I captured them with the story of my company. “It all began with fungus,” I told ‘em. After their quizzical stares, I smiled and carried on about how our company began when Herman Knaust, aka The Mushroom King, who grew and sold canned mushrooms, purchased an iron mine for $9,000 USD in 1936 to grow his fungal friends in and then turned it into a bunker for business records in 1950. So was born Iron Mountain.
What inspires me most about the story is the Knaust’s creativity. He reconsidered the use of his space for more imaginative and revenue generating activity. This is exactly the thinking employed over at Facebook today, where the world’s largest social-networking company recently settled into new digs intended to keep space free for creative thinking and team brainstorming, as reported on Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Though Facebook may have a different vibe than many companies, the hunt for better, more effective use of your existing real estate space is universal. Companies are beginning to rethink space. Dan Fasulo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics Inc. was quoted in the article as stating, “A new generation of corporate leaders is looking at space-planning as a core part of business to increase productivity and keep people in the office. The old guard looked at it as an expense.”
With executives looking under rocks to unearth new sources for productivity and cost savings, there arises a perfect opportunity for a review of their records and information management programs. Outsourcing records management alone can free up valuable space and reduce costs significantly. For just a 100 person organization with only 500 cubic feet of records:
- An upfront expenditure of approximately $16,800 covers the 84 four-drawer vertical file cabinets needed to house the records.
- In addition, 504 square feet of floor space is needed to keep the cabinets – or $20,017 annually in real estate rental costs — based on an average rental fee of $27.39 per square foot plus 45% taxes.
Add to this the 15% -25% per employee per workday wasted time cost of hunting down the information necessary to do their jobs and you’ve got a serious opportunity to improve.
What are you doing to use your space more creatively? Have you considered outsourcing your records management program as means to free up valuable space while also keeping your records safe and being able to get it when you need it?