Lots of people are asking ‘What Is Records Management?’
Records management, frequently called ‘RM’, is a system of organizing, sorting, and retaining records from the moment they are generated up until the time they are destroyed or archived.
In this article we will look at what the term ‘records management’ encompasses and see how the processes of document shredding, document scanning, and document storage fit into the overall scheme of records management.
We will also discuss some ideas of how to apply solid RM practices in business. Records that need to be managed accumulate rapidly in every type of organization!
Whether it is business, government, or non-profit, new records are created everyday. Data, either on paper or in electronic form, rapidly accumulates and becomes useless after a while.
Email messages, photocopies, purchase records, files and assorted paperwork store up on hard drives and in boxes, wastebaskets and shelves in businesses everywhere.
Most of the time they just take up office space and add to overall clutter and disorganization. Other times, they are discarded improperly, without thought for safety and compliance, creating liability and compromising customer confidentiality.
Establishing a records management system can help organizations to effectively deal with all this paper work and make sure that laws are complied with and that business processes run smoothly.
What is a a good records management system?
A good records management system must detail the entire processes governing how records are handled from the moment they are generated, up until the time they are stored or destroyed.
This may include the use of professional document shredding services (on how to choose one you can read here), document scanning or document imaging services (or some sort of document scanning device located on-site), as well as document storage services.
In addition, it usually includes the use of a document management system (or DMS) to organize stored electronic data.
This system may be part of a computer interface which facilitates the searching of archived data using metadata.
If this all sounds complicated and technical, don’t worry, it is…
Organizing and planning the lifecycle of all paperwork, from the time the record is generated all the way until the time it is stored, archived digitally or shredded is an important and logical business practice that requires training, knowledge, specific skills, and perhaps natural talent.
It is also something that can best be accomplished by someone with training and should not be left to employees to figure out.
Why should you implement a records management system?
A detailed records management policy can greatly help businesses to keep organized, minimize overhead costs (more on cost reduction here) and legal liability, and maximize profits — which is what all businesses want!
Good records management systems are a customized combination of shredding, scanning, and storage mixed together with an electronic document management system that allows for easily searchable archives.
In almost all cases, it needs to be customized to the company based on the applicable regulations for the industry and the locale of the company. It should also be tailored to fit company philosophy and culture.
Get Free Quotes on Records Management For Your Company Today!
Records management is a tough job requiring research, strategies, and continuous improvement. Let our professionals help you find the right document storage or management solution for your business. To get free quotes from a local provider give us a call at (800) 503-0576. Within minutes, you will be contacted with several secure records management companies in your area.