Making sure that your company records are maintained and stored properly is a project that could be the most important day-to-day work for your business.
It is critical to ensure that you are retaining and shredding the right documents at the right time, all handled by an employee with sufficient knowledge to do so.
Although there are intermediary steps like offsite document storage that can increase workflow and productivity, developing and maintaining a complete records management program will have a size-able impact for your company.
With the right program in place, your company will have a road-map that tracks and files all your records leading to a more efficient work environment.
8 Steps For An Effective Records Management Program
There are dozens of ways to go about an effective records management program, and how you implement it is really dependent on several factors based on your organization’s model. You have to consider the size of your office, the laws and regulations that your company has to follow, and the type of management system that makes sense for how you interact with your data.
Here are the 8 steps that we believe are the mainstays of a solid records management program.
Step 1: Complete inventory of all records
Before you put a new process in place, you should understand the scope of your project.
By doing a complete inventory of all the records you want to manage, you will be able to implement processes that coincide with your business and your data management needs of your team.
Step 2: Determine who is going to manage the process and records
Once you have determined the way you want to manage your records, you need to determine two things:
- Who is going to manage each step of the process?
- What steps of the process need to be managed?
By clearly defining these two things, you can ensure that your system is going to be sustainable with the ability to scale.
Step 3: Develop a records retention and destruction schedule
It’s important to identify and monitor the various retention times for all the records in your company.
A records retention program provides for the review, retention and destruction of records received or created in the course of regular business activities. It contains and helps maintain the guidelines for how long certain records should be kept and the conditions in which they should be destroyed.
This outlined schedule will help eliminate the risk of older documents causing legal problems and will cut costs by reducing storage needs of old and unneeded documents.
Step 4: Determine the best way to store and manage your records
Most companies use several different systems to store and manage their records depending on the type of business that they’re in and the workflow of their office.
Some companies prefer a document management system and a cloud storage service, eliminating the need to store paper files. All their documents are scanned and indexed, making them easier to manage and find.
Other companies prefer to utilize a hard-copy storage system through a records management company and secure off-site records storage to manage their papers. This allows them to have access to their documents any time they need them, and still maintain hard-copy records for legal or regulatory purposes.
Step 5: Create and document proper procedures
By creating a thorough procedure for your new records management plan, you can verify that the proper steps are taken in the future and can distribute this knowledge throughout the workplace. Keeping everyone on the same page with their records management eliminates any mistakes that can lead to inefficiency or loss of data.
Step 6: Create a disaster recovery plan
Accidents and natural disasters happen so make sure you have a disaster recovery plan in place to help eliminate any issues in case of a natural disaster, fire, or flood.
A solid backup plan will give you the peace of mind in knowing your data is recoverable in the case of any emergencies.
Step 7: Training and implementation
Training your employees after implementation of your new records management plan is the next step.
By selecting the right team and ensuring you have well-defined processes and procedures, your records management will be a success.
8: Maintaining and auditing the program
Once the system is implemented and you’ve completed all your training, monitor and document any issues or inefficiencies that tend to happen with any large-scale implementation.
Maintaining a regular process update and audit procedure will ensure that you correct any problems as quickly as possible.
Record Nations Can Help Create an Effective Records Management Program
At Record Nations, we can help you create a records management program to manage or store your records, convert to an document management system, or set you up with the proper professional records management company that works best for your business.
To get started, fill out the form on this page, or give us a call at (866) 385-3706.