|If your store burned to the ground today...would you be able to
collect on your existing agreements?
|Shred your documents to prevent “Dumpster diving”
When it comes to protecting company assets, we all have policies
and processes in place to protect “real property” such as rental inventory,
vehicles, tools and the like. But have you given equal consideration to the
protection of other valuable assets, such as customer files, computer software
and back-up media. By taking the following precautions, you can protect both
company sensitive and customer related information.
How secure is your operation?
Fireproof Filing Cabinet
If you do not already have one, consider the following. If your store were
damaged or destroyed by fire, could you continue to rent and collect?
In addition to the loss of “real property”, you could lose
customer files that include important documentation such as the rental order
form, rental agreement, etc. Storing these items in a fireproof file cabinet can
greatly reduce down time when it comes to recovering from a catastrophic event
such as fire.
In addition to storage for customer files, other valuable items
such as computer file back-up media and computer recovery kit can be preserved.
And be sure to store you most valuable items in the upper drawers, since fire
fighting tends to leave a lot of standing water (12 inches plus). While these
units are costly, their value can not be overstated. Consider purchasing a used
unit from a local used office fixture store, the savings can be significant.
Keep a copy of all executed rental agreements
off-site. In the event that an agreement (or entire customer file) is lost,
there would still be a copy of the agreement available. The same precaution
should be taken for employee files and original copies of store forms.
This is one office product that doesn’t cost much to purchase.
I would highly recommend shredding any document that contains customer
information (i.e. - payment receipts, returned mail, any item with a customer’s
name, address or phone number). The age-old practice of “Dumpster diving”
continues to this very day, I guarantee it. Unfortunately, many dealers do not
shred customer-related documents and I assure you, this is a costly mistake.
Use two-part receipt paper and keep a copy of every receipt
in the event of a computer or software failure, as you made need to “recreate”
the day’s activity after the computer software “glitch” is fixed. I can vouch
for this first hand, it happened to me once (on a Friday, of course, in my 1000
+ BOR store).
In closing, I hope that I have offered suggestions that bring awareness to the
protection of assets that might otherwise be overlooked.
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