The Questions to Ask When Choosing a Document Destruction Company

Every major metropolitan area has a handful or more of document destruction providers to choose from. But how can you find out which vendor will offer the most reliable, secure and exceptional service? Here we’ve come up with a list of questions to help you choose the right document destruction company for your business.

Question #1: What are your shredding service options?

It’s important to choose a document destruction company that provides the right service for your business. You should never have to bend over backwards to have your needs met. Early in your selection process, ask about the document destruction services each vendor offers.

If you’re currently spending a great deal of time shredding files with an office shredding machine, a scheduled shred service will help streamline your document disposal process. Or, if your company doesn’t generate much paper waste at all, you may only need a one-time file purge service every so often.

Question # 2: What is your document shredding Chain of Custody process?

Security should be the top priority of any document destruction process. Unfortunately, many paper shredding companies treat security as an “extra.” You can find out the true value your vendor places on security by asking about their chain of custody processes. Chain of custody refers to how your information is collected, handled, tracked and protected during document destruction.

With a scheduled document destruction service, locked collection consoles should be placed in your office to enable confidential files to be securely dropped inside. Each console has a bag with a matching bar code. Bar coding enables tracking of each bag and console.

According to your customized shredding schedule, a screened document destruction technician arrives at your office, opens each console one at a time, and scans both the container and bag bar code. Then they empty contents of each bag into a 95-gallon rolling bin. The bin is then locked and transferred to a GPS-tracked vehicle for transport to the shredding facility. Once there, your documents are shredded and the whole process is recorded. You receive a Certificate of Destruction at the completion of the shredding process.

Question #3: Are You NAID AAA Certified?

The National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) provides oversight for the shredding and destruction industry. In addition to verifying that strict chain of custody processes are followed, NAID AAA Certified document destruction vendors are subject to stringent, unscheduled audits confirming compliance with NAID security standards regarding:

  • Personnel screening practices
  • Equipment and facility safety
  • Insurance requirements

A NAID AAA Certified document destruction company ensures the privacy of your information through strict processes, ongoing training, and independent audits.

Question #4: What other affiliations do you have?

Besides finding out if a paper shredding company is NAID AAA Certified, you’ll also learn a lot about your prospective document destruction partner by assessing their involvement in other trade organizations. Look for a company involved with the following organizations:

  • Professional Records and Information Services (PRISM) International
  • The Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) International
  • Association of Legal Administrators (ALA)
  • Data Protection Association (DPA)

Membership in these organizations is an indicator of a potential shredding vendor’s commitment to records and information management best practices.

Question #5: How long have you been in business?

When it comes to your confidential information, you want a document destruction company with experience and financial stability. Find out the year your potential vendor was established.

Question #6: Is all shredded material recycled?

If you’ve worked hard to encourage recycling within your business, you want to make sure your document destruction vendor shares your commitment to a healthy environment. An environmentally-responsible paper shredding company will bale and send all shredded material to a secure recycling partner. It is important to know how the recycler handles your paper as well, your documents should be secured behind locks and tracking until the ink is off the paper.

Asking all of these questions will help you choose the right document destruction company for your business.

Richards & Richards provides secure shredding services for business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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