performance.
    • Provide an accurate and impartial assessment of the available alternative options for consideration.
    • ERA will advise on any area identified where the organisation may appear to not be fully compliant with its obligations in terms of information security and data protection.
    • Minimise administrative burden and the time our client need allocate to this area of expenditure as well as conducting the project whilst we work under the guidance of the client.
    • Introduce suppliers who are capable of being long term strategic partners and actively assist them on their journey.
    • Assistance in further developing their Information and Records Management Strategy and improve compliance with their Information Governance obligations.
    • Secure improved contractual terms and conditions from potential suppliers and ensure our clients secure the best value and lifetime costs of operation for off-site storage of paper records.
    • Ensure onerous terms that are common in document storage contracts are avoided.
    • Assistance in planning and execution the selected solution.
    • Access to the specialist expertise of ERA.

    Records Management Case Studies

    Category Expert(s)

    Contact ERA today to find out more about how we can help improve the efficiency of your records management.

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