Purge Shredding: What is It and When You Should Do It

Sep 12, 2020

Businesses large and small generate a range of documents.  Even companies that have largely gone paperless may still have to keep hard copies of certain types of records, such as tax filings (including original documents), contracts, invoices and payments, employee records, and certain types of customer data.  Often, these records must be maintained for a certain amount of time, based on state laws for data retention.

Of course, South Dakota businesses that have not yet adopted a paperless policy may generate considerably more hard copies of data.  Over time, this could lead to a backlog of records, including redundancies and outdated or unneeded records that pose risk factors for theft.

While you may have a schedule in place to account for day-to-day document generation and disposal that requires ongoing shredding services, there are also going to be times when you have a huge amount of paper that inflates the volume of needed shredding.  This is called a purge.  Why would you need a purge and when should you plan it?

Reasons for Purging Documents

In recent years, many businesses have elected to take advantage of the conveniences of digital data and transition to a paperless office environment.  This not only allows for much more compact storage, eliminating the need for extensive paper filing systems and off-site records storage, but it also facilitates access, sharing, and layers of security for sensitive data.

When you opt to transition to digital recordkeeping, you may decide to purge years’ worth of records in hard-copy format.  Whether you scan hard copies into a digital format, enter the data manually, or determine that old and outdated information can simply be disposed of, you may find yourself dealing with literal tons of paper.

This is when you need the services of a mobile shredding service.  The right vendor can schedule a one-time visit to your location (in addition to regular shredding services) to pick up and shred your massive backlog of records, often shredding on-site while you watch, for your peace of mind.  Another reason you might be in need of a purge is if you don’t yet have a regular schedule for shredding, and hard copies start piling up around the office.

When to Purge

If you’ve already completed your transition to a paperless office, you might not think you’ll need to purge.  However, even with regular shredding service, you may want to consider adding an annual purge to your schedule.

State laws regarding document retention vary, but chances are, a number of documents you’ve been holding onto for legal compliance will come due for destruction during the course of any given year.  Depending on the size of your business, this could constitute a significant addition to your regular shredding needs.

If you have an annual document purge on the schedule, you can simply make sure all applicable hard copies are collected by your deadline.  This can help to clear space and mitigate the risks such documents might pose if left in storage longer than necessary.

When your South Dakota business is in need of document purging services, contact the certified professionals at SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to request a quote.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.