Proper records management isn’t a process that happens organically. It’s a system of processes that help your organization keep up with each piece of information from the moment it’s created until it’s destroyed. Here we outline the most important objectives of a records management program.
Information security is a key objective of a records management program. If your information is stolen and misused, it impacts your business in multiple ways:
- Legal liability
- Loss of customers
- Brand damage
- Lost revenue
Your paper and digital records must be protected against internal and external threats. But what’s the best way to do that?
Professional offsite records storage offers a solution for controlling access to your information. Hardcopy documents and media containing digital files are stored in secure facility with strictly regulated access. Only authorized staff members in your organization are able to request information, and barcode technology tracks your inventory so you can always verify who has retrieved a file and when.
Preservation of vital records
Vital records are documents that fit the following criteria:
- Essential to the survival of your organization
- Provide proof of your company’s legal and financial position
- Preserves the rights and claims of your organization and its shareholders
Since many vital records are kept permanently, they should be stored in an environment designed to protect them from damage. A records management program incorporates strategies to ensure that vital business records are preserved in optimal condition and safeguarded from physical damage and theft.
Storage areas should be free from dust, debris and pests. Basements and attics, which are especially prone to mold and leaks, are best avoided. Instead, a commercial records centre offers a clean, secure, disaster-proof environment. Records are stored in on high-density shelving units in a climate-controlled warehouse. Fire prevention and security systems with surveillance add another layer of protection for your vital business documents.
Financial, accounting, and healthcare are just a few of the industries that are required to meet Canadian regulatory standards for the protection of information. Businesses engaged in cross-border operations are also subject to the laws of the United States, such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). A records management program ensures regulatory compliance through:
- Adherence to retention schedules
- Strict chain of custody procedures
- Documenting the final disposition of physical documents and electronic data
Controlling overhead costs
Records management can be an effective tool for reducing your overhead expenses. When offsite storage of archival records is combined with the scheduled destruction of obsolete files, office areas previously used for storage can be converted from cost centers to profit-generating spaces.
Don’t need your information on paper anymore? Converting paper documents to digital files is another records management strategy that eliminates your in-house storage expenses and enables better control of your overhead costs.
Streamlined file retrieval processes
Improved efficiency is another benefit of a records management program. Without proper cataloguing and indexing, files are easily misplaced and difficult to retrieve. Records management keeps your information properly labeled, organized and tracked for easy location and delivery. Records storage and management providers offer professional file retrieval services that lower your internal administrative costs and enable improved focus on your core competencies.
Consider incorporating these objectives into your organization’s records management program for improved productivity, profitability, information security, and compliance.
Docu-Dépôt provides professional records management services for businesses in Montréal and throughout Québec. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.
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