Well-organized records rank among the most valuable assets that organizations own. New technologies have simplified the records management process and given businesses improved opportunities. If you’re looking for the best records management practices, you may want to focus on the following essentials.
Build a Records Management Policy
A policy that everybody adheres to will maximize the informative value and the authenticity of corporate records. This is probably the best records management technique to implement. Take some time, do your research and come up with guidelines for the creation of the right documents.
A good policy should ensure both the completeness and the accuracy of the records. It should also focus on record management responsibilities within the organization, giving staff members the right level of access to the information, record management guidelines, training for the staff and compliance with government/industry regulations.
As you have probably figured out already, coming up with such a policy is not an easy task. Once the process is completed, however, it would become much easier for everyone to adhere to the same rules.
Choose the Right Solution
Now that you have a policy in place, it’s time to pick the right digital record management solution. Digital document storage and management comes with many advantages over relying on paper. The quality of the outcome, however, will be as good as the software that you choose.
A good record management program gives the right people access to the records, makes it easier to update and organize information, it provides usage logs, enhances collaboration and makes the information readily accessible from just about every location. This is one of the best possibilities for increasing flexibility while maintaining impeccable records.
When looking for such solutions, choose a records management program that can grow and evolve as the needs of your business change.
Come Up with a Retention Schedule
This somewhat complicated term refers to one file that provides information about the individual record management specifics referring to every single document. A good retention schedule should feature information about the nature of files, the length of retention, the reason for the retention and disposition agreed by the user.
In essence, this is a policy document that will need to be updated every single time a new document enters the record. Building a retention schedule is a challenging task and it will depend on the people who’ll be using the record – different departments, stockholders, authority, the public, etc.
There are specific retention schedule requirements in different industries. It would be a good idea to acquaint yourself with the best practices within the field that your organization represents.
Best Records Management Practices: Ensure Ease of Access
Record management should also ensure the ease of accessing important information. People should be capable of relying on multiple search criteria and indexing parameters in order to acquire the data that they need.
The selection of the right record management product is one of the first steps towards ensuring the ease of access. Once you have the software in place, you’ll also need to choose the criteria that people should be capable of utilizing in order to access data.
Indexing records in a systemic manner is the first important part of the process. Other essentials to focus on include populating the record classification scheme, organizing digital records in the right directories, implementing an authorization process that gives access to the right individuals and ensuring access to additional materials like emails and even instant messages. Having well-determined criteria can be tremendously time-saving in the future.