Start a Record Management Program: 5 Steps to Take

It’s easy to start a records management program, and you’ll see immediate benefits. First of all, your office will be more organized and productivity will increase. Equally important, you’ll sleep better at night knowing important documents and records are securely stored.

Start a records management program and you’ll boost the bottom line

A June 2017 study reported that the average cost of a single lost or stolen record is a stunning $225. In addition, U.S. companies who experience a significant data breach will lose an average of $7.35 million. Even if your company is never the victim of a cyberattack, a 2013 study revealed that managers spend an average of four weeks a year searching for lost information. People searching for digital records spend more than 7% of their screen time searching for files. The simplest way for companies to stop these huge losses is to put a records management program in place. The following steps illustrate the business activities and transactions you need to keep your business archives secure.


Set up a records management team

If you want to start a records management program, the first step is to decide who will be in charge of it. You’ll need information management experts to design a reliable storage system, and front-line staff to implement the system across the organization. Also, you’ll need company leaders to oversee the process.


Identify key records, and figure out how long they need to be kept

Identify all types of records that your company creates and uses throughout its business operations. Then determine the retention period for each type of record to be able to create a retention schedule.


Develop a storage strategy

Deciding how and where to store your records is perhaps the most important step in your efforts to start a records management program. The right storage option ensures that your records will be safe from old-fashioned thieves and high-tech hackers. Therefore, partner with a trusted records storage company to make sure the archives and records administration process for your business runs smoothly. Consider the following:
    • How often do you use the records?
    • How quickly will you need the records?
    • Do you need to keep the original?
  Most noteworthy, your answers to these questions will help you determine whether to store documents electronically, in paper files, or both.

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Destroy the records you no longer need

Now you know what records you have, and you know how long you need to keep them. As a result, you probably have a lot of shredding to do! The secure disposal of records guarantees that confidential information does not get into the wrong hands. Partner with shredding professionals to destroy the backlog and set up a regular shredding schedule.


Write down your new policy and share it with your team

Ultimately, if you want to start a records management program that works, you have to make sure everyone adopts it. First, approve the policy. Then, help staff take part by offering training, help and written rules for reference. In conclusion, records management doesn’t have to be a headache. These five easy steps will get you well on your way to implementing an effective records management program that will pay dividends for years to come.