How to Determine the Cost of Shredding Documents


Gainesville, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/04/2012 -- In order to protect the privacy of consumers, the United States government has enacted over 40 information destruction laws. These laws require various institutions that collect and store personal information to manage and destroy physical records in order to keep this information safe when discarded into the trash. With these requirements come new responsibilities for both large and small businesses. And, with those responsibilities comes a new set of costs.

Many organizations, when faced with the task of destroying the personal records of their clients, will take an in-house approach. They will purchase an inexpensive shredder and set up inter-office rules on how and when to shred documents that fall within the destruction laws. It appears, at first, that in-house shredding is cost-effective, but after looking at the numbers, it becomes clear that what seems to be a money-saving idea is actually costing a business a great deal.

When factoring in the total cost of everything included in shredding documents, beyond the $200 cost of a compliant paper-shredding machine and the time it takes to complete the task, it is quickly evident that the cost of in-house shredding is more expensive than it first appears.

For example, in a medium-sized, local business in Arlington with 25 employees, it is more than likely that at least five of them will need to shred documents on a weekly basis. Shredding takes time. Employees need to prepare the documents for shredding by removing as many staples and paper clips as possible and, of course, they also physically feed the documents into the shredder. This could easily take 30 minutes per person, per week, or 150 total minutes. At the end of the month this turns out to be a total of 10 hours that employees work on document destruction.

If an average employee makes $16.50 an hour, then a business is easily spending nearly $2,000 a year on keeping in compliance with information destruction laws! This number grows considerably when shredder replacement and repair are taken into account, along with the electricity used and the extra time required when machines jam and overheat, let alone if there are more than 5 employees that are shredding documents.

However, beyond the costs associated with shredding documents, consider the wear and tear on the staff itself. Employees produce higher quality work when their tasks are specialized and focused. Having to multi-task throughout the day produces opportunities for employees to become sidetracked and ultimately makes them less efficient. Frequent pausing to shred documents throughout the week becomes a distraction and introduces inefficiency into each employee’s day.

The bottom line is that professional on-site document shredding companies, like TrueShred, are often times more affordable than in-house shredding operations. Not only are they more cost effective, but they allow employees to focus on what they do best – their jobs. So, using a professional shredding service is definitely worth considering. A business can save money in the long run, improve employee efficiency, and improve security.