High records management standards reduce risk, ensure compliance and help your business operate effectively. But because records management isn’t your primary business responsibility, you struggle with improving your process for classifying, storing, tracking and disposing of your information. This is a common dilemma, so we’ve come up with an easy, 3-step list that can be used as a template for improving the records management process within your organization.
For many organizations, paper documents are constantly being created and quickly forgotten, often falling through the cracks of the records management processes. Legal retention periods are inadvertently neglected, leading to a clutter of paper records in filing cabinets, on desks, and in storage rooms. Periodic file purges based on legal and administrative requirements are essential to any records management system.
Consider scheduling one-time purge shredding services throughout the year to securely dispose of any expired paperwork cluttering your office. In this process, lockable shred collection receptacles are delivered to your facility where your staff can easily and securely deposit outdated files. After the receptacles have been filled, the containers are collected and your records are either shredded on-site at your facility or securely transported to a shredding plant for destruction. Now that you’ve gained some breathing room, you can move on to the next step.
2. Consolidate and reduce
Your business information takes up a great deal of space. Fortunately, not all of your documents and media need to be stored on-site; in fact, doing so is risky. Knowing this, it becomes essential to store any documents that are not essential to your daily business objectives in a secure, off-site location.
Paper records are best stored in a commercial records centre which allow for documents to be protected and preserved permanently or temporarily at a low cost. Records centres are specialized, high-density storage structures equipped with the following features:
- fire alarm and suppression systems
- security surveillance systems
- climate control
- barcode tracking technology
Magnetic and audio/visual media should also be stored off-site. A vault facility offers ideal protection for sensitive digital data by offering a climate-controlled environment with temperature and relative humidity levels set to optimal levels for the long-term preservation of backup tapes, hard drives and other storage media. Consolidating and reducing your internal information storage requirements for both hardcopy and digital data provides you with:
- better information security
- increased disaster recovery capability
- potential decline in rent costs
3. Streamline workflow
At this point, you’ve eliminated outdated files and transferred your less-used business information off-site. Now is the time to go one step further in decreasing the management of paper records in your organization. Scanning and converting your active business records to electronic files enables traditional paper-based workflows to be digitally enhanced.
Implementing a professional document scanning solution eliminates the need to purchase expensive imaging equipment as well as the need to reallocate your precious administrative resources to scanning paper records. The scanning process is handled by document imaging professionals who ensure that all data is accurately captured and accessible. A digital document is easier to work with than a paper one because it can be:
- stored in a secure, centralized location
- easily shared with clients and amongst employees
- quickly located and retrieved
Docu-Dépôt provides records management solutions for businesses throughout Montréal and Québec. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.
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