The Records Storage and Management Services (RSMS) business sector is the largest of the Document and Information Management (DIM) industry sectors. This service is often thought of as a ‘storage’ business. And while it does involve storage of records and most of the revenue and margin come from storage, it is much more than that. Providing process workflow improvements, consistency in physical and electronic programs, bridging the physical and electronic worlds and driving retention management all present opportunities for growth. The RSMS sector has matured to include advanced retention management, business processing outsourcing, niche sector expertise such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical and privacy protection.
The industry is experiencing a slowdown in net unit growth in mature markets. Over the past 10 years, net unit growth from existing customers has dropped to 1-3%, from a high of nearly 10%. Many independents are struggling with the question of where to position their business and where to find new opportunities. The large national and global players have a cost advantage over independents, so price is not the answer. Good service is not really a competitive differentiator; it is a prerequisite to be in business. However, many growth opportunities remain within the business, as a result of external factors such as ever-increasing privacy regulations.
In emerging markets such as Brazil, China, Columbia, India, the Middle East, etc., the picture is different. Unit growth rates are high, retention guidelines are opaque or non-existent and cost of labor is much lower, rendering some technology investment returns for improved processes less economical. No doubt some of the emerging markets will follow the developed market trends, but this will be a slow process.
K-2 Partners experience in the RSMS space is unmatched, both domestically and internationally. The volume of deals and valuations we have received are a product of helping our clients make their business better over months and sometimes years, and then helping them achieve well timed, well planned and premium-valued outcomes.
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