While it’s clear you need your documents shredded, the question is whether you should hire a shredding service or buy an office shredder. Which is the better option?
The answer largely depends on what’s important to you, but in most cases we’ll say it’s better to hire a shredding service.
Here are three reasons why we say you would be better off hiring a shredding service and not buying a shredder:
While it may seem less expensive to make a one-time purchase and DIY your own shredding, you might be overlooking two major costs that are not so apparent at first, but will reveal themselves over time.
Expense in Labor
Time is money, especially when it comes to paid labor. If you buy an office shredder, you’ll need to have someone operate it and to feed it paper. Tasking someone to do this requires you take them away from other tasks that may require more skill and expertise and effectively you’ll have a misappropriation of funds, so to speak.
For example, if you’ve got several hundred pounds of paper to shred, with most industrial grade office shredders, it will take that employee at least a couple of hours to shred those documents. Do the math of their time spent shredding, their hourly wage, and the cost of not getting other tasks completed, and soon you’ll find yourself with an expensive in-house shredding service.
If you are already then paying for a shredding service, why not just outsource your shredding, keep your workers on task with what they do best, and hire a shredding company to do what they do best (shred paper) and do it in mere minutes, saving you labor costs? That is why we say when considering the labor associated with operating an office shredder, it’s actually cheaper to hire a shredding service.
Expense in Maintenance
When you buy a shredder, you become responsible for its maintenance. As you use the shredder, it will wear and as it deteriorates, it will become less dependable, will jam more and eventually will require downtime and repairs. Downtime means paper piling up, not getting shredded, creating a data security risk, and repairs mean money — money required to pay for parts and to compensate the individual conducting the repairs.
With hiring a shredding service, the maintenance is off your back. It’s not your problem. You get your documents shredded and that’s it. There is no concern for parts, repairs, downtime or security risks due to the downtime.
Hiring a shredding service ensures better security than what buying an office shredder can offer, especially with onsite shredding services.
Too much information for too many eyes
The documents you are shredding you want destroyed because they bear sensitive information, information you don’t want other eyes to see. Some of that could be payroll, human resources, future business planning or other kinds of private data.
You trust your employees, but does it bother you they may see their coworker’s salaries or other personal information as they manually feed documents to the shredder? Maybe it would be by accident that they see this or perhaps because they were curious, but you know you don’t want to them seeing that information. It could result in office conflict or even internal theft.
Another factor is human error. As the saying goes “To err is human…” People are going to make mistakes. When it comes to using an office shredder, it’s very easy for those using the shredder to fail to shred certain documents, leaving your business open to internal conflict, theft or even a data breech.
When it comes to HIPAA compliance, the law requires certain documents to be completely destroyed. In using an office shredder, you have no evidence showing your compliance and that the information was destroyed.
When you hire a shredding service, the person who drops the documents in the shred cabinet or shred bin is probably the person who works with and is entrusted with that information. This same person is the last to see it. The next time that paper sees light will only be briefly as it is being dumped into the hopper of an industrial truck-based shredder seconds before it is destroyed, leaving no space or time for it to be read by other eyes. Upon completion of the shredding job, your shredding service provider will issue you a certificate of destruction, admissible as evidence of HIPAA compliance.
Better for the Environment
If your company is one that seeks to be environmentally friendly, using an office shredder may not be the best way to go. You see, an office shredder only produces small amounts of shredded paper making it too much hassle for the amount handled for recycling facilities to process.
By going with a shredding service which naturally handles large amounts of paper which it regular hauls to partner recycling facilities, your paper will be recyclable, helping your company be that much more green.
Hopefully, these tips will help you make your decision on whether to use a shredding service or to buy a shredder for your document destruction needs. The important thing of course is protect yourself by destroying your sensitive papers.
Whichever way you decide, we can help you out as we are a NAID-certified shredding service provider and also a shredder dealer. Just let us know. We are here help.
About R.K. Black, Inc.
R.K. Black, Inc. is an Oklahoma City-based, family-owned leading provider of office technology solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in Oklahoma and Kansas. We specialize in everything business technology from copier, fax, printer and scanner technology to document management, onsite paper shredding services, VoIP phone systems and managed IT support to video surveillance solutions.
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