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Records Management Best Practices

Before your business begins to implement any kind of official, record-keeping strategy, it is important to understand your business’s complete personality. A record-keeping strategy that works for a law firm probably won’t be an ideal fit for an energy company. It is essential to assess what kind of information your company relies on before you can know what the best practices are for your records management.


Consider what kind of information your business typically relies on, and what form that information usually takes. Does your organization operate based on decision made via e-mail? Do employees at your office have a large amount of reference material, like text books orblue prints? You may also consider how often your employees access this information. Some businesses need to be prepared to present information to a judge, and as such must keep information in compliance with e-discovery laws. Almost all businesses have contracts or information about employees that needs to be kept confidential, and eventually destroyed.


Once you have a good picture of the kind of records you’ll be dealing with, consider which departments deal with which documents. Think about who needs to access what. For instance, human resources should manage employee files, and your legal department will need to have access to your business contracts. Once you have all your documents categorized, you can determine which employees should be able to access and manage which documents.


When you are doing an internal audit of documents, consider another subset of document types. To effectively manage space and comply with confidentiality agreements, some documents need to be destroyed by a certain date. In each category of document, remember to create a special sub-category for documents that have a storage expiration date. Make sure these documents are labeled with their destroy-by date so you never miss a deadline.


So you’ve established what kind of records you have, and who should access them. Now it’s time to figure out where the records should go. More often than ever, employees in different locations need to access the same document. Cloud-based management systems are becoming increasingly popular. Create a space in your record management strategy for documents critical to your organization’s success. Some documents – perhaps a spreadsheet detailing recent market trends – needs to be at the fingertips of everyone in your organization.


Some documents may need to be available at some point, but not on an urgent basis. In that case, consider placing them into secure storage and keeping your internal record management system clutter-free.

 

If you need help figuring out a document management strategy for your business, contact Royal Imaging. We have document management offices in Los AngelesNew YorkHouston, and more! Contact us today and let's get started.

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