Uh-oh. You work in a growing business, or the person in charge of records management has left the company. In any case, the powers that be have put you in charge of either setting up or managing the records keeping for the whole company. Now what?
First, it helps to know a little bit about why it’s important to have a good records management system.
Records management helps to safeguard the sensitive information of your business and that of your customer suppliers and employees.
Your company is required by law to keep certain records for certain amounts of time.
Very few businesses know how much time is wasted looking for poorly stored documents.
When your records are not managed well, they tend to be stored all over the place and that can gobble up valuable office space.
The Key Basics of a Records Management System
In a previous post we talked about one of the most important aspects of records management, which is that different documents must be stored for different lengths of time.
Once you classify documents according to how long they need to be kept, then the real work of records management begins.
1. Set Up a Storage System
Unfortunately, you can’t simply stuff documents in boxes and lock them in a closet. You need a system in place that allows you to quickly identify records that are ready for storage, gather the documents and find any record after it’s stored, regardless of where it is stored and what box it’s in. If possible, keep similar records in a single box, label the box and list its contents on a spreadsheet. Alternatively, you can separate different records in a single box.
2. Organize a Storage Area
Your records must be stored in a secure place that has enough space to house additional records in the future. Each record box must be accessible and its label visible.
Depending on the size of your company, on-site storage can end up using a lot of valuable floor space. Off-site document storage is an excellent option that frees up your floor space. When combined with document scanning, off-site storage is often the records management option that offers the most value.
3. Have a Destruction Schedule
Whether you store your documents on-site or off-site, you don’t want to keep anything longer than required. Secure, certified destruction of certain records is a requirement in some cases. Your destruction schedule will tell you which documents can be destroyed each month or quarter.
If you have any questions about setting up and/or maintaining and effective records management system, please don’t hesitate to call us here at Papersavers 1-888-392-0828. We’ve been managing corporate records for over 25 years.