Shredding Services Checklist
Before you choose the company that will provide your shredding services, there are several things you should first consider to determine if the company is the right fit for your business. Use the checklist below as a guideline when interviewing and comparing shredding companies.
How often do you need shredding services? Some companies service a few times per week while others may only require services every few months. Most companies are somewhere in between, requiring weekly or monthly pickup, with the option of call-in service.
Call-In Service Available
If you need to schedule an immediate extra shred job due to an unusually large volume of paper in a specific timeframe, does the company offer call-in service outside of the regular schedule? If so, what timeframe will they guarantee?
Does the company provide free security consoles/containers? Are they tamper-proof and do the consoles/containers lock? Do they look secure?
If they are going to be used inside the office, are they furniture quality? Does the shredding company provide enough containers? Will they help you to strategically place the containers on-site for ease of use? Will they provide you with additional consoles, if needed, and will there be any extra charges?
Is the company NAID certified? NAID is the National Association of Information Destruction. They require each company to meet rigorous security standards before they are get certification. NAID is the top association in the shredding industry and they have a lot of resources to help both their member companies and the businesses that they serve.
Certificate of Destruction
Does a representative provide you with a Certificate of Destruction upon completion of shredding services? Some companies provide them every time, while others may provide certificates with monthly invoices.
A Certificate of Destruction is a legal document issued after materials have been shredded by a shredding company that provides evidence that every document has been totally destroyed. It should be signed by the company representative, document the date and method of destruction and include a reference number. This is an important legal record for proof of compliance with state and federal laws and should be kept on file. However, it does not completely absolve the company of all responsibility.
Can the paper shredding process can be witnessed in real time by your company representative? Many modern shredding trucks have viewing monitors so that you can watch a little screen and see your media being shredded. Many plant-based shredding companies will allow you to watch your documents being shredded if you ask to do so.
Are you comfortable with the terms of service? Many paper shredding companies don't use long-term, hard-binding contracts. However, you can negotiate better pricing and service agreements with price lock guarantees for longer term agreements. Sometimes companies require long-term contracts depending on the number of consoles or containers your business needs.
Does the company charge start-up or initial fees? Shredding is competitive and many top companies won't require you to pay any start-up fees or initial costs of any kind to get your service started.
Destruction of Other Media
Will the shredding service destroy all of your confidential materials? Hospitals may generate X-rays, and some companies may generate CDs that need shredding or hard drives that must be destroyed. While this is short work for any shredding truck or plant-based shredder, there are some materials that may require special equipment.
Bonded and Insured
Can the company provide you with documentation that they are bonded and insured against accidents or breach of confidentiality?
Extensive Background Checks on Drivers
Does the company have policies in place that require all drivers to undergo background checks, as well as random drug and alcohol testing?
Uniformed Drivers with Visible ID Badges
Do the company's drivers wear uniforms with their name and company name/logo clearly displayed? Look for companies that equip their drivers with a photo ID badge as part of their security standards while at your place of business.
Recycling and Proper Disposal
What does the company do with the material it shreds? Most shredding companies sell their shredded paper as scrap. Some media can be sold for scrap, while other multi-media must be disposed of in a landfill after its shredded.
Expertise to Assist with Legal Requirements
Does the shredding company have literature and some training materials available to help you through the process of implementing a shredding schedule for your business? While it's ultimately your responsibility to securely handle and dispose of confidential documents or media, you need to do some research on compliance. A good document shredding company will be able to help you make the process easier.
For example, some companies provide website access to training materials or information specific to different industries. Others may offer training videos, manuals and news updates on the latest legislation applicable to your organization.
Request for Immediate Payment
Does the company offer monthly or bi-monthly invoicing? If a shredding company is requesting payment immediately after each job, it could be a sign they may not be very stable. This may be fine depending on your circumstances, but isn't the norm in today's competitive environment.
Charging...By the Minute or by the Container
What charging system does the company use? Different document destruction companies have different charge systems. Some will charge for every minute they are on the job. Some on-site companies will charge only for the time the paper is actually in the shred truck, being shredded. Most companies simply charge by the container.