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Cary McGovern Comments
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By Cary McGovern

In my last two columns, I discussed the reasons why you may want to consider offering records-management services in your existing facility as well as the permanent nature of records storage. This article discusses the important components that should be addressed by operators who store and retrieve business documents for their customers.


  • Read all of the articles you can find on the topic, including ones I have written for Inside Self-Storage. They can be found at either in the archive search, or at Over the past four years, I have poured more than 25 years of document and information-management knowledge into these articles. Reading these will certainly generate more questions.
  • Call for clarification. I will answer your questions directly in a free, comprehensive discussion of the topic. A full 30 percent of my phone requests end up in the inquirer's decision to not consider the records-management business. It is not for everyone.
  • Call PRISM International (formerly the Association of Commercial Records Centers) and speak to Executive Director Jim Booth. Have him send you a PRISM start-up packet and ask about the industry growth over the last few years. He can be reached at 800.336.9793.
  • You can also visit the association's website at and click on the "Member Mall." On that page, you can peruse and check out different PRISM members' websites. There are many that will give you a keen understanding of the marketing tactics used throughout the world.
  • Iron Mountain, a leader in the records-management field, is a publicly traded company that discusses financial issues very carefully. Its discussions about the financial nature of the business and the seemingly "permanent nature of storage revenue" is quite amazing, to say the least. Log on to the Iron Mountain website at and read all of the press releases issued during the last two years (you will find their link at the bottom of the Iron Mountain home page). Particular attention should be given to press releases for the period of October 1999 through the acquisition of Pierce-Leahy in February 2000.

Business Processes

Financial Requirements

Operational Idiosyncrasies

Marketing Strategy

Cary F. McGovern is a certified records manager and the principal of File Managers Inc., a records-management consulting firm that specializes in implementation assistance and training for new commercial records-center start-ups, as well as marketing support for existing records centers. For more information write P.O. Box 1178, Abita Springs, LA 70420; call 504.871.0092 or 877.FILE.MAN; fax 504.893.1751; e-mail; visit

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