A repository is simply a location for storage; a corporate repository may be a filing system, internal server for file storage, or an external storage system such as a virtual data room. Regardless of the method used, creating a corporate repository—one centralized place that stores important corporate information—requires careful planning to ensure proper usage.

Decide Who Will Use The Corporate Repository

When done right, corporate repositories can be useful to many different departments within the company for many different purposes.

For example, one company might have three separate repositories:

Customer service personnel might use a repository to store information for responding to customer questions, making it easy for them to access that information and address customer issues.

The same company might have a separate repository for tracking expenses, profit and loss statements and other key financial documents.

And a third repository used by the research and development team might track current projects and intellectual property (IP) information.

Deciding who will benefit from using a corporate repository is the first step in determining what information should be stored and what kind of repository will work best at your company.

Choose the Types of Documents to Store

Once it has been decided who in the company will benefit from having a company repository, the next step is to determine the information they will need access to. Create a list of the various types of documents that the chosen department needs to regularly review or that might need review should the company be audited. These are the files that will be kept in the repository.

Keep the Corporate Repository Organized

Whether using a paper system or a digital one, organization is key. The company will need to choose a filing system that makes sense for its users. That might mean organizing the files by type or by the departments that need them. For a digital system this may include setting up tags or detailed indexing so that files can be located quickly via built-in search features.

Create Policies

After the company has decided who will use the corporate repository, what will be stored on it, and the organization system that will be used, it will need to establish company policies regarding its new storage system. These policies will ensure that the right types of documents always make it into the repository, that new documents are added according to the chosen organization system, and that the correct team members have both the training to use the system and access to the files.

What kind of corporate repository does your company use? Share what’s worked for you in the comments.