Effective Records Management – Part 3 – Developing and Implementing an Enterprise Records Management Program
Controlling information starts by distinguishing records from non-records. In records management parlance, this is the distinction between records that companies send to the file room versus ones they throw away. Several studies estimate that most organizations can destroy as much as two of every three documents that they currently store. Studies also indicate that, apart from retaining too many records, organizations retain those records in multiple copies, further increasing the volume of stored information.
This tendency to save everything hampers an organization’s ability to properly manage those records that should be kept. Timely disposition of expired records ensures that information that should have been destroyed will not be swept up in a wide reaching legal discovery exercise during litigation or compliance exercises. Thus, de-duplication and timely disposition reduces potential liability risk while lowering operational costs, thereby benefiting the organization twofold.
Once business records are separated from disposable non-records and only one copy is maintained, they need to be classified for filing and applying retention periods. Retention schedules are determined by legal, compliance and operating requirements of the organization, must be consistent, apply the same classification system to both paper and electronic records.
Companies should implement a centralized records system to provide a single point of control and consistency for all of their records, be they on-site or off-site, paper or electronic.
With a single software solution, companies can:
Ultimately, to be successful, records management must be integrated into the daily operations of the business.