Every day in business we are inundated with information. We receive emails, attachments, files, faxes and the list goes on. Without systematic management, important information will be lost and our businesses will suffer.
Records management is vital to the smooth running of any business. What does it involve? It is an ordered way to process documents, from creating to classifying, storing, retrieving and eventually, to disposing. Here are some reasons businesses should use record management.
If you save on time, you save money. By having a records system, staff members are used more productively. You also save on the cost of the storage space needed to house unnecessary files.
Records are a tool to help manage a company. If used efficiently, you can streamline random information into meaningful and useful categories. It also fosters a professional working environment.
All companies have to adhere to the law to avoid litigation and penalties. A proper system creates an audit trail that protects the business from slipping below compliance. The international standard, ISO 15489-1:2001, offers a framework of best practise to follow. Other laws, such as the “Data Protection Act” and the “Freedom of Information Act” also apply.
Your records management policy will determine who gets to view which documents and sensitive files are protected from unauthorised access. By using robust software, your intellectual property is also safeguarded from hackers. A retention schedule will guarantee documents are destroyed on time. In the event of environmental damage, you should have a solid disaster recovery plan and electronic back-ups.
If you use a respected Electronic Document Management (EDM) system, it will be easy for your staff to catalogue and retrieve the information needed.
Better Service to Customers
Access to client information is at your fingertips and you can therefore service them better with accurate data.
A Written Record
Record management leaves a “paper trail” of evidence of the transactions and history of the company.
Well-informed Business Decisions
Managers can make better planning and business decisions based on useful information.
Collaboration, Sharing and Tracking
EDM software facilitates the sharing and tracking of documents. It automates the flow of information between staff members and helps them to collaborate on ideas.
Your data can be kept accurate and up-to-date. The system also controls that no unnecessary documents are generated or retained for too long. Your records manager can sort information and keep tight version control.
Accountability and Transparency
Access to information by personnel makes certain there is accountability among the staff members.
Documents can be stored electronically or physically. Electronic storage saves space and information can be accessed remotely. However, with the ever-changing technologies, the challenge is to ensure records can be viewed on new devices. There is also an increased vulnerability to corporate cyber-crime. The dangers of physically storing hard-copies are environmental hazards and the cost of extra storage space.